Former Newcastle United goalkeeper, Steve Harper, has become a new ambassador of Northumberland Football Association.
In his new role, Harper will help to raise the profile of the County FA and support their work at key events.
Having made over 275 club appearances during his 23-year-long career, including 199 games for Newcastle United, Harper takes on his new role with the Northumberland FA boasting plenty of experience within the game.
Speaking about his new role, Harper said: “I’m delighted to become an ambassador for Northumberland FA. If there’s anything I can do to promote their key messages and values I will.
“They do lots of fantastic work in what is a very large region, and hopefully I’ll be able to help them continue their excellent work.”
Being a father and having gained his youth coaching qualifications with the Northumberland FA, Harper is no stranger to grassroots football. He also continues to work with referees with the Premier League.
He added: “Grassroots football is very much something that I encourage. Football is fantastic because it’s a universal game that anyone can play.
“It’s a sport which gives people the opportunity to exercise, make new friends and develop their teamwork skills; so in that sense it ticks a lot of boxes.
“I think it’s great that Northumberland FA work hard to provide the facilities and opportunities for people to play.
“The Chief Executive Officer, John Ackerley, is working really hard, and he’s been very successful in modernising the NFA and taking it where it needs to be.”
Harper is a hugely popular figure in the North East, and having spent 20 years at Newcastle United, it’s a part of the world that he has grown to love.
“The North East is a special place to me. I grew up under the umbrella of Durham FA, and it has been my home for 20 years.
“I have great affinity to the people in the area, and I have great respect for the football fans up here.”
John Ackerley, CEO of Northumberland FA said: “Everyone at Northumberland FA is thrilled that Steve has agreed to become our new ambassador.
“Steve will be supporting our work at key events and will help us to raise our profile further. He has plenty of experience in both professional and grassroots football, and we’re very excited to begin working with him.”
For more information on the Northumberland FA and it’s work developing grassroots football locally, please visit www.northumberlandfa.com