Harper bows out on a high

Steve Harper has admitted it would be just like Newcastle to go and win a trophy without him next year.

Last Updated: 09/06/13 at 13:33 Post Comment

Steve Harper: 20-year Magpies career comes to an end

Steve Harper: 20-year Magpies career comes to an end

Steve Harper has admitted it would be just like Newcastle to go and win a trophy without him next year after his 20-year roller-coaster ride on Tyneside.

The 38-year-old goalkeeper saw the curtain come down on his Magpies career as he made his 199th appearance for the club in Sunday's 1-0 Barclays Premier League defeat by Arsenal.

Harper's relative lack of action over two decades is due in part to the brilliance of Shay Given and Tim Krul, but their loyal deputy can count Champions League football and an FA Cup final start amongst his achievements.

He will look on from afar next season as he enters a new phase of his career, and the club which has become a huge part of his life will never be far from his thoughts.

Harper said: "Wouldn't it be typical if they go and win something after my 20 years here?

"But I'll be there cheering them on - provided I'm not playing against them, obviously.

"It would be fantastic. All this club needs now is a trophy and it would be an amazing day - and one where I would be there in amongst it celebrating."

The departing Harper spoke to the team-mates he is leaving behind in the dressing after the game on what proved an emotional day for him, and his message was clear.

He said: "The manager presented me with a big montage of the 20 years and they all took the mickey a little bit about some of the pictures.

"Twenty years at this club does that to you, that's all I could say.

"I just said to the lads, 'You have seen today what a great football club this is. All people want to see is people pulling on that shirt and giving their all day in, day out for this club, which is what I have done and that's the response you get'.

"Hopefully the lads will respond to that next season."

There were signs of a response yesterday as the Gunners, who needed to win to ensure a top-four finish and the chance to secure a 16th successive season of Champions League football, had things far from their own way.

They ultimately prevailed after Laurent Koscielny stabbed a 52nd-minute shot past the helpless Harper seven minutes after the break.

The keeper said: "I was disappointed we lost the game, but it was a much better performance. We owed the fans a response.

"We were playing against a very good team, a very hungry team and we contained them pretty well.

"We were compact and organised, which is something I tried to help by being multi-lingual on a football pitch, and the lads responded well.

"Sadly, we didn't start the second half very well and Arsenal got their goal and hung on to it because we had them under pressure a little late on."

But if the result was not what Harper would have wanted on his big day, everything else was, and he was close to tears when the clock ticked into the 37th-minute - his shirt number - and St James' rose to acclaim a stalwart.

He said: "Somebody said it might happen, but you are concentrating on the game that much, you forget about it. And then that happens and it was quite incredible.

"I started to get a little bit wobbly then and I had a one v one with [Lukas] Podolski and he smashed the ball between my legs, and that sobered me right up and got me out of that little pickle I was in.

"But it was incredible. It's something I will never, ever forget and I will certainly cherish that moment."


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet & £5 free every week


Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

T

he uber commercialisation of the 90s has led to the point where this overly familar, try hard, jolly hockey sticks type fronts up a major football match on a weekly basis. Unlike the great presenters of yesteryear, I doubt he would even recognise the scent of Brut.

mufc phil
Football On TV: Jake Humphrey

H

opefully Jose turns up to the game wearing a T-Shirt with Costa's face on, that's the classy thing to do in these situations right?

Petulant_Radish
Costa loses appeal against ban

C

onfirmed. Nick Miller is a douche bag. Lazy, incoherent rant is what this article should be titled. And for the editor to have the temerity to pass this as acceptable writing is shocking. Ah well, anything for clicks right? You got mine. Well done. Your mother must be proud.

poolshortsdown
Gerrard Constantly Searching For That Final Hurrah

Footer 365

Les Hutchison's takeover of Motherwell has been ratified

Lanarkshire businessman Les Hutchison has completed his takeover of Scottish Premiership club Motherwell.

Mark Hughes in preliminary talks over new contract at Stoke City

Mark Hughes has revealed preliminary talks over him extending his stay as Stoke City manager are underway.

Cristiano Ronaldo admits he made a mistake against Cordoba, says Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti

Cristiano Ronaldo knows he made a mistake against Cordoba and accepts his two-game ban, according to Carlo Ancelotti.

Mail Box

'Costa Is A Bad Man. Suarez Is Not'

That's quite some claim. And yes, unfortunately we are still talking about this. We also have mails on Ronaldinho, possible replacements for Yaya Toure and more...

Red Mist Better Than Calculated Costa?

Hmmm. We're not sure about this argument - one Mailbox says Luis Suarez is easier to forgive because he is a little loco. We also have mails on Studge and more...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company