NEIL Harris has announced his retirement from football – clearing the way for the Millwall legend to return to the club in a coaching capacity.
NewsAtDen revealed how new boss Steve Lomas was keen to appoint Harris to his backroom staff and that now appears a formality after the striker's contract at Southend United was terminated by mutual consent.
It is understood Harris will be heavily involved in the Lions first-team set up, but could double up as the U21s manager – a position chief executive Andy Ambler has previously confirmed he is looking to fill this summer.
The 35-year-old has been forced to retire because of a knee injury.
He said: "I enjoyed my time with Southend. It was a boyhood dream of mine playing for the club I used to watch from the North Bank.
"Unfortunately due to injury I have had to end what has been a very enjoyable career. I am now looking ahead to my future."
Blues boss Phil Brown added: "It is a real shame I didn't get the opportunity to work with Neil here at Southend. He is an absolute legend of the game and I wish him all the very best for the future."
Southend confirmed in a statement that Harris is set to "explore coaching opportunities." In total, Harris scored 156 goals in 566 career appearances.