Eddie Howe pays tribute to late AFC Bournemouth groundsman John Harriss

AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe has paid a fitting tribute to former club groundsman John Harriss, this week.

John, 88, who spent 37 years as the club’s groundsman, passed away hours after watching Bournemouth record a historic first win over Arsenal at his home.

Speaking at his press conference on Tuesday morning, ahead of Cherries’ FA Cup fixture against Wigan, Howe expressed great admiration for a man, who he describes as unlike any other groundsman he’d ever met before.

Howe said: “I’m very sad, football clubs are made and brought together by a lot of different things, but the people really make the club for me.

“One of my first memories of coming to this club is meeting a groundsman who was obsessed with his pitch, who didn’t want anyone on it, who would berate and shout at you for stepping on it, as most groundsmen do, but this one had a warmth about him that was different to anyone I had met before.

“Knowing John over a long, long period of time and seeing him at different phases in his life, he was unique in the fact that he was always positive, always welcoming and he was a true Bournemouth supporter.

“We all miss him greatly, on games, on matchdays, when i used to see him. I used to phone him regularly during the weeks as well and talk football. It people like him that make the football club that people never see.”

First published buzz.bournemouth.ac.uk by Tommy Churchyard 16 Jan 2018.