Harper Not Sure About Newcastle Career!

Last updated : 11 April 2008 By Footy Mad - Editor

Harper: "If I had known in July 1993 it would have taken 15 years, I might have done it differently.

"I'm well over 100 appearances now and I'm looking towards 200.

"At 33, I have a year left on my contract, but we'll get this season out of the way and see what happens with the club from there."


When Steve did break into the Newcastle team in the late 1990s, his tenth appearance was against Man Utd in the 1999 FA Cup Final. At the start of the 1999/2000 season Steve started the season as first choice but then alternated with Shay Given in goal and ended the campaign under treatment for an injury.

In the 2000-2001 season he was restricted to only nine starting appearances as goalkeeping colleague Shay Given established himself as the first-choice 'keeper at St.James' Park.

When he did get a game, Steve turned in excellent displays each time and perhaps, if he had not been injured just prior to a match at Leeds in the January, he may well have held onto the first team jersey for the rest of the campaign rather than for just the six games he had played in succession for the Magpies.

A loyal club servant, Steve signed a four-year contract in the summer of 2001. Then, after failing to make any appearances during the 2001/02 campain he was handed an improved, five year deal in the summer of 2002. However he featured in Newcastle's Champions League assault, during the following season, and made three appearances all in all. Shay Given is proving very difficult for Harper to dislodge.

It was a similar story during the 2003/04 campaign as an ever-present Shay Given continued his great form. Harper did make two appearances - keeping a clean sheet in a UEFA Cup victory over NAC Breda in October, and then in the shock League Cup defeat to West Bromwich Albion.

His struggle to steal the Number 1 jersey from Shay Given continued in the 2004/05 season to little success. He made only 7 appearances and kept 2 clean sheets.

He failed to play during the 2005/06 campaign, but notched up 22 starts in 2006/07 thanks mostly to injuries to Shay Given.