Steven Harper – One Top Class Professional

Steven Harper was disappointed, and we were surprised, when he lost his starting place to Shay Given last Saturday at Manchester City.

We were surprised because Sam had said on the day of the Arsenal match that Steve would return against City. Given did have an excellent game at the Emirates and Sam decided to keep Shay in goal on Saturday.

Steve has been talking about his experience – so is he off sulking curled up in a fetal position? Not on your life – read on.


Steve Harper – top class professional and wonderful role model for kids
It’s really hard lines for the 32 year-old Easington born stopper but Steve is very mature and almost philosophical about last Saturday. However, he’s not giving up as he told the Evening Chronicle:

“The battle goes on,” “It goes without saying that I was desperately disappointed to be left on the bench on Saturday but, I must say, what made it easier for me was that I lost my place to a top-class goalkeeper.”

“But I’m not one to spit out my dummy and all I can do is keep working hard and try and get back into the team.”

“We flew down to Manchester early on Friday morning and had a work-out at the Manchester United training ground, and it was then that the manager told me I wasn’t playing.”

“Obviously I was gutted but I’m a professional and I have always stood by the manager’s decision in all my time here, no matter who it has been.”

You don’t get a better professional than Steve and he is also a powerful team member representing the views and guts of a person who grew up in the Tyneside area. The way he has taken this setback is also a great example to the rest of the Newcastle squad – no wonder Big Sam has taken a big liking to him. He’s now been at Newcastle 14 years and has had loan spells at Huddersfield, Stockport County, Gateshead and Bradford City during his time at the club.

Some trivia on Steve:

  • On 26 July 2007 Harper came on as a substitute against Celtic in a friendly match and played as a striker (he looked pretty good and almost scored).
  • Harper is an FA-approved referee – one of the few professional footballers to have earned their referee’s license.
  • Steve has a degree from the Open University, which he studied for whilst playing for the Newcastle reserve team.
  • He’s a great role model for the kids on Tyneside.

It’s a real pleasure to have Steve part of our team.

Comments very welcome.

9 comments so far

  • Neil A H

    Oct 3, 2007 at 11:52 AM

    Comment #1

    What a class act. You would propbably get that type of a response from only 20 % of professional athletes. I hope he at least gets another chance.

  • hadrian

    Oct 3, 2007 at 12:29 PM

    Comment #2

    hard to find cover for shay that is as good as harper and so understanding and patient .
    why there is reports were after boltons keeper i dont know .

  • true

    Oct 3, 2007 at 12:38 PM

    Comment #3

    I still cant get over the Big S comment of players are playing for thier shirt! well Harper isnt no matter how well he plays he will always be dropped, now how many others are in that bracket……… its the WRONG message to send out SAM.
    Harper Top Top Man

  • leo

    Oct 3, 2007 at 1:49 PM

    Comment #4

    well. im sure harper wont see it that way, he will fight for his place back, even if it takes another injury to given, he will work hard

  • beni

    Oct 3, 2007 at 2:28 PM

    Comment #5

    i juz freakin love this guy. much as i love him 2 stay, he deserves to elsewhere and play first team football.

  • apan

    Oct 3, 2007 at 5:01 PM

    Comment #6

    the most loyal player u can get, i hope he be here until his retired

  • Hammy

    Oct 3, 2007 at 6:09 PM

    Comment #7

    I’m surprised Sinead hasn’t been on gloating……
    Harps is a great pro and for whar ever reason has chosen to stay with Newcastle for the majority of his career. In this day and age where bucks come before loyalty and commitment Harper is a breath of fresh air…I for one will be going along to his testimonial. It would be well deserved.

  • Tripp

    Oct 3, 2007 at 8:41 PM

    Comment #8

    Harpers class, all around. BTW, what is a ‘testimonial’ exactly? Not a word we use here in the States.

  • Geno Toon

    Oct 3, 2007 at 9:42 PM

    Comment #9

    Class act for sure but he is not as good as Given. I like him and he is probably the best back up in the league but Shay is second to none.


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