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What the Professionals Say

Luther BlissettLuther says Watford are United in their debt to a "fantastic" player!

Watford legend Luther Blissett has compared Alec Chamberlain with one of the world's greatest goalkeepers!

"Quite simply, he's Watford's Peter Schmeichel," said Luther, a former player and coach at Vicarage Road. "He's rock solid, just like Schmeichel was for Manchester United in the 1990s - year in, year out, whenever you needed Alec he was there for you, as a last line of defence, and, more recently, as someone who's answered the call, come into the team and been Mr Dependable as ever."

Apart from being one of Watford's all time great playes, Luther was also part of the coaching team when Alec joined the club from Sunderland in 1996, and rates his arrival as one of Graham Taylor's best signings.

"He's a real pro', he knuckles down, gets on with his job and does it very well," said Luther. "I never had the privilege of playing in the same team as Alec, but I worked with him as a coach, and it was a pleasure.

"He was such an easy person to handle, he knows his job, and he's very good at what he does. And what's more, Alec always bounces back - whenever people might have written him off, he's had the character to prove people wrong, as he did by wrestling his Number One jersey back from Espen Baardsen during my time as a coach.

"He's also very respected around the dressing room, and is an invaluable person to have around.

"He's been fantastic for Watford, and the highest compliment I can pay him is that he's been very much in the Nigel Gibbs mould as a Watford player - VERY reliable, always on the team sheet, and one of those players the team revolves around."

And Luther's favourite Alec memory? "Well i'll give you this one because it speaks volumes for the kind of guy Alec is: a few years ago - it was towards the end of our second division championship season - we were playing Bournemouth at home, and Steve Palmer wanted to start the game wearing the number one jersey.

"This was before squad numbers, and during the season Steve had wore every number from 2 - to 11, and if he started in goal, he'd make the Guiness Book of Records. So Alec was asked what he thought, and though I know he had reservations - for no other reason than he had his regular warm up routine, and not only that, it was a bit risky starting as an outfield player.

"Anyway, before the game Alec picked up his award for player of the year - thoroughly deserved - and then raced back into the dressing room, and swapped shirts with Steve. He didn't have to do it, but it was typical of the man he is that for Steve's sake, he went along with it. A terrific team player, and I know Steve really appreciated the gesture."

Luther says Alec fully deserves his testimonial, and hopes to be at his testimonial game against Charlton on July 30. "For Alec, I'd always go out of my way to be there for him, and there are plenty in the game who would say the same thing," he said. "I hope he has a really successful season."

Written by Peter Jones, of the PR consultancy Red Alert Media.

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