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Saturday, November 25, 2006

Ideally suited to face up to racism

AS a product of Possilpark, Kevin Harper has never relinquished his ambassadorial role for Glasgow's no-frills district. Almost a decade in exile south of the border has failed to diminish his passion for the streets of his youth. His mum, Kathleen, still lives there, though he reflects that the area has undergone radical changes since he left. The primary and secondary schools he attended, St Theresa's and St Augustine's, have both shut down. The majestic building of St Theresa's church on Saracen Street, where as a devout Catholic he attended every Sunday, has sold part of its grounds to developers. Demolishers have also written off large sections of the area's decayed housing. "I wouldn't have wanted to be brought up anywhere other than Possil, though," he reflected. "There's good and bad everywhere, and I don't think it's for everyone, but I certainly enjoyed my time there." Harper is not the first Scottish footballer to flourish from tough, working class roots.

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