Farewell a legend

Perth Glory veteran Jamie Harnwell will get one last chance to farewell fans when he plays his last game for the club against Gold Coast United on Sunday afternoon.

Perth Glory veteran Jamie Harnwell will get one last chance to farewell fans when he plays his last game for the club against Gold Coast United on Sunday afternoon.

Immortalised by Glory supporters in a T-shirt where his face was superimposed onto that of Che Gueverra-s with the slogan ‘Chemie Harnwell-, the popular defender/forward has opted to hang up the boots, having played a record 255 games for Glory, including their two National Soccer League championships.

The 33-year-old said the decision was made when he realised he wasn-t enjoying his football anymore and that the desire to improve as a player had deserted him.

He said the realisation hit home after being sent off against Central Coast Mariners in a 2-1 loss a fortnight ago.

“In the past few months I haven-t enjoyed myself like I should have as the years of training, travelling and sacrifice have caught up with me,” Harnwell said.

“After the Central Coast game, after I-d been sent off, I was frustrated with myself, I was frustrated at the team, the way we-d been playing.”

“I was just at home and I turned to my wife and I said, ‘I think that-s it, I think I-m done-.”

“Obviously you don-t make decisions like that on the spot. I had a lot to think about and to talk to the club about (but) over time I think my gut was right.”

“Although this will always be my club, with the new direction we-re heading next season, a new team will be built.”

“I-ve been lucky enough to have been at this club at its peak, playing in four grand finals in five years and will always treasure its history and the players that have made Perth Glory great.”

“Thinking of that, it also becomes obvious to me that the club cannot live on its history any longer, especially on the field.”

Harnwell will continue to work with the club in an ambassadorial role through Football West.

Despite this continuity, he said he will seriously miss playing.

“I still love playing,” he declared.

“I still really love playing, running out in front of the home fans and that dream of playing in front of your 40,000 at Subi again. You know, that-s always been a highlight of my life and it-s something I-m never going to experience again.”

“So playing the games and just being around with the boys, enjoying that banter, that craic you have going in everyday.”

“There-s going to be a lot of things I miss but certainly ones I wont, like getting ripped out by the coach at half time ‘cause you-re having a bad game, stuff like that.”