Bill Harris will miss today’s match between the Rovers and Hornets at Nielsen Park where former Socceroo Craig Moore will be a guest player for Rovers.
Bill Harris will miss today’s match between the Rovers and Hornets at Nielsen Park where former Socceroo Craig Moore will be a guest player for Rovers. Contributed

Bill stirs up a Hornet's nest

RICHMOND Rovers football club founder Bill Harris was thrilled when he heard Craig Moore would take the field for Rovers in a competition game against Goonellabah this season.

The Football Far North Coast premier league match will take place at Nielson Park (Bill Harris Field), East Lismore at 5.30pm this afternoon.

The only damper he can see is the Hornets refusal to use former Socceroos centre-back Hayden Foxe to even the playing field.

"It's great for the zone and I only wish Goonellabah had taken up on the offer to have Foxe play for them," Harris said.

"I know there is a bit of feeling between the two clubs and it's disrespectful to him (Foxe).

"Hayden is younger and probably would have been better than Craig Moore.

"Craig is doing nothing wrong and it's good of him to come here and promote the game.

"He is a free agent and can play wherever he wants."

The 78-year-old Irishman will miss this afternoon's game because of his failing eyesight.

Harris is legally blind and relies on a mate to help describe to him what is happening on the field.

"I'm legally blind and it's more embarrassing than anything else," he said.

"It's hard to explain but it's like turning up with a blindfold on in a room with 200 people in it.

"I still enjoy the atmosphere and I try to get to a couple of low-key games during the year."

Harris is respected so much by the current playing group that they all shake hands with him after the game when he is in attendance.

The former club president only has fond memories of the club he established in 1961 after winning three consecutive premierships as captain-coach of the Goonellabah Stars.

His playing career was cut short when he smashed his leg in a horror tackle two years later.

"I was told you could hear the crack it made from the front gate," Harris said.

"The sad thing is I felt that it was done on purpose.

"I was in that much pain I didn't want to take my boot off because I thought my foot might fall off."

Since then Harris has fallen on harder times suffering from emphysema, macular degeneration and prostate cancer.

"I was fine until 2006 and everything happened all of a sudden," he said.

"A lot of it is my own fault, I was heavy smoker but I gave that up right away.

"My life has changed and there are a whole lot of new challenges, but it keeps it interesting.

"I'm feeling okay but I'm not going to kick any more goals.

"I can only dream about it."



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