Harper Not Offered New Contract – It’s Been A Privilege

It’s not really surprising that Steve Harper’s career at Newcastle will end in the summer, when his current contract runs out, after 20 years at Newcastle since Kevin Keegan signed him from Seaham Red Star back in 1993.

steve harper at Everton 2-2

Steve Harper – will leave Newcastle in the summer

He has played 198 times for Newcastle after being the perennial back-up to Irish International Shay Given, who now finds himself on the bench at Aston Villa, with American Brad Guzan now the first team goalkeeper.

And it seems Steve does not want to end his football career yet, and the 38 year-old will be looking for a new club in the summer.

The Evening Chronicle is reporting today that Steve is interesting a number of Championship sides, and the Easington born player is also hoping to have some coaching role at his next club.

This is what Steven said today in the local papers:

“It has been a privilege to be a professional at such a fantastic football club.” “If you had said to me as a raw kid from Seaham I’d be at the club for 20 years as a professional, I would have said you were mad.

“People describe the club as an emotional roller-coaster and it certainly has been. I’ve had some fantastic times here.” “There have been some difficult times as well, but I have enjoyed it all.”

We expect Steve after finishing his playing career to become a coach, and of course it would be great if he ends up at Newcastle and joins the coaching staff.

He’s a local lad and he is a great guy, and served as the first team goalkeeper for Newcastle after Shay left in January of 2009, and that lasted until the summer of 2011 – when Dutchman Tom Krul took over.

Steve played in the 1999 FA Cup final when we were beaten 2-0 by Manchester United, and Shay Given was on the bench that day.

We wish Steve Harper all the very best in his future endeavors, and we now expect Newcastle to bring in another goalkeeper in the summer.

Comments welcome.

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24 comments so far

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Mar 21, 2013 at 10:36 AM

    Comment #1

    Agreed, all the best Stevie. Best years of his career ‘wasted’ sat on a bench, but I’m very grateful to him for that. Good luck wherever he goes, and hope to see him back in the not too distant future working with the academy.

  • Transfer Sage

    Mar 21, 2013 at 10:40 AM

    Comment #2

    Brilliant player for he club. Shame he couldn’t have played more as I think during his prime years he would have gotten a lot of England caps if a regular.

  • Transfer Sage

    Mar 21, 2013 at 10:43 AM

    Comment #3


    From previous. Colo might have been cleared by the club to do that sort of stuff. He may be doing some light training. It’s hard to say whether he’s doing too much or not really. But I admit, I prefer to see a player recover at his club unless sent to a specialist somewhere. Sure the odd few days/weeks at home if it’s just rest needed but most of the time should be in newcaste.

  • Santiago Munez

    Mar 21, 2013 at 10:46 AM

    Comment #4

    I hope this Tom Krul lad is as good as Timmy

  • Transfer Sage

    Mar 21, 2013 at 10:47 AM

    Comment #5


    I think I am coming round to your style of thinking on Santon. He is a decent standard defender, nothing special but not the worst in the league.

    He doesn’t seem to understand his responsibility, he gets forward at the wrong time. Haidara and debuchy both go forward too but both judge better when to do it to reduce the risk to being exposed. Obviously they still get caught out time to time but they judge the situation so the odds are more in their favour.

    This could always come with age to santon, another year under his belt and working with two other good fullbacks is ideal.

    I could see him doing a bale and moving forward though. His crossing and shooting isn’t as good but it’s not too bad. It will only get better if he plays up the field more. Running 60/70 yards from left back before having to cross isn’t ideal but if he starts on the wing it will make it easier.


    Mar 21, 2013 at 10:47 AM

    Comment #6

    Wish he could of retired with us but he deserves first team football. Hope he comes back as a coach and stays with NUFC until he fully retires. Big level of respect for Harps

  • winnynufc

    Mar 21, 2013 at 10:56 AM

    Comment #7

    Great guy! Great Pro! Very loyal to NUFC Enough said!

  • lesh

    Mar 21, 2013 at 10:56 AM

    Comment #8

    For the mackems who troll the site, another chance to read a Sunderland lad’s words:

    “It has been a privilege to be a professional at such a fantastic football club.” “If you had said to me as a raw kid from Seaham I’d be at the club for 20 years as a professional, I would have said you were mad.”


  • G

    Mar 21, 2013 at 10:56 AM

    Comment #9

    Agreed WWYCD, with the levels of professionalism, as well as his patience and attitude I believe he would be perfect coaching material. Sad to see him leave.

  • Spreadthetoon

    Mar 21, 2013 at 11:00 AM

    Comment #10

    Thoroughly good lad and great ambassador for NUFC. It’s a shame he got frozen out by the hierarchy but regrettably he’s never made a claim as no.1 keeper as both Shay and Tim have beaten him to the post! Hope he does well wherever he goes and would love to see Stevie back at NUFC in some form of coaching role! HWTL

  • ichrisho

    Mar 21, 2013 at 11:36 AM

    Comment #11

    Get him signed up as a youth coach or ambassador of the club – very good spokesperson albeit he does need to cheer up on ESPN… jeez…

  • Spotlight Kid

    Mar 21, 2013 at 12:00 PM

    Comment #12

    Top man. For me his greatest contribution was as part of the solid core of loyalists who stabilised a depleted squad during the 2009-2010 promotion season, where Steve was both first choice ‘tween the sticks in a mean defence and a much needed mentor to the emerging Tim Krull.

