Steve Harper’s testimonial match was an education for the powers that be at Newcastle that if you act with passion and integrity, the Newcastle United faithful will pay that back to you in bucket loads. And there was no better demonstration of that than last night when over 50,000 Newcastle supporters (50,793 to be precise) showed up to pay homage to a man who had served Newcastle United with that same passion and integrity.
By all accounts it was a tremendous evening, Newcastle United heroes of both recent memory and days gone by showed up to face a Milan team littered with star names like Costacurta, Baresi and the pantomime villain Paolo di Canio. According to reports, the Sunderland manager was the best player on the pitch, even if he did take a crunching tackle from the other pantomime villain, Joey Barton, but we’ve a notion that it might have been staged.
With bicycle kicks from the eccentric Tino Asprilla, Ginola tearing down the wing, as well as the sheer class of bringing on Gary Speed’s two boys, Tommy and Ed, it was truly a night to remember.
Despite the Newcastle select falling to defeat on penalties, Steve Harper will surely never forget the raucous send off that a near capacity St. James’ Park gave him on 11th September 2013.
I’m not going to reflect on the juxtaposition that currently exists between the atmosphere of last night compared to how poor the atmosphere has been in recent times. I’m not going to compare the sheer class of Steve Harper with the utter disdain of Mike Ashley. I’m not going to reference the players who would still give everything for the black and white with the seemingly uninterested players that currently line out for Newcastle United. It was simply a magical night. Shall we leave it at that?
What do you think? Were you at Steve Harper’s testimonial? We’d love to hear your views. Comments, as always, are welcome.