Barry Harris forced to keep away from beloved Portsmouth after hospitalised following 'frightening' health scare

Barry Harris insists he’s on the mend after a health scare left him on a hospital ventilator.

Thursday, 4th November 2021, 11:14 am
Barry Harris, who had been hospitalised with pneumonia, is pictured with Pompey favourites Gareth Evans and Christian Burgess at the League Two title-winning celebrations on Southsea Common. Picture: Joe Pepler

But the 77-year-old has ruled himself out of watching his beloved Pompey for the foreseeable future.

Harris was taken to QA Hospital on Friday morning with breathing difficulties having contracted pneumonia.

The Blues’ long-serving bootman was immediately put onto a ventilator, with doctors also concerned over his heart rate.

Sign up to our Portsmouth FC newsletter

Thankfully, Harris was allowed to return to his Southsea home on Tuesday evening.

Although the popular character admits he is not yet ready to return to his beloved Fratton Park for Pompey fixtures.

He told The News: ‘I have to say, it frightened me and my wife, Sarah. I wasn’t breathing properly, it was all over the place.

‘When I arrived at hospital, they put me straight onto a ventilator, which was scary.

‘Doctors have since told me that if I hadn't been healthy then I would probably still be in hospital now and might have been in a bit of a mess. I’m not as young as I’d like to be.

‘The next day I was feeling a bit better and managed to get my laptop and watch the Pompey game, but by then the doctor was concerned about my heart.

‘He told me: “It’s good you’ve got a strong heart because the way your heart was racing on Friday when you came on, you would have had a coronary”.

‘I then had to stay in until my heartbeat was steady for 24 hours – and now must take tablets for a month to control that.

Read More

Read More
For the latest Pompey news direct to your inbox sign up for our free newsletter

‘It turned out that when I was coughing, I damaged muscles around my heart, but it’s nothing serious, I’ve got tablets to put them right.

‘I’m eating properly and think I’m on the mend, but it has knocked me for six and left me with a bit of a cough. Anyone who knows me will tell you I don’t like sitting about, but I have to live with that.’

Among the well wishers since his health scare has been Pompey’s League Two title-winning skipper Michael Doyle, who rang Harris to check on his health on Sunday.

In addition, there was a call from Peterborough boss Darren Ferguson, who also sent warm regards from his dad, Sir Alex.

Harris added: ‘I’m really touched by everyone who has contacted me about my health.

‘I’ve been told to take it easy for a few weeks and I’m not going to Pompey’s game on Saturday.

‘My oldest son has instructed me not to attend any games at the moment. Instead I’ll stay indoors until I've recovered, but I’ve no idea when I’ll be back at Fratton Park.

‘I hate missing matches, I don’t like watching them on the laptop, but it’s the next best thing.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

You can support our local team of expert Pompey writers by subscribing here for all the latest news from Fratton Park for 14p a day.