Steve Harper talks Kevin Keegan and Hull move on Soccer AM sofa

Last Updated: 25/09/13 11:56am

Steve Harper told Soccer AM that it was "special" to play under Kevin Keegan at Newcastle.

The goalkeeper was a Magpies player when club legend Keegan returned for a second spell in charg in 2008 and says the former England striker fully understood what the Geordie fans desired.

Harper ended his 20-year association with Newcastle over the summer by signing a deal with Premier League new boys Hull, but not before he was cheered by the St James' Park faithful during his 199th and final game for the Magpies.

The United fans gave Harper a minute's applause in the 37th minute of the match with Arsenal on the last day of the 2012/13 Premier League season and the gloveman revealed he was delighted - until Gunners player Lukas Podolski brought him back down to earth.

"I started wobbling a little bit - but just after that Podolski smashed one between my legs and pulled me right out of it."

Steve Harper on his final Newcastle appearance

On Keegan, Harper said: "He was special at Newcastle as he gets what the fans and people want.

"He put the club back on the map and the opportunity to play for him when he came back second time was special. I'd have him as my manager and Bobby Robson as Director of Football if I could."

On his Newcastle farewell, the 'keeper added: "It took 10 or 15 seconds to realise what was going to happen [with the fans] but because my family were there it was pretty special.

"I started wobbling a little bit - but just after that Podolski smashed one between my legs and pulled me right out of it. I certainly had tears in my eyes then!"


Harper told Helen and Max that the lure of top -flight football convinced him to join Hull and fight Allan McGregor and Eldin Jakupovic for a place between the sticks.

But the ex-Brighton, Huddersfield and Hartlepool loanee revealed he did fear not passing his medical with the Tigers after reaching such a veteran stage of his career.

Harper said: "I had a couple of offers from Scotland and elsewhere but I had a chance to go to Hull, stay in the Premier League and have a decent chance of playing, and because I knew the manager as well it ticked all the boxes.

"I found out on the Thursday that I was having a medical on the Sunday and at the age of 38 I was panicking all weekend - I stood in the North Sea on the Sunday to get the swelling out of my legs!

"But it has been an exhilarating move as I'm not used to changing clubs every two or three years and I'm with a great bunch of lads."

Hit the video above to hear Harper talk about his upcoming Newcastle testimonial and how he thinks the Magpies will get on this season.