Steve Harper was signed from his local club Seaham Red Star in the summer of 1993, when he was 18 years old by Kevin Keegan, who was then manager of Newcastle United.
Steve Harper – been at Newcastle for 20 years
But Steve spent many seasons backing up Shay Given, who played close to 470 games for Newcastle, and we always thought Steve was too good a goalkeeper to be sitting on the bench – and thought he should have left Newcastle to get first team games elsewhere.
Steve could have been a regular first team Premier League goalkeeper at another club, but he didn’t leave and stayed on at Newcastle, but he has revealed that he talked to Bobby Robson many times about his chances of first team football at Newcastle.
This is what Steve said in the Daily Mirror today:.
“I probably blame Sir Bobby, to be honest,” “I remember rapping on his door many a time and asking for a move and he said: ‘I need you, Shay might get injured.'”
“He had that persuasive, lovable thing where you might enter the room like a bear with a sore head and leave it giving him a hug!”
“At this club, the people – the fans and everyone – know if you’ve put the shift in, day in day out, and given your all out on the pitch,” “They’ll back you to the hilt.”
“It’s a great club to play for but it can be a difficult club to play for. It can be a heavy shirt, the Newcastle shirt, and you need to stand up and be counted.”
Steve will play his last game for Newcastle on Sunday afternoon – and we think it’s the 199th time he will have played for the Tyneside club.
There’s going to be a minute’s applause for Steve in the 37th minute of the game on Sunday – that’s his number – and it will be in appreciation of Steve’s 20 years at the club and all he’s done for Newcastle.
Please pass this on to those attending the game on Sunday – thanks.
You can also reach Ed at email@example.com