Steve Harris by Terry Butcher
I first got into Iron Maiden when I played for Ipswich Town in the 1980s. Paul Mariner, who was also at the club, was a huge fan and took me along to see them at the Gaumont in Ipswich. We had a private box, where we could consume lots of alcohol!
e could consume lots of alcohol!
Steve Harris has always been the driving force behind the band. He’s got such a single-minded focus and vision of what the band should sound like, and what they should be doing. He’s an amazing guy, and been so crucial in taking the band to their prominent place in metal. They’ve influenced so many others, and been responsible for some of the best music of the last two decades. You have to wonder where we’d all be without them – and where Maiden themselves would have been without Steve!
Steve also gave me the privilege of playing for the Iron Maiden football team on more than one occasion. He’s a huge football fan, as everyone knows, and there have been a few of us old pros who got the chance of being part of the Maiden set-up, thanks to him. I remember one match, when Steve paid for myself, Dave Watson (the former Sunderland and Manchester City defender) and Neil Webb (ex-Nottingham Forest/Manchester United) to go out to Italy, when Iron Maiden FC were playing against a team that included a few former Italian internationals. We won 6-1. And Steve also allowed me to fulfil one big ambition. In 1998, when Maiden released the Virtual XI album, there was a huge party at Steve’s house in Essex. Now, he’s got a full size football pitch there, and I played for Maiden that day. I got the chance to walk straight off the pitch, still in full strip, and right into his pub to have a pint – I’ve always wanted to do that. So, Steve, thanks for making an old player’s dream come true.
For me, Steve Harris is also one of the most down to earth guys around. Despite the success Maiden have had, he’s so unassuming – a lesson to others. Maiden remain my favourite band, and one of the big regrets I’ve got of now being based in Australia is that I’ll miss their UK tour in December. Hopefully, I’ll catch up with them over here in ’07.
Terry Butcher is a former England captain, and is currently manager of Sydney FC, Australia.