    One of the few players of late that you can genuinely say always gave 100% for the team – so much so he gave much of his playing career to providing solid backup.

    Best of luck – get your badges, get some coaching experience at all levels, avoid being suckered into being a sofa-pundit, and we’ll see you back in a few years as 1st team coach or even manager!

  • Sav

    Mar 21, 2013 at 12:02 PM

    Comment #13

    Definitely. When Steve has finally hung up his gloves, perhaps in 3 or 4 years, bring him straight back as a coach, role-model, ambassador, Terry M<cDermott, whatever. One of the good guys.

  • Munster Mag

    Mar 21, 2013 at 12:07 PM

    Comment #14

    Marvellous professional. I remember rowing on here a few years ago with a guy who claimed he was the best English keeper in England and deserved to be in the national squad. I didnt see it that way but have always admired him hugely.

  • Munster Mag

    Mar 21, 2013 at 12:09 PM

    Comment #15

    Maybe I’m being harsh on Santon but he’s well overrated IMO. Appreciate he’s young and its easy to forget that. But he shows no signs of being a good defender. He doesnt close wingers fast enough and badly lacks space awareness. He has great energy but does little real damage in the last third in terms of consistent crosses. Haidara is also young but personally I think a more trustworthy defender who also comes with a name for strong attacking work, from what I read. I may be unfair to Santon but think people think a diamond is going to emerge and I’m not sure. Re Cole, he was a better defender at that age, and a much more eager tackler. Hopefully I’m wrong but can anyone see they have seen lots of defensive improvement in him?

  • Munster Mag

    Mar 21, 2013 at 12:13 PM

    Comment #16

    Lilongwe, I agree re your point about Keegan and Ginola. Once we went 1-0 down away to Wigan, I felt the 3 points were gone because of Pardews style. I like the guy but would say goodbye next season if he doesnt get more inventiveness into the team. I think he has had a poor season on many levels and even with more players not injured, I dont think we would have done a whole lot better in what is a fairly weak league. We certainly need to get over our massive over reliance on Cabaye.

  • Owldman

    Mar 21, 2013 at 1:09 PM

    Comment #17

    Am I correct? but did I read a blog which said Steve was training to be a lawyer!

  • toontillidie

    Mar 21, 2013 at 1:38 PM

    Comment #18

    very happy for what he has done fior us and all the best steve wherever you may end up would be great when ya become a coach you come back here a model professional always did his best and put in a great deal of effort will be missed but if he can get first team football somewhere else before he retires he has my blessing HWTL

  • rwpoynter

    Mar 21, 2013 at 3:47 PM

    Comment #19

    Thank you Steve for your support for this club. I wish you had averaged more than 10 games a season because you should have done. Lots of goalies play into their 40’s so go for it.
    As for the petition, it is vital we get the 5000 required and as soon as possible. It is in my opinion a good move that Greg Dyke is replacing David Bernstein. Greg was treated disgracefully by the creeps at the BBC after the Hutton enquiry ( still unfinished business as far as I am concerned) and doesn’t have much time for the establishment, so pummel him for change. What the FA need is some balls. All of you , please sign the petition and you don’t have to be a NUFC fan, this is not a one club issue, it is a point of principle to clean up football.

  • toonluvva

    Mar 21, 2013 at 4:43 PM

    Comment #20

    I’ve always felt that if Harper had maintaained a settled run in the first team he would have been a great choice for England keeper.

    Thanks for the memories, and best wishes for the future.

  • thepict

    Mar 21, 2013 at 5:04 PM

    Comment #21

    Good luck to Harps where ever his future career takes him. Definitely repeat definitely have been England’s no 1 if he had been a regular here.

  • davis_toons

    Mar 21, 2013 at 8:33 PM

    Comment #22

    Harper have lots of experience and always willing to wait for his chance willingly. Who can done that? Even Given have to left when he lost his chance.

    This guy is perfect example.

  • Owldman

    Mar 21, 2013 at 9:23 PM

    Comment #23

    A perfect example of loyalty! So sadly gone from football now players are just another commodity to be traded for the benefit of profit,I think loyaty to a club has been destroyed by agents, dodgy dealing managers & most of all profit seeking owners,who see supporters as money machines, or mega rich oil sheiks as their latest throw away toy, but we the football lovers still turn up in our millions & why because we are also loyal to our club just as millions are loyal to theirs.When Steve does hang up his gloves I hope the Toon give him fabulous testimonial, & the fans respond in kind to show how much we appreciate loyalty

  • RobertLeeNo.7

    Mar 22, 2013 at 9:58 AM

    Comment #24

    3 words… “love the c**t” all the best stevie you legend


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