Last Tuesday evening saw Dartford host Weston-Super-Mare at Bericote Powerhouse Princes Park. Danny Harris featured in our matchday programme that day. For those who missed that feature, here is the full article:
Danny Harris was signed from Bishop’s Stortford in October 2009 and became an integral part of Tony Burman’s Dartford side during long his stay.
The versatile attacker made his debut in front of 1,228 supporters at Princes Park, as the Darts entertained Tonbridge Angels on Tuesday 13th of October. He duly marked the occasion by scoring the second goal in a 2-0 victory on the night. Does he remember the game though?
“Yeah, I remember it fondly Chris. Fortunately, I knew a few of the boys before signing, but it’s always nerve racking to join a new club. For the goal, I remember Jay May… a quality player by the way… sending me through, and I managed to bend it into the far corner. It was a great start to my Dartford career, although, the next game against Sittingbourne was one to forget for me… HaHaHaHa!” (Danny grabbed an assist to set up Allan Tait, who netted a superb winner in the 73rd minute, as the Darts won 1-0 to progress to the next round of the FA Trophy).
From there, Danny went on to make a total of 400 appearances for Dartford in all competitions, 302 of them in the starting eleven. What are his fondest memories of playing in black and white?
“It has to be the play-off final against Welling United. It was an amazing day, and the atmosphere at Princes Park was fantastic. It was probably the best way to get promoted to the National League.
“I also had some great experiences in the National League. We had a brilliant team that first year, and caused so many upsets.”
Does he have a favourite game? “Apart from the play-off final, we had a good few outings in the FA Cup, which were always memorable. A favourite game though has to be Luton Town. To be clapped off the pitch by their supporters showed how far we had come.”
Having mentioned earlier that Danny scored on his debut, he went on to net 75 times for the club. Does he have a favourite goal?
“A couple of goals spring to mind Chris. The one against Lewes at home in my first year. I surprised myself, as I didn’t think I could hit it that hard! But, it flew in like a bullet! The other one was against Cambridge United at home which, if I remember correctly, I had a ropey first touch (shock!!), but managed to swivel and shoot… it went in off the crossbar and post!”
Does Danny have anything else that sticks in his mind about playing for Dartford?
“It was always an honour to wear the shirt. I was also always appreciative of the fans, both home and away. Through the good and bad times, they were always supportive. I always check to see how the Darts have gotten on these days… After I’ve checked the Spurs result of course!”
During his time at Princes Park, Danny played alongside some true legends of the club. However, there’s one name that stands out as far as he’s concerned…
“I think some of the boys have already mentioned him, but Jacob Erskine was a player who I believe was extremely under-rated. I was fortunate enough to play up top with him after Charlie (Sheringham) left the year that we got promotion from the Conference South, and then the first year in the National League. Jacob was an unbelievable player, and he was so selfless in the way that he lead the line.”
Having left Dartford five years ago, Danny thought he’d be able to continue playing for the foreseeable future, before focusing on his golf. However, sometimes things happen to change such hopes…
‘After my time at Dartford came to an end, I went on to play with East Thurrock for a couple of seasons. But, COVID-19 abruptly ended the season early, so I thought that was a good time to call it a day. I thought at that stage, I’d be able to play more golf, but now I spend most of my weekends ferrying the kids around to sports clubs!”
And now for something completely different to finish with… I asked Danny which five players (that he’s played alongside/against) he’d pick if he was involved in a five-a-side tournament. This is what he said…
“I’m going to have to say the core boys of Dartford… Bradders, Burnsy, Hayzie, and Nobes. (That’s Elliot Bradbrook, Lee Burns, Ryan Hayes, and Lee Noble for those new to the club.) Quality bunch and great players. The goalkeeper has to be Marcus Bettinelli. He was unbelievable, and you could tell that he’d go onto bigger and better things.”
By Chris Palmer