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Harris recognised in parliament

Harris scored his 112th goal for Millwall at Crewe
Harris scored his 112th goal for Millwall at Crewe on Tuesday

Millwall striker Neil Harris has been given parliamentary recognition after becoming the club's top goalscorer.

His goal in the 3-2 FA Cup third round replay at Crewe on Tuesday was his 112th for the club, moving him ahead of former record holder Teddy Sheringham.

Simon Hughes, the Liberal Democrat MP for Bermondsey has tabled a Commons motion, praising his "unique contribution" to the club.

He says the striker is "one of the greatest ever" at the Den.

The MP thanked Harris for his "skill and loyalty over the last decade, and also noted his "personal courage" after overcoming testicular cancer, and for "going public about the importance of recognising this disease".

Harris began his career in non-league football with Maldon Town, and joined the Lions in 1998 having caught the eye at Cambridge City.

It proved to be 30,000 well invested as he went on to score 18 goals in his first full season with the club in 1998-99, his first coming in a 2-1 victory against Northampton Town on September 19, 1998.

Harris netted another 18 goals the following season, and there was talk of a move to the Premier League after the Essex born striker won the Division One Golden Boot award for his 25 goal haul in the 2000-2001 season.

But in 2001, Harris faced his biggest challenge after being diagnosed with testicular cancer. It was an illness he successfully fought off, and he returned to action a year later.

Having started in Millwall's FA Cup final defeat to Manchester United in 2004, Harris left the club later that year - first joining Cardiff City on loan, before a permanent move to Nottingham Forest.

Tim Cahill, Daniele Dichio and Neil Harris
Neil Harris (r) was part of the Millwall side that reached the FA Cup final

After three frustrating season's at the City Ground, Harris signed for Gillingham on loan before returning to his spiritual home at the New Den in January 2007.

He needed a further 14 goals to break Teddy Sheringham's previous all-time scoring record, and his sixth of the season at Crewe on Tuesday night finally saw him reach the top of the Lions charts.

Speaking to BBC London 94.9 following that game, Harris said: "I'm so delighted, it's been a while coming and I'd have liked to have done it sooner.

"But I'm so excited by it, to be number one outright. It was great to equal it and be level with Teddy (Sheringham), but now surpassing a man of his stature is awesome.

"I've not finished, I want a lot more and I want to extend the record and hopefully I'll be given the chance to do that.

Harris' future at the New Den appeared in doubt, as he was told he was free to leave the club by manager Kenny Jackett last season.

But he forced his way back into the club's plans by playing an important role in keeping the club in League One, and now he's looking to add another chapter to his Millwall success story by helping the promotion chasers to the Championship.

"Neil Harris personal accolades are lovely for me, Cup wins are fantastic for the team but the important thing is the league," he said.

"We're in a fantastic position, we need to push on from where we are and we know we must win our home games because we've got a terrific home record."

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see also
Harris signs new Lions contract
04 Jun 08 |  Millwall
Striker Harris returns to Lions
09 Jan 07 |  Millwall
Harris told he can leave Millwall
25 Feb 08 |  Millwall

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