By Leo Grey
Charlie Harrison appreciates more than most the passion which fuels London’s desire to produce a shock result at Ruislip on Sunday.
The 31-year-old St. John’s defender made his senior Championship debut for London ten years ago so he has first-hand knowledge of the hunger for success among the Exiles.
As a student at St Mary’s University College, Strawberry Hill, Twickenham, Harrison immersed himself in the GAA community in the English capital, playing football and making friends.
“The GAA was great for a young student at the time”, he recalls. “Playing football and getting to know lads from other counties helped me to settle in London.
“It made being away from home that bit easier. The passion and pride in the GAA among the exiles was there for all to see. The people involved in London GAA deserve great credit. They are so committed to the cause and sooner or later, they are going to claim a big scalp.”
Harrison was called up to the London squad for the 2004 Championship – and it turned out to be a real baptism of fire.
He recalls: “I marked Galway’s Michael Meehan on my debut and Dublin’s Alan Brogan in the qualifiers. What an introduction to Championship football. It stood me in good stead, though.
For more see this week’s edition of the Irish World