JIMMY Dack – the man responsible for rescuing Harry Arter from the football scrapheap – reckons the Cherries star was one of the steals of the century.

Dack is credited by Arter with “helping me fall back in love with the game” after he had been shown the door by Charlton as a teenager.

Snapped up by Eddie Howe for just £4,000 from non-league Woking in 2010, Arter wrote the latest chapter in his rags-to-riches career when he earned his first competitive international cap on Saturday.

The 26-year-old midfielder, who worked under Dack at Woking and Welling, played the full 90 minutes in the Republic of Ireland’s 1-0 win over Austria in a World Cup qualifier in Vienna.

And in an exclusive interview with the Daily Echo, talent-spotter Dack said: “When he was at Woking, we valued him at more than £4,000 – we thought he was worth closer to £10,000!

“Bournemouth offered us £4,000 and we wanted a bit more. At the time, their resources weren’t what they are now and it went to a tribunal.

“We thought it was harsh that a league club took him for £4,000. He was a bargain at that price and would have been a bargain at £10,000 as well!”

Dack added: “When he came to Woking, you could see the potential in him but he just needed a run of games. He was young and enthusiastic and had a real appetite for the game.

“He wanted to be playing in the first team at 16 and 17 and wasn’t given that opportunity at Charlton. He started to get a bit disheartened.

“We gave him the opportunity to play and you knew he was going to be a good player. He always had a big desire to do well for himself.

“He’s got great support from his family and his dad Terry is a rock for him. He tells him what he might not want to hear and tells him the truth. His family deserve a lot of credit for how well he has done for himself.

“I thought he had everything. He could score goals, pass the ball, rattle tackles and get stuck into people.

“You could see he was going to be a good player but I didn’t know at what level. It is no surprise he has done so well for himself.

“I am delighted for him because he is a cracking lad. He never forgets where he has come from and is a real family man.

“He had big shoes to fill as well with his brother-in-law being Scott Parker. He was a hard act to follow but Harry has done it his own way and has carved out a great future.

“He deserves it and you know he will keep his feet firmly on the ground. His dad would never allow him to get ahead of himself.

“Harry was prepared to drop out of the league and come to Woking to play games. That shows you everything about his character.

“It was never about money for him and he is not money motivated. He just wants to play and has a great desire to win.”