St James' Park, Newcastle

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Hull keeper hopes Toon recruit

Steve Harper is hoping Newcastle boss Alan Pardew finally gets what he wants after a summer of turmoil on Tyneside.

Last Updated: 31/07/13 at 14:08 Post Comment

Steve Harper: Hull keeper was back at Newcastle on Tuesday

Steve Harper: Hull keeper was back at Newcastle on Tuesday

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The former Magpies keeper, who left the club after 20 years at the end of June and has since signed for promoted Hull, now regards himself as a fan and is keeping his fingers crossed that new director of football Joe Kinnear can end the club's wait for a transfer breakthrough.

Pardew is desperate for Kinnear to land him at least one, if not two proven strikers, with a loan deal for QPR's Loic Remy currently under consideration.

Aston Villa's Darren Bent is also still a target and Newcastle's offer for Bafetimbi Gomis remains on the table despite Lyon's rejection.

Harper said: "Obviously having spent 20 years here, I am a Newcastle fan and the same as everybody else, we keep an eye on it, watch it closely.

"There seem to be some positive noises about players coming in now. The likes of maybe Remy coming on loan would be a very good signing.

"As a fan, you want to see as many options as possible in a black and white shirt. I know that's what the manager wants, and hopefully he will get that."

Harper, who joined the club during Kevin Keegan's first spell as manager and made 199 senior appearances during two decades on Tyneside, will return to St James' Park twice in the space of 10 days in September.

First, he will be honoured at a charity match in recognition of his service to the club when a Newcastle XI featuring the likes of Alan Shearer, Les Ferdinand, Faustino Asprilla, Rob Lee and Andy Cole face an AC Milan Glorie outfit led by Franco Baresi and including Paolo Maldini, Alessandro Costacurta and Andriy Shevchenko on Wednesday, September 11.

Referring to his former Newcastle team-mates, Harper said: "Sadly, it looks like I'm going to have to order a lot of extra-large shirts, so hopefully they will use the next six weeks to get themselves in as good a condition as possible."

The 38-year-old will hope to run out on Gallowgate once again 10 days later when Hull head for the north-east for a Premier League fixture.

Harper, who launched the charity game at St James' on Tuesday, said: "I'll have to have two days off being a Newcastle fan this season, as you can probably understand.

"This is a special place - just walking up the steps there again, the hairs on my arms stood up.

"It would be great to see a lot of people here on September 11, and it will be a very special night, hopefully, with a good crowd in.

"Then 10 days later if I run out in a Hull City shirt, once that whistle blows I'll get slaughtered every time I touch the ball, no doubt. But I wouldn't expect anything less."

All proceeds from the match will go to charity with the plan to share 85 per cent between the great North Children's Hospital, the Sir Bobby Foundation and the Newcastle United Foundation, with the remainder going to smaller local good causes.

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