WHERE ARE THEY NOW? DAVID HARVEY

Click to follow
The Independent Online
By nature, goalkeepers are different; but David Harvey would seem unconventional even among his peers. While many Leeds players from the 1970s still haunt their old stamping ground, the man who succeeded Gary Sprake could not have left his past much further behind.

Harvey, now 47, lives on the island of Sanday in the Orkneys, where he is restoring a 150-year-old stone cottage on a 10-acre plot he shares with his wife, June, and five children, plus various cattle, pigs, sheep and poultry, with the sea 200 yards from his front door.

"As a boy I loved the country and I wanted to be a horticulturalist," the Leeds-born former Scottish international said, recalling gloomily how, at 15, he took a job in a shoe factory instead. "Happily, football rescued me and it is because the game was good to me that I can live this way now. You cannot make a living from 10 acres but we are more or less self-sufficient and the great thing is that it is totally stress-free."

Once with Vancouver Whitecaps, Harvey retired at 37, after which he kept a pub at Stamford Bridge, near York, and later was a postman - "the sorting office atmosphere was like a dressing room" - but hankered after the life he enjoyed in his Leeds prime, when he lived on a smalholding in the Yorkshire Wolds.

"I saw this place advertised in Exchange and Mart. I fancied Scotland, although I knew nothing of the Orkneys. But I took to it as soon as I saw it and I've never left the islands since we came here 18 months ago."

Jon Culley

Comments