Tyne & Wear

Steve Harper testimonial raises £300,000 for charity

Steve Harper at his testimonial match
Image caption Steve Harper spent 20 years as goalkeeper with Newcastle United

A testimonial match for former Newcastle United goalkeeper Steve Harper has raised £300,000 for North East charities.

Almost 51,000 fans were at St James' Park on 11 September to mark the veteran's 20-year spell with the club.

A Newcastle "legends" side, featuring Alan Shearer and Andy Cole lost 2-1 to a team of former AC Milan players.

The late Sir Bobby Robson's cancer charity and the Great North Children's Hospital are among those to benefit.

Harper, 38, who has now signed for Hull City, said: "It was an incredible night.

"It was a privilege to be on the same pitch as some of the greatest players to have ever played the game and, more importantly, the match raised money for charities which are very close to my heart.

'Wonderful night'

"I'm delighted that those funds will enhance the amazing work they continue to do for people right across the North East."

Sir Bobby's widow, Lady Elsie, said: "It was such a wonderful night. I'm so glad Steve got the send-off he deserved after 20 years with Newcastle United.

"I was very touched when he offered to involve the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation in his special night.

"We're proud to be alongside some wonderful local charities in benefiting from the game.

"Steve and everyone at the club worked extremely hard to make this match a success and we're very grateful to them."

The Newcastle United Foundation, the official charity of the club, will channel much of the proceeds into community projects across North and South Tyneside, County Durham and Northumberland.

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