David Harris (footballer)

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For the Australian footballer, see David Harris (Australian footballer).
David Harris
Personal information
Full name David Harris[1]
Date of birth (1953-11-19) 19 November 1953 (age 63)
Place of birth Stoke-on-Trent, England
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Playing position Central defender
Youth career
Port Vale
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1973–1979 Port Vale 176 (8)
1979–1981 Halifax Town[2] 71 (3)
Stafford Rangers
Total 247+ (11+)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

David Harris (born 19 November 1953) is an English former football defender who had a six-year professional career in the Football League with Port Vale from 1973 to 1979. He was voted the club's Player of the Year in 1974 and 1977. He then spent two seasons with Halifax Town, before entering the non-league scene with Stafford Rangers.

Playing career[edit]

Born in Stoke-on-Trent, his father was Wilf Harris, who had a trial with Stoke City in his youth.[3] A tall defender, rose through the ranks of Port Vale juniors and signed his first pro-contract in July 1973, with Vale then in the Third Division. In 1973–74 he scored five goals in 36 games, and picked up the club's Player of the Year award.[4] His first senior goal came in a 2–1 win against Scarborough in the FA Cup on 15 December. He also scored goals against Luton Town, Tranmere Rovers, Bournemouth, and Brighton & Hove Albion.

He then fell out of favour, though he was once again a first team regular by March 1975. He posted 22 appearances in 1974–75, scoring one goal against Swindon Town. He played 37 games in 1975–76, finding the net against Grimsby Town and Southend United. He made 48 appearances in 1976–77, and became the first player to win the club's Player of the Year award for a second time.

Harris refused a contract at the start of the 1977–78 campaign,[5] he returned to Vale Park to play a further 45 games, scoring against Plymouth Argyle and Oxford United, as Vale were relegated. He again he fell out of favour during the "Valiants" 1978–79 Fourth Division campaign, and made just thirteen appearances. This time he did not regain his place, and instead was transferred to Halifax Town in May 1979.[6]

They "Shaymen" struggled in the bottom half of the Fourth Division in 1979–80 and 1980–81, and had to apply for re-election in 1981, having finished second-from-bottom of the Football League. Following this, Harris moved on to Stafford Rangers, who were then in the Alliance Premier League.

Statistics[edit]

  • Sourced from David Harris profile at the English National Football Archive (subscription required)
Club Season Division League FA Cup Other Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Port Vale 1973–74 Third Division 32 3 4 2 0 0 36 5
1974–75 Third Division 20 1 1 0 1 0 22 1
1975–76 Third Division 32 2 2 0 3 0 37 2
1976–77 Third Division 40 0 6 0 2 0 48 0
1977–78 Third Division 41 2 4 0 0 0 45 2
1978–79 Fourth Division 11 0 1 0 1 0 12 0
Total 176 8 18 2 7 0 201 10
Halifax Town 1979–80 Fourth Division 44 3 5 1 2 0 51 4
1980–81 Fourth Division 27 0 0 0 2 0 29 0
Total 71 3 5 1 4 0 80 4
Career Total 247 11 23 3 11 0 271 14

References[edit]

  1. ^ "David Harris". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 9 March 2017. 
  2. ^ "Stats". neilbrown.newcastlefans.com. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  3. ^ Vickerman, Alan (5 September 2009). "Wilf recalls football days". The Sentinel. Retrieved 5 September 2009. 
  4. ^ Kent, Jeff (1990). The Valiants' Years: The Story Of Port Vale. Witan Books. p. 305. ISBN 0-9508981-4-7. 
  5. ^ Kent, Jeff (1990). "Surviving on a Shoestring (1969–1979)". The Valiants' Years: The Story Of Port Vale. Witan Books. pp. 227–257. ISBN 0-9508981-4-7. 
  6. ^ Kent, Jeff (1996). Port Vale Personalities. Witan Books. p. 128. ISBN 0-9529152-0-0.