Date: 1st October 2010 at 7:52pm
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As we celebrate Millwall’s 125th year, we look at a significant player from each decade who has been part of the history of Millwall FC.

In the early 1880’s a group of young lads from Scotland came to London to find work.
They found employment at Morton’s jam factory in the West Ferry Road on the Isle of Dog’s and within a few years had formed Millwall Rovers.

On Saturday 3rd October 1885 Millwall Rovers played their first ever game which they lost 5-0 against Fillebrook

As we celebrate Millwall’s 125th year, we look at a significant player from each decade who has been part of the history of Millwall FC.

Present – Neil Harris

Neil Harris was born on 12th July 1977 in Orsett, Essex.

One of Harris’ first early clubs was Maldon Town F.C. but his real football career began when he signed for Cambridge City.
Millwall spotted him playing there and signed him on 26th March 1998

He made his Millwall debut against Bristol Rovers at The Den on 4th April 1998
The following season he was voted Millwall’s Player of the Year as The Lions got to a Wembley Final in the Auto Windscreen Shield.

Within two years of signing on at The Den, Harris had established himself as one of the most feared marksmen outside the Premiership, scoring 25 League goals in 1999/2000 (the first Millwall player since Teddy Sheringham, in 1991, to do so), and attracting offers of over £1 million for his signature. Instead of moving on, Neil signed a new improved four year deal with Millwall in May 2000, and netted a further 28 goals in 2000/2001, sharing the ‘Golden Boot’ with Jamie Cureton as joint-top League goalscorer in Division Two and helping the Lions to a Division 2 championship.

A great favourite with the fans who gave him the nickname of ‘Bomber’, in reference to Arthur Travers Harris.

Neil Harris was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2001 and following an operation he embarked on a course of radiotherapy treatment,he was given the all clear a year later. As a consequence he set up a cancer charity, the Neil Harris Everyman Appeal.

He returned to action before Christmas and scored a sensational goal during The Lions 4-0 win at Watford on New Year’s Day 2002 – his first in Division One.

After helping The Lions to their first ever FA Cup Final, and then representing the club in Europe, the then Millwall manager Dennis Wise let Harris go, firstly out on loan to Cardiff City and then he was sold to Nottingham Forest.

Neil returned to his beloved Millwall for a second time on Monday 8th January 2007 – nearly two years after leaving the club for Forest. Speaking to BBC Sport the next day Harris stated, ‘There is something special about this club, it brings out the best in me as a player and a person. It feels like home, it always has done. I can’t wait to get started.’

On 20 January 2007, in his second game for Millwall, Harris made club history by scoring in the 16th minute of the 4-0 win over Rotherham to become Millwall’s top league goal scorer with 94 goals, surpassing the previous club record of 93 goals he had jointly held with Teddy Sheringham.

On 13 January 2009, Harris broke Teddy Sheringham’s all time goal scoring record for Millwall during the 3-2 away win against Crewe Alexandra with his 112th goal for the club.

On 28 January 2010, Harris prolonged his contract with Millwall until 2012.

Neil Harris (1998-2004 & 2006-present)

Millwall career (competitive games only)

Up to 01/10/2010

Football League: 278 (86) appearances – 123 goals
FA Cup: 19 (4) appearances – 5 goals
League Cup: 11 (2) appearances – 5 goals
Other Competitions: 10 (1) appearances – 3 goals