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James Harper




Date of birth






Harper started his career of as a trainee at Arsenal, but as his first team chances were limited, he was given the opportunity to go out on loan to Cardiff City.

In February 2001 he signed permanently for Reading for what was said to be a substantial six-figure fee. His debut for the club saw him put one past Rotherham as part of our 2-0 win at Madejski Stadium.

He saw his first promotion as a player when the Royals made it back into the Championship alongside Brighton for the 2002/03 season, and four years later, he was an integral part of our record breaking side who won promotion to the Premier League.

His seven goals from midfield saw Reading break the record for the most number of points achieved in a single season at 106, losing only twice, one of which was the opening day of the season to Plymouth Argyle.

Harper was part of the club's first ever season in the Premier League, and it ended very fruitfully as they managed to secure an eight-place finish, with Harper contributing three goals in 38 appearances, starting a remarkable 36 of them.

The following season saw him double his goal tally in the same number of appearances, but despite this, the Royals were relegated by goal difference.

He extended his contract until 2009/10, playing his last game for Reading in a 2-1 home defeat to Barnsley before going out on loan to fellow Championship side Sheffield United the year after.

Harper continued his affair with the Championship as he joined Hull City in 2010 on a two year contract. He played against his former side, scoring in a 1-1 all draw at the KC Stadium, and returned to Madejski Stadium in the reverse fixture where it finished honours even.

2012 meant a move to League One’s Doncaster on a one-year deal where during that time saw him acquire another winner’s medal as Donny were promoted to the Championship. The following season, Harper left the club in pursuit of first team football.

His search brought him to Conference Premier Side Barnet, although after only six appearances it was announced that he was to be released by the club after the remainder of the season.