A mere 48 hours after Hibs’ 7-0 thrashing at Ibrox Hearts came calling at Easter Road for the Ne’erday derby. Scoring after only 7 minutes the Jambos must have thought they were onto a sure thing against demoralised opponents, but it was Hibs who bounced back to restore pride and confidence.
Feature on the 18 year-old striker/midfielder who had made a bit of a name for himself by scoring the winner against Rangers a few days previously. Harper stayed at Hibs until 1998 when a £300,000 fee took him south to Derby County where the highlight of his time was probably scoring the opening goal in a 2-1win at Anfield. In 2000 he joined Portsmouth, then in the Championship, where he stayed for five years.
Once Portsmouth were promoted to the Premiership in 2003 he found first team opportunities limited and began an itinerant spell of loans and moves to various English league clubs. Last season he pitched up at Dunfermline where, at the age of 32, he continues to ply his trade.
It’s fair to say that his youthful promise was never fully realised, although he played plenty of games in the Premiership over two or three seasons and sustained a career at a higher level than most of his contemporaries in Scotland. Although he was mentioned a couple of times he never did earn a full Scotland cap. He wouldn’t have been the first black player to play for Scotland anyway, that distinction having been earned by Andrew Watson in the 1880s.