Date: 30th November 2006 at 11:16pm
Written by:

Full Name: Alan Shearer
Date of Birth: 13th August 1970, Gosforth
Nationality: English
Position: Striker
Internationals: 63 Caps for England, 30 goals
Signed: July 1992 (£3.6 million from Southampton – then British record transfer fee)
Left: July 1996 (Sold for £15 million to Newcastle United- then World record transfer fee)
Clubs (Prior to Rovers): Southampton. (After Rovers) Newcastle United

Alan Shearer, one of the finest strikers in the football history was brought to Blackburn Rovers by Kenny Dalglish for a Club and British Transfer Record and my didn’t he deliver…

Whilst with Wallsend Boys Club as a 16-year-old Shearer was rejected by Newcastle United, if only they had known then what they knew some ten years later! In fairness to Newcastle he was tried out as a goalkeeper though!

Having been rejected by his hometown club he signed as an apprentice with Southampton in 1986 turning professional in 1988.

His Southampton debut came in the 1987-1988 season as a substitute in 1988 against Chelsea. The following month Shearer, then aged 17-years and eight months made his first mark on numerous records in English football. On his full debut he scored a hat-trick against Arsenal to break Jimmy Greaves’ 30-year-old record to become the youngest ever hat-trick scorer in top-flight football.

Over the coming years Shearer worked his way into the Southampton team, the early 1990’s really seeing his career take off. He ended the 1990-1991 season with 14 goals in 48 League and Cup appearances and the 1991-1992 season with 21 goals in 60 League and Cup games.

During this time Shearer had become a regular in the England under-21 side. So after scoring a record number of 13 goals in only 11 Internationals (later equalled by Francis Jeffers with 13 in 16 matches) he was handed his full England debut by Graham Taylor in February 1992. This debut in a friendly with France at Wembley was marked with a goal in the 2-0 win. With the legendary Gary Lineker soon to be retiring from International football we needed a replacement and Shearer certainly seemed to fit the bill.

Shearer went on to win three caps whilst at the Dell, being selected in the England squad by Taylor for the 1992 European Championship Finals in Sweden. A disastrous campaign saw England eliminated in the group stages with Shearer only making one substitute appearance in the 0-0 draw with France.

Despite his lack of action during the summer of 1992 with England Blackburn chairman, benefactor and legend Jack Walker and manager Kenny Dalglish had seen enough over the past few years, especially during the 1991-1992 season to offer the Saints £3.6 million in July 1992.

The Blackburn club record and British Transfer record fee was accepted, as was a bid from Manchester United. Shearer rejected United’s offer (this wasn’t to be for the last time!) deciding Rovers was the better option. This snub on Old Trafford was held against him right through his career, with many United fans often saying how much they feel he must have wished he had signed for them, but Shearer always says he regrets nothing despite all their glory!

After marking his Rovers debut with a brace of goals in the opening game of the 1992-1993 season he became a regular in the England side scoring his second International goal and his first as a Rovers player against Holland in a 1994 World Cup qualifying match with Turkey.

Having scored 22 goals in 26 League and Cup appearances (16 in 21 in the League) up to and including boxing day 1992 disaster struck! In the Boxing day clash with Leeds United Shearer snapped his right anterior cruciate ligament meaning he missed the rest of that season, the final 29 League and Cup matches.

How many more goals would he have scored? It’s frightening to think as he was on for at least 50 had he maintained his strike rate… His absence also affected England as without him they struggled, ultimately failing to qualify from their group for the 1994 World Cup Finals. This failure cost the man who had given Shearer his debut Graham Taylor his job.

Shearer was gradually eased back into the first team in the 1993-1994 season following his eight month injury absence making his opening appearances of the season as a substitute, often late on, starting his first game nine matches into the season.

As Rovers ended the 1993-1994 season as runners up, narrowly being piped to the Premiership crown by Manchester United Shearer scored an incredible 34 goals in 48 League and Cup appearances (an even more amazing 31 in 40 in the League!) he also added a further three goals to his England total. Although Blackburn and Shearer had been piped to the 1993-1994 Premiership Title Shearer was named Footballer of the Year for 1994.

Proving that the starts to the 1992-1993 season and the amazing goals return of the previous one were not a fluke as his lethal partnership with new signing Chris Sutton began Shearer scored a hatful of goals once again. His incredible number of 37 goals in 49 League and Cup appearances (34 in 42 in the League) helped Rovers to the 1994-1995 Premiership Title, also seeing him named the PFA Footballer of the Year for 1995.

It is often rumoured that Alan Shearer celebrated winning the Premiership Title (which was sadly to be his one and only honour not only with Blackburn but in his entire club and International career) by going home and creosoting his garden fence!

