Newcastle United: Keeper Steve Harper admits regrets

Steve Harper
Steve Harper

Newcastle United stalwart Steve Harper has admitted his loyalty may not have helped his career after being told he must leave the club.

The goalkeeper, 38, has made only 197 appearances for the Magpies since being signed from Seaham Red Star in 1993.

"Over time you're going to have some regrets," he told BBC Late Kick-Off.

"The period Shay [Given] was playing year in, year out, in the early 2000s, that's when I should have done something about it."

Harper continued: "Ultimately I wanted to stay and play week in, week out, which I did over two, two-and-a-half years, and not many people get the opportunity to do that at such a fantastic club."

There is some surprise in the city that Harper has not been offered a coaching or ambassadorial role by Newcastle, given the length of his service at St James' Park.

"I've been there over half my life, and it'll be a sad day on 19 May when I leave for the last time," said Harper.

"Maybe part of me was expecting it, but still when you hear it it's not nice. But that's the way the world is.

"We have a young, vibrant squad now, and I'm by far the oldest player."

He added he would be delighted to return to the club as a coach if offered the opportunity in the future.

"Definitely, without a shadow of a doubt - I'm well on with my coaching badges now, I have another badge in the summer and it's something I'd love to do," he said.

"But it certainly didn't crop up in the conversation with the manager, so it looks like I'll have to go to pastures new."