‘He did extra for me... he helped me in every area’ - Harrison on Ipswich icon Stewart
- Credit: Archant
Without the sacrifices made by his mother Ruth and the support of Ipswich Town legend Marcus Stewart, Ellis Harrison would not be where he is today.
The 24-year-old striker will take his first steps in the Championship this afternoon, when he is expected to make his Ipswich Town debut against Blackburn following a £750,000 move from Bristol Rovers.
It was at the Memorial Stadium he linked up with Stewart, the Rovers assistant manager, with the former Blues marksman taking Harrison under his wing and pushing him to the be best player he could possibly be.
The new Ipswich forward could not be more grateful.
“I didn’t really speak to Marcus too much about the move while I was at Rovers because I didn’t know all that much about it myself, but I spoke to him after the game on Saturday (against West Ham) and he talked about how he loved it here and how much I would love it here,” Harrison said.
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“He’s quite modest so didn’t say too much about it but I’d watch Sky Sports sometimes and Premier League Years would come on so I’d send him a few pictures to tell him how bad his hair was.
“But he’s an unbelievable coach. He worked extra for me, was always on top of me and I’d sometimes feel like ‘get off my back Stewy’ but I’m so glad he did.
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“He helped me in every area of my game.
“We did finishing every day, no days off, and that started to come naturally.
“I’ll still speak to him now, and Darrell Clarke, because I’ve known them for so long.”
But before Harrison linked up with Stewart in Bristol, his mother Ruth ensured her son had every opportunity to enjoy the game he loved as a child.
She cycled with him to training in Newport, caught the bus with him for a trial and Swansea and, even now, remains his biggest critic.
“If I start being comfortable I start slacking off and I have coaches here, and before at Bristol Rovers, who will push me every day,” he said. “There’s no days off and I need that. That’s good for me.
“My mum has been taking me to football since I was four and I’d think I had a good game at Bristol on a Saturday and she’d be like ‘why didn’t you do this, you didn’t work hard enough’. That’s good, I need it and there hasn’t been any let off since I was young.
“She didn’t drive so when I was younger at Newport we would get on a bike and ride over to training. I went over to Swansea on trial for six weeks and she’d pick me up from school and we’d get a bus to the train station to go there.
“I couldn’t have done any of this without her. I’m sure she will be able to come and watch soon. She’s already tried to sort her rota out so she can have Saturdays and weekends off, which will be nice.”