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."
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