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Harris reflects on working with 'special character' Abdou

Teammates, coaches and directors reminisce on their times at The Den with Jimmy ahead of his Testimonial match this weekend

27 July 2018

Neil Harris both managed and played with Jimmy Abdou and has expressed how admirable he has been to work with, claiming he was often the first name in his team.

The manager’s final three years as a player at The Den were spent alongside Jimmy before the midfielder’s instrumental contribution to the club’s return to the Sky Bet Championship in 2017 under Harris.

“You have to be a special kind of character to complete the service Jimmy has at this football club, as we’ve seen in recent years with Robbo [Paul Robinson], Dunney [Alan Dunne], Tony Craig and in the past, Alan McLeary and Keith Stevens,” he stated.

“If I look at the times I played with Jimmy, I can appreciate what he did. For so many managers, me included, for so many times during my reign, Jimmy would be the first name on the teamsheet.

“To be voted twice by the fans as their Player of the Year shows he would also have been the first name on their teamsheets as well.”

Like a host of his former teammates, Harris holds Jimmy in the highest regard in terms of his work-rate and professionalism.

“He wasn’t a boozer, he wasn’t a person for nights out.

“He was bubbly, smiley and on the training pitch, on recovery days, in the gym and more, he was up there with the best pros I’ve ever worked with.

“I’m really proud of him today and I know he feels very privileged and humbled to have been given a game in his honour. It’s going to be a wonderful occasion.”

Neil Harris' full tribute to Jimmy will be available in tomorrow's matchday programme.


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