Shearer’s fourth and final season at Ewood Park again saw him score an amazingly high number of goals including an incredible number of five hat tricks, an amount that equalled John Southworth’s (1890-1891) and Andy McEvoy’s (1963-1964) records for the number of hat tricks in a season, seeing him end with nine hat-trick’s in total.

He ended the 1995-1996 season with 37 goals again in 48 League and Cup appearances (an amazing 35 in 41 in the League) seeing him end his Ewood Career with an unbelievable amount of 130 goals in 171 appearances League and Cup appearances (112 in 138 in the League).

Having missed the last few games of the 1995-1996 season little did we know his final Rovers appearance was going to be the game against Wimbledon (now Milton Keynes Dons) on 17th April 1996, as far as we knew he was going to play for England in the European Championship Finals, scoring the goals to win it for us and then return good as new for the 1996-1997 season. This wasn’t to be…

Having struggled with England during his prolific time with Rovers he had netted only 4 goals in 20 Internationals leading up to Euro ’96 being which was being held in England.

Shearer starred alongside Teddy Sheringham in a tournament England COULD and SHOULD have won, scoring five goals in five matches (seeing his England career whilst at Rovers end with a more respectable 9 goals in from 25 caps) to finish the tournaments top goalscorer as England’s penalty curse continued from 1990 as we crashed out to Germany in the semi finals. His performances as well as goalscoring exploits saw him named in UEFA’s team of the Championship along with England colleagues David Seaman and Steve McManaman.

After Euro ’96 Manchester United again moved for Shearer, but once again he rejected their advances deciding to move to his hometown club of Newcastle United for a then World Record Transfer fee of £15 million. The fact that Newcastle were his hometown club and his boyhood hero Kevin Keegan was at the time the Toon manager are said to be the only reasons he ever left Ewood Park.

The pressures of such an expensive fee failed to trouble Shearer and he ended the 1996-1997 season with 28 goals again in 40 League and Cup appearances (25 in 31 in the League) again picking up the PFA Footballer of the Year for 1997.

With Newcastle Shearer went on to win a further 35 International Caps scoring 20 goals in the Process, representing and indeed captaining England in the hugely disappointing 1998 World Cup Finals in France and the European Championship of 2000 in Holland and Belgium, with England succumbing to early exits in both. It is rumoured buy former FA Chief Executive Graham Kelly that following an incident with then Leicester City player Neil Lennon, in which Shearer appeared to kick Lennon in the head that Shearer threatened to walk out on England’s 1998 World Cup squad if punished. This is a claim Shearer vigorously denies and says the incident with Lennon was purely accidental.

His England career ended after Euro 2000 with Shearer citing a need to reduce the number of games he played. Shearer’s England career ended with a very respectable 30 goals from 63 caps during his time with Southampton, Blackburn and Newcastle.

Although Shearer was never able to add to his 1995 Premiership winners medal with Rovers he was part of the Newcastle side that regularly competed under Keegan, finishing runners up to Manchester United as well as Newcastle teams to lose successive FA Cup Finals, one to Arsenal in 1998 and the other to United in 1999 (their treble winning season.)

In June 2001 Shearer was honoured for his services to football with an OBE in the Queens Birthday Honours list and in February 2006, having been talked out of his planned retirement at the end of the 2004-2005 season by then Newcastle boss, and former Rovers manager Graeme Souness he broke Jackie Milburn’s 49-year-old record of 200 goals with his 201st goal for Newcastle in five fewer games than Milburn.

With Shearer player-coach with Newcastle and already definitely retiring at the end of the 2005-2006 season his retirement was enforced three games early following injury in the game with rivals Sunderland. Shearer ended his Newcastle United career with 206 goals in 404 appearances League and Cup appearances (148 in 303 in the League).

Shearer was expected to continue his coaching career with Newcastle but decided he wanted a year or two away from the game as he works on his UEFA coaching qualifications, but was announced as the clubs Sporting Ambassador for the 2006-2007 season.

Alan Shearer’s career totals read as follows:
Southampton 43 goals in 158 League and Cup appearances (23 in 118 in the League)
Blackburn Rovers 130 goals in 171 League and Cup appearances (112 in 138 in the League)
Newcastle United 206 goals in 404 League and Cup appearances (148 in 303 in the League)
England 30 goals from 63 International Caps
409 goals in 796 League, Cup & International appearances (283 in 559 in the League)

A true legend of not only the English, British, European but World games Shearer goes down as a legend with all three of his club sides as well as England at International level.

One of the Greatest Rovers Legends ever who contributed greatly to our success of the early to mid 1990’s, culminating in our 1995 Premiership Title. Without Shearer it is highly likely that this success and indeed Title may not have been obtained…

The above information is as accurate to my knowledge as possible, up to and including 25th October 2006.

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Related Article: Alan Shearer – Hat Trick King! – click here to read it
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