Harry Harris is a free man. The Mirror has at last released him from his contract as chief football writer and he joined Express Newspapers this week.
Harris clashed with Mirror editor Piers Morgan when he resigned to go to the Daily Express last year with a contract worth £300,000. Morgan and Trinity Mirror decided to hold him to his 15-month contract.
The row ended in court and Harris was left on "gardening leave" to sit out his extended notice period until The Mirror found a replacement for him.
But last week Morgan phoned Harris suggesting they part as friends.
Morgan told Press Gazette he had been so euphoric after the Mirror won the What the Papers Say Newspaper of the Year title, that he was full of goodwill to all men – "including Harry Harris". Morgan added: "I said ‘Happy New Year – you can go’."
The court order has since been amended. "It’s an amicable solution and Piers and I have parted on good terms," Harris commented. "I’ve had 18 memorable years on The Mirror."
He is to write three columns a week for the Daily Express and one for the Sunday Express. The Daily Star will also take his material.
About to sign a substitute, Morgan said: "We have identified our striker and negotiations are reaching tense last moments. If he passes a medical, he will be on board. If you are top of the League, as clearly we are at the moment, we can afford to have any striker in the world."
By Jean Morgan