Kevin Harper

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Kevin Harper
Personal information
Full name Kevin Patrick Harper[1]
Date of birth (1976-01-15) 15 January 1976 (age 42)
Place of birth Oldham, England
Playing position Winger
Club information
Current team
Albion Rovers (manager)
Youth career
1992 Hutchison Vale
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1992–1998 Hibernian 94 (15)
1998–2000 Derby County 32 (1)
1999–2000Walsall (loan) 9 (1)
2000–2005 Portsmouth 119 (9)
2003Norwich City (loan) 9 (0)
2004Leicester City (loan) 2 (0)
2005–2007 Stoke City 26 (1)
2006–2007Carlisle United (loan) 7 (0)
2007Walsall (loan) 10 (4)
2007–2009 Dunfermline Athletic 29 (5)
2015–2016 Thorniewood United 7 (0)
Total 337 (36)
National team
1995–1997 Scotland U21[2] 7 (4)
Teams managed
2018– Albion Rovers
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Kevin Patrick Harper (born 15 January 1976) is a Scottish football player and coach, who is currently the manager of Albion Rovers. Harper played as a winger for Hibernian, Derby County, Walsall, Portsmouth, Norwich City, Leicester City, Stoke City, Carlisle United and Dunfermline Athletic. He was appointed manager of Scottish League Two side Albion Rovers in November 2018.

Personal life[edit]

Harper was born in Oldham and raised in Glasgow's Possilpark area,[3] attending St. Theresa's Primary and St. Augustine's Secondary School.[4]

Playing career[edit]

Hibernian[edit]

Harper played for youth club Hutchison Vale in Edinburgh before he was signed by Hibernian and made his professional debut aged just 17.[5] As a black footballer, Harper was in a small minority within Scottish football.[5] He was unhappy that having claimed Gary Mackay had racially abused him during an Edinburgh derby game in November 1996, the SFA did not take action in response to his complaint.[5][6]

England[edit]

Derby County manager Jim Smith signed Harper for £300,000 in September 1998.[5] Harper scored two league goals (against Liverpool)[7] and one v Swansea City in the FA Cup.[8] He was loaned out to Walsall in December 1999 for the remainder of the season.

His spell at Walsall was cut short when Portsmouth made an offer of £300,000 for his services in March 2000. Harper moved to Fratton Park having started only seven games for Derby. The Scottish under-21 international soon settled into the team at Portsmouth, but missed much of the 2000–01 season with a shin splints problem. In 2001–02 he had the dubious honour of having been sent off (twice) more times than he scored (once). However, he was a crucial member of the side that won the First Division title in 2002–03, and his excellent performances down either wing for Portsmouth earned him two monthly 'Swan d'Or' awards from the Norwegian Press Club and a place in the full Scotland squad.[5]

Despite his impressive part in Portsmouth's promotion, Harper was loaned out to Norwich in September 2003. His loan spell at Carrow Road was initially for one month but was extended to three months. He played well at Norwich, but was also sent off for a two-footed tackle on Luciano Zavagno in a match against Derby County.[9] He contributed nine league appearances during Norwich's 2003/04 season after which they were promoted to the Premier League as First Division champions in his absence.[10] On his return to Fratton Park he made only nine appearances for Portsmouth in the 2003–04 season. After failing to regain his place at the start of the 2004–05 season he was loaned to Leicester City.

In January 2005 was sold to Stoke City. Despite starting his Stoke career impressively, Harper was dogged by injuries that prevented him challenging for a first team place. He scored once for Stoke, in a 3–1 win over Norwich City.[11] Harper was loaned to Carlisle United in October 2006 and then Walsall, whom he had played for on loan earlier in his career. He was released by Stoke manager Tony Pulis in May 2007.[12]

Return to Scotland[edit]

On 7 July 2007, Harper opted to join Dunfermline Athletic, of the Scottish First Division.[13] He scored the winning goal against Stirling Albion on 25 August 2007 and played in Dunfermline's UEFA Cup matches at home 16 August and away 30 August against BK Hacken FC of Sweden. Harper's season was rather inconsistent, though on 25 March 2008 he scored a hat-trick in a re-arranged fixture against First Division strugglers Stirling Albion.[14]

Coaching career[edit]

Following the departure of their Under 20s coach, SPFL side Airdrieonians appointed Harper as the replacement in July 2015. He left this post in September 2015.[15] Harper has also set up his own football academy based in Stepps.[16]

In November 2015, Thorniewood United manager and former Hibernian team-mate Andy Frame, persuaded Harper to come out of retirement and join the club in a player-coach role.[17]

Harper was appointed Albion Rovers manager in November 2018.[18][19] He became the first black, Asian or minority ethnic manager of a Scottish club since Márcio Máximo in 2003.[20]

Career statistics[edit]

Source:[21]

Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Europe Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Hibernian 1993–94 Scottish Premier Division 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
1994–95 Scottish Premier Division 23 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 23 5
1995–96 Scottish Premier Division 16 3 1 0 2 0 0 0 19 3
1996–97 Scottish Premier Division 27 5 4 0 1 0 0 0 32 5
1997–98 Scottish Premier Division 27 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 29 1
1998–99 Scottish First Division 2 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 3 1
Total 97 15 6 0 5 0 0 0 108 15
Derby County 1998–99 Premier League 27 1 3 1 3 0 0 0 33 2
1999–2000 Premier League 5 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 8 0
Total 32 1 3 1 6 0 0 0 41 2
Walsall (loan) 1999–2000 First Division 9 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 9 1
Total 9 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 9 1
Portsmouth 1999–2000 First Division 12 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 12 2
2000–01 First Division 24 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 25 2
2001–02 First Division 39 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 41 1
2002–03 First Division 37 4 1 0 2 0 0 0 40 4
2003–04 Premier League 7 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 9 4
2004–05 Premier League 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0
Total 119 9 5 0 4 0 0 0 128 9
Norwich City (loan) 2003–04 First Division 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 9 0
Total 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 9 0
Leicester City (loan) 2004–05 Championship 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
Total 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
Stoke City 2004–05 Championship 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 9 0
2005–06 Championship 14 1 2 0 1 0 0 0 17 1
2006–07 Championship 3 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 4 0
Total 26 1 2 0 2 0 0 0 30 1
Carlisle United (loan) 2006–07 League One 7 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 8 0
Total 7 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 8 0
Walsall (loan) 2006–07 League One 10 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 10 4
Total 10 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 10 4
Dunfermline Athletic 2007–08 Scottish Premier Division 15 4 1 0 0 0 2 0 18 4
2008–09 Scottish Premier Division 14 1 0 0 4 0 0 0 18 1
Total 29 5 1 0 4 0 2 0 36 5
Career Total 340 36 17 1 22 0 2 0 381 37

Managerial statistics[edit]

As of match played 12 January 2019
Team Nat From To Record
G W D L GF GA GD Win %
Albion Rovers Scotland November 2018 present 8 0 3 5 7 17 −10 000.00
Total 8 0 3 5 7 17 −10 000.00

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Kevin Harper". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 7 April 2017.
  2. ^ http://www.fitbastats.com/scotlandu21/player.php?playerid=254
  3. ^ Kevin Harper on his past and building a football academy
  4. ^ Ideally suited to face up to racism Why the boy from Possil is mystified over Scots game
  5. ^ a b c d e Greig, Martin (25 November 1996). "Ideally suited to face up to racism Why the boy from Possil is mystified over Scots game". The Herald. Retrieved 10 August 2010.
  6. ^ Bell, Ian (14 January 2001). "Accentuate the negative; The head-in-the-sand attitude of Scottish". Sunday Herald. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 11 August 2010.
  7. ^ "Derby dent Liverpool title hopes". BBC Sport. 11 November 1998. Retrieved 2 January 2011.
  8. ^ "Derby given glimpse of future by Smith's blast from the past". The Independent. 25 January 1999. Retrieved 2 January 2011.
  9. ^ "Norwich 2-1 Derby". BBC Sport. BBC. 21 October 2003. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  10. ^ "Games played by Kevin Harper in 2003/2004". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 2015-11-04.
  11. ^ "Stoke 3–1 Norwich". BBC Sport. 29 August 2005. Retrieved 12 January 2010.
  12. ^ "Trio released by Stoke boss Pulis". BBC Sport. 18 May 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-18.
  13. ^ "Dunfermline pick up winger Harper". BBC Sport. 7 July 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-07.
  14. ^ "Stirling Albion v Dunfermline". BBC Sport. BBC. 25 March 2008. Retrieved 7 April 2017.
  15. ^ "Harps steps down". airdriefc.com. Airdrieonians FC. 16 September 2015. Archived from the original on 17 February 2016. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
  16. ^ Goldthorp, Craig (20 January 2016). "Ex-Hibs winger Kevin Harper back playing football". Edinburgh Evening News. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
  17. ^ Wilson, Fraser (22 November 2015). "Former Hibs star Kevin Harper drops to junior football to help out an old pal at Thorniewood United". Daily Record. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
  18. ^ "Kevin Harper – New Manager". Albion Rovers FC. 6 November 2018. Retrieved 7 November 2018.
  19. ^ "Kevin Harper's appointment at Albion Rovers is a significant moment". The Scotsman. Johnston Press. 7 November 2018. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  20. ^ Richard Winton (22 November 2018). "Kevin Harper: Albion Rovers manager is Scotland's first black boss in 15 years". BBC Sport. BBC. Retrieved 25 November 2018.
  21. ^ "Kevin Harper". Soccerbase. Retrieved 28 November 2013.

External links[edit]