Harris George Image 1 Reading 1904

Harris George Image 1 Reading 1904


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Rocester, Staffordshire born inside left George Harris began his football career with Uttoxeter Town from where he joined First Division club Stoke in 1900, making his Football League debut at Sunderland that November, his only appearance of his debut season. He was more involved in their 1901-02 campaign, making 15 appearances but he returned to the fringes in 1902-03 and didn’t get back into the team until February 1903, but he didn’t play at all in 1903-04 before a move to Southern League club Reading in 1904 after 5 goals in 23 appearances for The Potters.

At Reading he scored 11 goals in 28 matches and impressed enough to be invited to play in an international trial, and in April 1905, he was one of nine players signed by fellow Southern League side, Southampton. The Saints were anxious to regain the Southern League title which they had taken six times in the eight years up to 1904, but had finished in a disappointing third place at the end of 1904-05. Harris made his Southampton debut in the opening match of the 1905-06 season, a 1-0 defeat at home to Brentford, but after two games was replaced by Harry Brown. For the rest of the season, the inside left position would alternate between Brown and Harris. Once settled into the side, Harris “developed into a consistent striker, with a powerful and accurate shot”. In his first season at The Dell, Harris made twenty appearances, scoring four goals, as The Saints finished as runners-up, five points behind champions Fulham.

Harry Brown moved to Newcastle United in the summer of 1906, enabling Harris to establish himself as the first choice at inside left. In the 1906-07 season, Harris formed an effective striking partnership with Fred Harrison and Alex Glen, scoring five goals from 28 League appearances, as The Saints finished eleventh, their lowest placing since the inauguration of the Southern League in 1894. Two of his goals came in a 5-0 victory over Brentford on 18th March 1907. However in the summer of 1907, Harris decided to retire from professional football having scored 9 goals in 48 appearances for Southampton, although from 1908 he played for Burton & District League club Tutbury Town.


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