Newcastle legend and Hull City goalkeeper Steve harper has thanked Sunderland boss Paolo Di Canio for taking part in his testimonial on Wednesday evening.
A Newcastle Legends team faced a team of A.C. Milan Legends at St James' Park to commemorate Steve Harpers two decades with the Tyneside club.
The money raised was not pocketed by the Hull City stopper who split the profits between three charities.
Di Canio, manager of Newcastle's bitter rivals Sunderland, was a late call-up to the Milan XI. However, the Mackems chief was happy to play the villain and help entertain an impressive crowd of over 50,000.
According to the Sunderland Echo, Harper was grateful to the Italian for playing, as well as to the near-capacity crowd for their support.
"Huge credit to him (Di Canio). Paolo came here and played the whole game," said Harper.
Di Canio, who angered Newcastle fans for his extensive celebrations after Sunderland's 3-0 win at St James' Park in April, was booed every time he touched the ball. And, to the enjoyment of most inside the stadium, was then clattered by Joey Barton.
Harper knows the rivalry between the two clubs and was happy to see Di Canio play the role of villain.
"It looked like he enjoyed every minute. He got his penalty, and got too close to Joey at one point. Huge credit to him. He certainly helped raise some money for those wonderful causes," he added.
The man of the hour has given the money raised to three charities. The Newcastle United Foundation, the Great North Children's Hospital and the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, will all receive a portion of the money raised.
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