Kevin Nolan

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor

 

Kevin Nolan revealed his pride at being named in a Newcastle United Legends side for Wednesday night's Steve Harper 20 Years Charity Match.

The ex-Magpies skipper - who now plys his trade at Premier League rivals West Ham United - took to the St. James' Park pitch in honour of his former teammate Harper's two decades on Tyneside.

As well as Nolan, a United side including Alan Shearer, Shay Given, Andrew Cole, Peter Beardsley, Les Ferdinand and David Ginola went head-to-head with AC Milan Glorie - a team made up of some of the Rossoneri's greatest stars.

Milan ran out winners following a goalless draw and a penalty shoot-out, and for Nolan it was a night which will live long in the memory.

"I loved it," the midfielder told nufc.co.uk.

"It was nice coming back, going in the home dressing room and seeing so many old faces around the place.

"It was a fantastic occasion, I'm delighted for Steve, delighted that he asked me, and I was delighted to accept.

"There were some huge figures from the history of this Club in that dressing room. I'm not including myself in that because I was only here a couple of years, but I had a great time and got to know Steve really well.

"It was great to have banter with all the old boys, and they were calling me the young one! It's nice being in that situation again!

"But being on the same pitch as some of those greats was fantastic and something I will always treasure."

More than 50,000 fans filled St. James' Park for the fixture, with proceeds being split between the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, the Great North Children's Hospital and the Newcastle United Foundation.

And, while the size of the crowd may have surprised some, it was no shock to Nolan.

"A full house was amazing but that just comes as standard at this place, doesn't it?" he said.

"It shows what Steve means to the people up here and the city. His loyalty to the club was superb and they have rightly shown their appreciation for that.

"And when you look at the players who turned out as well, that tells you what he was thought of by his teammates throughout his career. He is a special guy."