Cup tie brings back memories for Chelsea legend Harris

Ron Harris has little doubt Chelsea will win their FA Cup fourth-round tie against Brentford – but is thrilled the Bees will get the chance to face their glamorous neighbours.

Stamford Bridge legend ‘Chopper’ is Chelsea’s all-time record appearance maker, playing 795 games during 18 years at the club.

After leaving in 1980, he became a player-coach at Brentford and says he has great memories of his three years at Griffin Park.

“When I joined, they only had 16 players on the books, so I played 30-odd games and I really enjoyed my time there,” he told West London Sport.

Rosler's side have impressed Harris.
Rosler’s side have impressed Harris.

“When I played I never ran around that much, I just sat in front of the back four and gave the ball to the others, but it was good fun.

“The difference between the clubs was amazing. At Chelsea we had the best hotels, first-class travel and were properly looked after.

“At Brentford the physio used to collect the tie-ups at the end of the games and wash them and keep them for the next game! It was a world apart.

“In the three years I was at the club I think we only had an overnight stay twice – and that was at Hartlepool or Darlington.

“Other than that we were leaving at 6:30am in the morning and having beans on toast at the service stations. My wife will tell you that we had to wash our own kit.”

Sunday’s match will be the first time Brentford and Chelsea have met in a competitive fixture since 1950.

And it will be a chance for the League One promotion chasers to show what they can do on the big stage.

Harris said: “Brentford will be loving this. It’s a fantastic tie for them and I saw them beat Southend to set up this tie and they looked a half-decent side.

“Uwe Rosler has got them playing some decent football. Brentford are not an up-and-under, blowing-the-bugle type team, and they played it around pretty well. But actually that will probably suit Chelsea more.

“You get upsets every year but I just cannot see it in this game. Brentford would have to play out of their skin to beat Chelsea and Chelsea would have to play very poorly.”

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