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Harper hoping to avenge Newcastle's FA Cup final defeat

Harper hoping to avenge Newcastle's FA Cup final defeat

WEMBLEY WOE: Steve Harper suffered FA Cup final heartbreak at Wembley while playing for Newcastle United

WEMBLEY WOE: Steve Harper suffered FA Cup final heartbreak at Wembley while playing for Newcastle United

First published in Sport Darlington and Stockton Times: Photograph of the Author by

STEVE HARPER is hoping to round off his career with an FA Cup triumph, after admitting he struggles to remember his previous Wembley appearance for Newcastle United.

Harper was still in the early throes of his Magpies career when he was selected ahead of Shay Given for the 1999 FA Cup final against Manchester United.

Newcastle were comprehensively outplayed as Sir Alex Ferguson's side won 2-0, and while Harper has gone on to play in both the Champions League and Europa League, he regrets he has not had an opportunity to claim a major trophy at Wembley.

With Steve Bruce expected to play the 38-year-old throughout the FA Cup programme, that could change if Hull continue to progress through the competition, with Saturday's comfortable 2-0 win over Middlesbrough representing an ideal start to the campaign.

“Every professional footballer would love to have an FA Cup win on their CV, and I'm no different,” said Harper, who hardly had to make a save as Hull triumphed at the Riverside. “I would love to go back to Wembley 15 years later and win it.

“I don't really have that many memories of the time I played for Newcastle. I've been to watch a few, and I probably remember more about them.

“It was only my eighth start at Newcastle, and if we'd won it would have been fantastic and I wouldn't have bought a drink for the last 15 years in Newcastle so it would have saved me a few quid.”

In the wake of Saturday's game, Harper sought out Shay Given for a warm embrace, and the Easington-born goalkeeper was disappointed that the terms of his former Newcastle team-mate's loan deal meant he was unable to participate in the third-round tie.

“It was a good win, and the only disappointing thing was that I didn't get to play against Shay,” he said. “Having played for so long together at Newcastle, that was my first thought when I saw the draw. I saw him in the tunnel afterwards, but that would have been the icing on the cake to play against him.”

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