Steve Harper is a legend amongst Newcastle fans. The perennial back-up for the club only managed 157 appearances in 20 years. He's still highly regarded by the Newcastle faithful despite leaving the club in 2013.
But the Tyne-Wear derby is something else entirely. So when Steve Harper signed a short term deal to be the back-up goalkeeper at Sunderland, he feared what the fans would think.
That's why, in an attempt to spare himself from some of the abuse that the likes of Darron Gibson and James McClean have been through, Harper decided to leave his twitter days behind him before he signed for Sunderland.
Was he right? There were some tweets expressing their disbelief at the signing, but there doesn't seem to be too much abuse aimed Harper's way:
Genuinely thought Steve Harper signing for Sunderland was a joke.
— Matt (@runner_teacher) January 22, 2016
Can't believe Steve Harper has joined Sunderland after 20 odd years wearing the other colour. 😳
— The Cute Hoor (@The_CuteHoor) January 22, 2016
Unless you find this gem of a tweet abuse:
Steve Harper is the top trend on Twitter at the moment, probably the only time he's ever been number 1
— Billy Ward (@Billy97Ward) January 22, 2016
Harper will be replacing Costel Pantilimon who left the club earlier this week, in backing up Vito Mannone and mentoring U-21 goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.