Joe Harper recently sat down and spoke at length to his friend Charlie Allan for a special RedTV feature to mark the induction into the SFA Hall of Fame of Aberdeen’s greatest striker.
By Charlie Allan
JOE Harper admits the Red Army will be close to his heart when he receives a long overdue, and well deserved, national honour in Glasgow on Sunday night.
It’s rare for Aberdeen’s all-time record goal scorer to miss a home game nowadays, let alone one of the biggest of the season, against Celtic.
He’s now a highly valued, and much loved, club ambassador, normally darting around behind the scenes on match days making fans and corporate guests feel welcome during their visit to Pittodrie.
Joe will be missing this Sunday afternoon though, but with good reason.
He will instead be down the road, 26 miles or so away from his native Greenock, preparing for this evening’s star-studded gala dinner at Hampden Park where he will finally be inducted into the Scottish Football Association’s Hall of Fame.
It’s a massive honour for Joe and his family (his children, Ross, Laura and Joanne, and partner, Sheila Mair, will be there to bear witness) and a reward for the man who scored an unlikely to ever be beaten total of 205 goals for the Dons and won all three domestic honours during his reign as the much adored King of the Beach End.
Joe, now aged 71, confessed he’s likely to shed a few tears but also insisted on dedicating the award to the Aberdeen fans who – in his words – ‘have made me life special.’
“This award belongs to the Red Army as much as is does to me,” added Joe.
“I’ve obviously got to pay tribute to my family too, but they won’t mind sharing it with the Aberdeen supporters because they know how much they have given me throughout my life.
“From the day I walked into Pittodrie as a young player in 1969 to the present, they have made me feel loved and valued.
“You could never buy the sort of bond that exists between us, so it’s only natural that I will be thinking of the Dons fans when I step up to accept whatever it is they give people when they are inducted into the Hall of Fame.
“I’m really chuffed for them as much as I am for myself.
“I was a wee bit emotional when I was first told I was to be honoured because the first thing that came into my mind was my mother (Margaret) and father (Eddie).
“Both of them passed away over the last couple of years and I know they would have loved to have seen this happening.
“Now that the actual night is almost upon us I confess I’m feeling a bit nervous.
“But I plan to make mention of the Aberdeen fans at some stage because they have been with me, through thick and thin.”
You can watch the full interview with Joe and Charlie on RedTV by clicking the red button. For those who are unable to watch, we will also have an interview with Joe in Sunday’s Red Matchday magazine.