There aren't enough like Stevie Harper left in the game
It was only a reserve team game and it was only a professional footballer being paid to do what is inserted into his contract - but when Steve Harper put in an impressive performance against Bolton reserves it seemed like so much more than that.
Last week, the media was dominated by Carlos Tevez's refusal to come off the bench and help his team when in need against Bayern Munich.
Quite rightly, Tevez was hammered for his actions (or lack of them), but in Harper's display at Leyland's County Ground the handful of Toon fans who made the journey to Lancashire on a chilly evening witnessed something we don't see enough of in football.
If Tevez got the stick, the opposite should apply to Stevie Harper.
It would have been easy for Harper to refuse to play reserve team football at 36 and it would be easy for him to slap in a transfer request.
In the old days, you used to get a thing called loyalty in football.
This entailed staying at one club for your whole career and turning your time at one place into an education to use your knowledge to help out every department within the institution.
This year we've seen players leave Newcastle who can't have it their own way whether it be contracts, wages or selection.
Harper applies to the other group.
He's lived most of his life as a Newcastle player.
He's waited for his chance, helped the club bounce back from relegation, turns up at dozens of functions for charities, takes in most reserve team games and is generally black and white to the core.
Like a piece of Whitley Bay rock, if you chopped him up, he'd have Newcastle United written inside him all the way through.
Against Bolton, there was one voice booming out into the chilly October air - and it was Harper.
He domninated his box, rallied the young players throughout and even pulled off a few saves to earn a clean sheet.
In short he played the game as if it was an FA Cup final.
Afterwards, like the ultimate professional he is, he stood in a cold car park and gave his post-match views on the game.
Never has Harper failed to realise the importance of interviews during his time at NUFC and the responsibility to provide an explanation to the fans.
Harper is a good honest pro and Newcastle could do with more like him.
Surely, there should be a coaching role for him at Newcastle long after retirement - that's if somebody else doesn't realise that he simply oozes potential and football know-how.
For now Harper is happy to play the game with Newcastle and help Rob Elliot and Tim Krul progress in their careers, something that will benefit the Magpies in the future.
In the modern game, there are plenty who kiss badges, talk about their love for the club and then promptly go and pull on another club's colours - and we've seen a handful of those leave Tyneside recently.
But Harper's love seems to be as genuine as it comes for Newcastle United.
Anybody in Leyland last night could see, hear and feel it.