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Page last updated at 17:01 GMT, Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Harper extends deal at Newcastle

Steve Harper
Harper has been at Newcastle for 16 years

Newcastle goalkeeper Steve Harper has signed a three-year contract extension.

The 33-year-old joined from Seaham Red Star in 1993 and has made 111 appearances for the Magpies.

"I'm a north-east lad and United has always been a huge part of my life and I'm delighted that will continue," he told the club website.

In recent years, he has been kept out of the team by Shay Given, although Harper's rival and friend has been linked with a move.

"Steve is very popular individual with the squad, staff and supporters," said Magpies assistant boss Chris Hughton.

Hughton plays down Given transfer talk

"But more importantly, he is a quality goalkeeper. He never lets anybody down."

In December, Given indicated his desire to leave the club he has been with since 1997.

Given signed a five-year deal in 2006, but has been linked with Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham.

But Hughton insisted the fact that Harper had been offered a new deal did not mean that Given was on his way out of the club.

"The only thing to read into it is that we'd like to keep the quality individuals here.

606: DEBATE
"We've never seen Steve Harper as a number two - we've seen him as a keeper who is pushing hard for a number one spot.

"Unfortunately he has a top keeper in Shay Given in front of him."

Harper added: "At the end of this contract I will have been at Newcastle for 19 seasons, which is more than half of my life.

"I'm delighted it's sorted and now I can concentrate on doing what I have always done, which is working hard in training and pushing my claims for regular first-team football."



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see also
Hughton delight at Harper deal
27 Jan 09 |  Football
Kinnear rules out Given departure
02 Jan 09 |  Newcastle
Given is going nowhere - Kinnear
14 Nov 08 |  Newcastle


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