Bombers' Khan formed connection, friendship with Harris

KEN WIEBE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:42 AM ET

WINNIPEG - Obby Khan formed a bond with Richard Harris long before he became a member of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Khan can remember going to a Vancouver Canucks game back in 2000 and making a bold proclamation after running into Harris.

“He was sitting three rows ahead of me at the Canucks game and he had spoken at Simon Fraser (where Khan attended university and played CIS football) the week before,” Khan recalled a day after Harris passed away following a heart attack. “I went up to him and said hi Coach Harris, I’m Obby Khan. He said I know who you are, you’re from Simon Fraser. I said to him, I just want you to know I’m going to play for you one day.

“That was a story he would tell everyone when we were out together.”

True to his word, Khan would end up playing on teams that Harris coached, both with the Blue Bombers the past six seasons and the previous two with the Ottawa Renegades before the club folded.

Khan got to know Harris extremely well and leaned on him heavily for support during some tough times back in 2007 when he battled colitis and his father passed away after battling liver cancer.

“That was probably one of the harder things for me — when I was sick and my father was sick, Coach Harris was the first one to call me in the organization,” said Khan. “He’s just an awesome, awesome man. It’s not going to be the same without him and you can never replace a man like Coach Harris. Everyone says it but he loved players more than anything else. I love him. He was like a father to me.

“I’ve been with him for eight years, and I love him. He was a great, great, great, great man. I can’t say enough good things about him.

“It’s a loss to not only the Blue Bombers. It’s a loss to the whole city, the CFL, everyone.”

The Blue Bombers plan to honour Harris with by wearing an RH sticker on their helmets and a moment of silence will be held prior to kickoff on Thursday at Canad Inns Stadium.

“The moment of silence is going to be an amazing show to how much Coach Harris meant to this city and the league,” said Khan. “There will be an extra gear and guys will go that extra mile, give that extra effort and work extra hard to get that win.

“We’re out there for the organization, for the city and for Coach Harris. And a win means more than anything.”


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