Carl Harris

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Carl Harris
Personal information
Full name Stephen Carl Harris
Date of birth (1956-11-03) 3 November 1956 (age 57)
Place of birth Neath, Wales
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Playing position Winger
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1973–1982 Leeds United 153 (26)
1982–1985 Charlton Athletic 76 (7)
1985–1987 Bury 38 (4)
1987 Airdrieonians 1 (0)
1988 Rochdale 25 (3)
1988–1989 Exeter City 16 (1)
1992–1994 Briton Ferry Athletic 68 (7)
1994 Ton Pentre 10 (1)
1994–1995 Maesteg Park 10 (0)
1995–1996 Afan Lido 54 (2)
1996 Ton Pentre 3 (0)
1996–1997 Carmarthen Town 26 (1)
National team
Wales U23 1 (0)
1976–1982 Wales 24 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Stephen Carl Harris (born 3 November 1956 in Neath) is a Welsh former international footballer. As a winger, Harris was noted for his express pace.[1][2] Former Ipswich Town and England captain Mick Mills is on record as saying Harris was the most difficult opponent he ever faced.[3]

Playing career[edit]

Leeds United[edit]

He was signed professionally for Leeds United in 1973 by the legendary Don Revie. Harris played under the likes of Jimmy Armfield and Jock Stein at Leeds and alongside the likes of Billy Bremner, Johnny Giles, Peter Lorimer, Norman Hunter, Allan Clarke, Paul Madeley, Paul Reaney and Eddie Gray.

A week after signing for Leeds, a young homesick Harris had returned to South Wales. However, Leeds thought he was worth pursuing and sent a famous former player (John Charles) to persuade him to return.[4] On 6 November 1974 Harris made his first team debut for Leeds, just three days after his 18th birthday, in a European Cup 2nd round tie at Elland Road v Hungarian champions Ujpest Dosza, coming on as a 2nd half substitute for Peter Lorimer in a 3-0 win. Five months later on 19 April 1975 Harris made his League debut, again coming on as a substitute, this time for Johnny Giles in a Division One match against Ipswich Town at Elland Road. Leeds went on to win that game 2–1, with Harris netting the winner. Harris reminisced, “It was brilliant to be honest. Trevor Cherry had equalised and I was on hand to win us the game. The Ipswich goalkeeper, Laurie Sivell, pushed Billy Bremner’s shot away to his right and it looked like the ball was going out but I managed to get a left foot shot in which Sivell could only parry into his goal. It was right in front of the Kop and a great moment".[5]

Harris went on to play 156 (30 of which were as a sub) league games for Leeds, scoring 26 league goals, including ending the 1980–81 season as the club's top scorer with 10 goals. Counting cup matches Harris played a total of 176 games (40 as sub) for the club, scoring 29 goals.

Following one game against Arsenal at Highbury, where Harris tormented the home side all afternoon, he was reportedly subject of £700,000 bid from the Gunners,[citation needed] in a time when 1 million pound transfers were still unusual.

Harris had been set to return to Leeds in 1985. Having played a few games for the Central League side to prove his fitness was set to sign, only for then Leeds boss Eddie Gray to get the sack and the deal fell through.[6]

Later career[edit]

Out of contract, he finally left Elland Road in 1982 in a £100,000 move to Charlton Athletic. Following his move to London, Harris struggled with injuries but went on to play 76 times (7 goals) for Charlton, 38 games (4 goals) for Bury, 25 games (3 goals) for Rochdale and 16 games (1 goal) for Exeter City. In between leaving Bury and signing for Rochdale, Harris also turned out briefly for Airdrieonians, a club then managed by former Leeds team mate Gordon McQueen. Following his English League career Harris finished his playing days back in Neath as player-manager of local League of Wales side Briton Ferry Athletic before spending four years in the Welsh Premier League.

Wales[edit]

Harris won 24 full international caps and 1 Under-23 cap (v Scotland) for Wales, all gained at Leeds. Harris scored his only international goal in a 1–0 win against Turkey in a 1982 FIFA World Cup qualifying match. He made his full international debut in March 1976 against England at Wrexham, some eleven months after his club debut for Leeds. Harris picked up the last of his 24 caps in another game against England, at Cardiff in April 1982.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Leeds United – A Complete Record 1919–1986 by Martin Jarred and Malcolm MacDonald (Breedon Books ISBN 0-907969-17-8) "One of the fastest players to pull on a pair of boots in the United dressing room was Welsh winger Carl Harris. He relied upon speed rather than finesse to beat defenders but he was so fast that he could turn defence into attack in the twinkling of an eye".
  2. ^ Leeds United – Player By Player by Andrew Mourant (Guinness ISBN 0-85112-568-9) "There were times when, as Carl Harris darted down the flanks and ran at defenders, he could cause as much panic among defences as any winger in the land. The Harris style would be to make rapid ground down the right and provide dangerous crosses or powerful shots from the edge of the penalty area that flew towards goal".
  3. ^ Article in Marshall Cavendish Football Handbook
  4. ^ Eye witness account of immediate family member
  5. ^ http://www.sheridan-dictates.com/he-wore-the-white-shirt-carl-harris.php
  6. ^ http://www.sheridan-dictates.com/he-wore-the-white-shirt-carl-harris.php
  7. ^ "Wales – International Results 1980–1989 – Details". rsssf.com. Retrieved 20 January 2010. 

External links[edit]