Andy Harper

Last updated

Andy Harper
Andy Harper.jpg
Harper in 2014
Personal information
Full name Andrew Harper
Date of birth (1967-05-13) 13 May 1967 (age 54)
Place of birth Sydney, Australia
Position(s) Forward
Youth career
St Ives
Senior career*
1986 Sydney City
1987 Sydney Olympic
1989–1990 St George 23 (1)
1991–1997 Marconi
1997–1999 Brisbane Strikers 40 (4)
1999–2000 Newcastle Breakers 31 (6)
2000–2001 Newcastle United 17 (3)
Teams managed
2006 Nerds FC
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Andy Harper (born 13 May 1967) is a former Australian soccer player who played in Australia's National Soccer League (NSL) for Sydney City, Sydney Olympic, St George, Marconi, Brisbane Strikers, Newcastle Breakers and Newcastle United. Harper began a commentary career while still playing, working for Special Broadcasting Service (SBS), Channel 9, C7 Sport, ABC Radio and Fox Sports. He currently covers the A-League for Fox Sports as an expert commentator.


Playing career

Harper began his professional playing career with Sydney City in 1986, their last season in the National Soccer League. [1] [2] Harper spent the 1987 National Soccer League season playing for Sydney Olympic. In January 1989, Harper signed for St George after spending much of 1988 travelling in Europe. [3]

After several years with St George, Harper was sold to Marconi-Fairfield for an $18,000 transfer fee. [4]

In the 1993 NSL grand final, Harper scored from a penalty kick to give Marconi a 1–0 win over Adelaide City. [5]

In 1997, Harper signed a two-year deal with the Brisbane Strikers. He cited a desire to continue commentating for the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) as a motivation for staying in Australia, despite overseas interest. [6]

Harper joined the Newcastle Breakers at the start of the 1999–2000 NSL season. [7] With the Breakers on the brink of collapse, Harper and a number of other players walked out in September 2000, citing breaches of contract by the club. [8] Harper joined the new Newcastle United along with a number of fellow former Breakers. [9]

Last playing in 2001, Harper made 321 appearances, scoring 101 goals. [10]


After retiring in 2001 Harper has written three books, the most popular being (Johnny Warren's biography), Sheilas, Wogs and Poofters, The Incomplete Biography of Johnny Warren & Soccer in Australia. [11] [12] [13]

In June 2020 he completed a doctoral thesis titled "Australia’s Power Structures and the Legitimisation of Soccer (2003-2015)" as part of his Doctor of Philosophy study at the University of Sydney. [14]



He was a commentator on SBS covering the 1998 FIFA World Cup. [15] He also appeared on SBS in the Grundy Television production Nerds FC in 2006 and 2007. [16]


Harper hosted the Nine Network Australia's coverage of the 2002 World Cup. [17]

Fox Sports

He covered the European Championships in 2000 and 2004 with Fox Sports, On 29 July 2006 he joined the Fox Sports football team as a pundit and commentator for the A-League. Harper also features on the weekly program Kick Off as well as previously hosting Fox Sports FC. [18] He is also a regular contributor as an 'expert' Football commentator in the print and electronic media's coverage of football in Australia. During his commentary of an Adelaide United Asian Champions League game, he coined the phrase 'spawning salmon' after Adelaide United's Travis Dodd flew in the air to head down the ball assisting Fabian Barbiero. [19]

Sydney FC

In December 2004 Harper was appointed CEO of A-League team Sydney FC. [20] He became director of football development in July 2005, with the role of CEO replaced by an executive general manager. [21] Harper resigned after the end of the 2005–06 season. [22]




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  1. "Sydney FC hears Harps". The World Game. Special Broadcasting Service. 16 December 2004. Retrieved 3 January 2017.[ permanent dead link ]
  2. Cockerill, Michael (11 March 2016). "Former football powerhouse Sydney City on the comeback trail". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
  3. Cockerill, Michael (17 January 1989). "Injury toll puts Arok on the spot". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
  4. Cockerill, Michael (30 September 1991). "Top-dollar Marconi strive to justify high hopes". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
  5. 1 2 Schwab, Laurie (16 May 2003). "Penalty gives Arok's Marconi its fourth NSL championship". The Age. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
  6. Cockerill, Michael (18 September 1997). "Brisbane sign Harper to a two-year deal". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
  7. Gardiner, James (4 October 1999). "Handy Andy". The Newcastle Herald. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
  8. Gardiner, James (16 September 2000). "Club loses its heart". The Newcastle Herald. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
  9. Lowe, David (19 October 2000). "United assemble a winning combination". The Newcastle Herald. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
  10. "Harper lands World Cup gig". The Newcastle Herald. 7 August 2001. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
  11. Warren, Johnny; Harper, Andy; Whittington, Josh (2002). Sheilas, Wogs and Poofters, The Incomplete Biography of Johnny Warren & Soccer in Australia. Milsons Point: Random House Australia. ISBN   1-74051-121-2.
  12. Harper, Andy (2006). The Socceroos : voodoo to destiny. Balmain: Limelight Press. ISBN   0-9757080-9-0.
  13. Harper, Andy (2004). Mr and Mrs Soccer. Milsons Point: Random House Australia. ISBN   1-74051-267-7.
  15. Gandon, Mike (17 July 1998). "Gando". Illawarra Mercury. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
  16. Browne, Rachel (9 April 2006). "A ball story as some beautiful minds discover the beautiful game". The Age. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
  17. Mangan, John (20 June 2002). "SBS always on the ball". The Age. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
  18. "More A-League than ever before on Fox Sports". Football Federation Australia. 11 October 2013. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
  19. Withers, Andy. "Adelaide United: As it happened". Fox Sports. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
  20. Cockerill, Michael (17 December 2004). "Sydney take a punt on Harper in top job". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
  21. "Sydney FC keeping pace with its growth agenda" (Press release). Sydney FC. 28 July 2005. Archived from the original on 29 August 2006 via Sport & Sponsorship News Australia. In making this appointment, Mr. Andy Harper, Sydney FC’s CEO during the successful launch phase of the Club, will take on the newly created role of Director of Football Development.
  22. Cockerill, Mike (4 May 2006). "Littbarski quits, blasting club 'lies'". The Age. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
  23. Schwab, Laurie (4 May 1996). "Knighted - arise Cervinskis". The Age. Retrieved 3 January 2017.