Cricket Legend & Newcastle Fan Stephen Harmison Reveals What Gives Him Goosebumps
Football always has been and always will be THE sport in the north east but for Geordies to see one of their own excelling in any other arena always gives you a very special feeling.
Growing up in the days of Brendan Foster in that GB vest in the Olympics right through to modern day local hero Stephen Miller, our multi gold winning Paralympian, there is nothing quite like seeing local lads (and lasses) competing (and winning!) at the very top.
Most definitely in this category comes Stephen Harmison, Ashes winning cricketing hero and a massive Newcastle fan naturally. Only last month, [intlink id=”30480″ type=”post”]Stephen committed his support to fellow Newcastle fans [/intlink]working on behalf of the whole NUFC fanbase.
Now Harmy has given a cracking interview to ESPN and here are a few of the highlights but reading the whole piece is highly recommended.
Can you tell us a sporting feat that gave you goosebumps as a kid and still does?
I was brought up in football, I never really took to cricket till I was 15. I never really watched cricket, I loved watching football.
I love watching Newcastle United.
The early days of watching Kevin Keegan. Of being at St.James’ Park, watching Faustino Asprilla scoring a hat-trick against Barcelona. Probably one of the best nights you will get at Newcastle. Those were the exciting days when I was growing up.
You have shared the gymnasium at St.James’ Park with some of Newcastle’s players. What is the one thing that footballers have that cricketers do not have?
Money. That’s probably the biggest one, the financial reward you get from being a footballer. They are decent human beings who are very good at the sport they love playing. They get criticsm for the money they earn but if someone if prepared to pay you for your expertise you are not going to knock ‘em back.
For me it was great to be just around experienced players like Alan Shearer, Shay Given, Gary Speed. All these people were top professionals, great role models, fantastic international footballers, arguably global stars. I got an insight from seeing them work hard day to day to realise you have got to put in the hard yards that nobody else sees to succeed.
Can you define aggression?
Intimidation, aggression, is all about imposing yourself on the batsman. If balls are flying down at a decent pace and a good mile an hour, putting people under pressure, then that is aggression.
Aggression is not shouting from the rooftop, pumping your chest out, having a go at the batsman. Some of that is bravado. Some people need that. I was never really one for that. Bowling a good ball and to see somebody 22 yards away struggling was aggression for me.
The Michael Clarke wicket at Edgsbaston in 2005 is widely regarded as one of your best. Which is your favourite?
I enjoyed the Ricky Ponting one at Lord’s because I had done well what I had to do. He got hit in the face, which was unfortunate. We didn’t really understand how badly injured he was but within the 15 ball period we got him where we wanted him to be; we wanted to push him back, we wanted to be aggressive, we wanted to show Australia we were not just going to lie down in that initial burst in the test match. We had a plan to get him out and it was a perfect fast bowler’s dismissal. It would have been more sweet if he had not been injured in the process.
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