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Famous Like Me > Footballer > S > Alan Shearer

Profile of Alan Shearer on Famous Like Me

Name: Alan Shearer  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 13th August 1970
Place of Birth: Newcastle
Profession: Footballer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia
Alan Shearer

Alan Shearer, OBE (born Newcastle upon Tyne, England, August 13, 1970) is a successful and widely-admired English professional footballer, currently in the twilight of his career at hometown club Newcastle United.

Early career and England debut (1986-1992)

A strong and prolific centre forward, Shearer was rejected by Newcastle as a schoolboy at the famous Wallsend Boys Club and instead signed as an apprentice with Southampton at the age of 16. He made his debut as a substitute against Chelsea in 1988, before prompting national headlines with his full debut a month later when he scored a hat-trick against Arsenal. At the age of 17 years and eight months, he broke the record for the youngest hat-trick scorer in top-flight football which had been held for more than 30 years by Jimmy Greaves.

Despite this stunning beginning, the precocious Shearer was eased gradually into the first team, and the following season only made ten appearances, without scoring. He never became truly prolific for Southampton until 1992, when he slammed home 13 goals from 41 appearances. Having become a regular for the England team at under-21 level the previous year, scoring 13 goals in just 11 matches, this potent spell by Shearer was noticed by Graham Taylor, coach of the senior team, and Shearer made his debut against France in February 1992.

Like his full debut at club level, his full debut in international football was memorable. Shearer scored a poacher's goal in the first half as England won 2-0, with the other goal coming from Gary Lineker, who was retiring in the summer after Euro 92 in Sweden, leaving Taylor with the job of finding a worthy successor.

Blackburn and England (1992-1996)

Taylor selected Shearer for his squad for the finals, but he only featured in one group game - a goalless draw against France - and England were eliminated at a disappointingly early stage. However, his ability had been noted by Blackburn Rovers manager Kenny Dalglish who, armed with unlimited funds from club benefactor Jack Walker, offered Southampton an irresistible 3.6 million pounds for their prized asset, and Shearer made his move. He was also offered terms by Manchester United but turned them down - a decision which still sees him mocked and criticised by Manchester United supporters to this day.

Shearer became an England regular the following season, scoring his second goal in a 4-0 win over Turkey in a qualifier for the 1994 World Cup. His first season with Blackburn was mixed - he missed half of it through injury (and more World Cup qualifiers) but scored an excellent 16 goals in the 21 games in which he did feature. The season ended sourly, however, as England failed to qualify for the World Cup.

At Blackburn, Shearer settled down and became the most feared goalscorer in the Premiership. He rattled in a huge 31 goals from 40 games in the 1994 season as Blackburn finished a close second in the table behind Manchester United and also won the honour of the Footballer of the Year for that season. He added three more goals to his England tally before embarking on his most successful domestic season as a player.

From 42 games, he scored a phenomenal 34 goals as Blackburn took the Premiership title on the last day of the season. This remains the only honour as part of a team which Shearer has won in his career, though he quickly followed it up with a personal award, winning the PFA Players' Player of the Year prize for the 1995 campaign. He famously "celebrated" the title by going home and applying creosote to his garden fence.

He put away 31 goals the next season from 35 games, though his England strike rate completely dried up, with no goals in eleven games leading up to Euro 96.

England, now managed by Terry Venables, were hosting the event and therefore hadn't needed a qualification campaign. This made Shearer's unproductive spell in front of goal less of a problem, but as the tournament neared he was still expected to produce the goods. The country need not have worried.

In the opening 20 minutes of the inaugural group game against Switzerland at Wembley, Shearer hammered home a 25 yard drive on the turn to break his duck and settle the nation's nerves. After that game ended 1-1, a victory against the old enemy Scotland in the next game was crucial, and Shearer stood up to be counted.

A tight and goalless first half was opened up early on after the break when 21 year old right back Gary Neville - the youngest member of the England first team - swung over a delightful curling cross and Shearer stooped low to head home at the far post. It set England on their way to a 2-0 win, helped by a penalty save from David Seaman and a stunning second goal from Paul Gascoigne. England now needed to avoid defeat against the Netherlands in the final group game to guarantee qualification for the last eight.

Shearer and his strike partner Teddy Sheringham had arguably their greatest game as a partnership as England turned on the style against the Dutch, winning 4-1 with a performance described as "total football" by pundits, ironically against the nation that coined the phrase more than two decades earlier. Shearer scored the opener from the penalty spot and got the third after a delightful tee-up by Sheringham, who also weighed in with the other two.

In the quarter finals, England were outplayed by Spain but got through to a penalty shootout after a goalless draw. Shearer scored the first England penalty, while the Spaniards failed to score from two of theirs, sending England to the semi finals.

Their opponents were their nemesis nation - Germany - and Shearer gave England the perfect start when he headed them ahead after three minutes. The Germans quickly equalised and the match went to penalties again. This time, the Germans stayed their ever-ruthless selves from the spot, and though Shearer scored, his team-mate Gareth Southgate missed his kick and England went out. Germany duly won the final. Shearer's five goals (penalty kicks in a shootout don't count) made him the competition's top scorer.

Newcastle and England (1996-2000)

Straight after the tournament, Shearer became the country's most expensive footballer when his home town club Newcastle United, managed by Shearer's boyhood hero Kevin Keegan, paid 15 million pounds to secure his services. Despite the enormous price tag and the pressure of being the local boy coming home, Shearer just carried on scoring goals. He put away 25 from 31 games in his first season at the club, while also scoring five goals in England's steady start to their qualification campaign for the 1998 World Cup. At the end of his first season at Newcastle, he picked up his second PFA Player Of The Year award.

Glenn Hoddle was now England coach, and he had controversially awarded Shearer the captaincy of his country, even though Tony Adams, captain during the 1996 European Championships was still in the squad and was seen as the more natural leader, not least because he was the long-time captain of his club, whereas Shearer had never been a captain at any of his clubs. Adams later criticised the decision in his autobiography, but at the time accepted it without comment.

In the summer of 1997, Shearer suffered a cruciate ligament injury which greatly restricted his number of appearances, but he still helped Newcastle United (now managed by his old boss Dalglish) to the FA Cup final. However, Arsenal conclusively won the game 2-0, though Shearer hit the post during the match when it was still tightly balanced. Also in the latter part of that season, controversy surrounded Shearer when he appeared to aim a kick at Leicester City player Neil Lennon during a Premiership match. Hearsay spread that Shearer threatened to walk out on the World Cup squad if he was punished by The Football Association. Shearer denied this - and also claimed the incident with Lennon was entirely accidental - and he was not punished. That summer he was named as skipper as England went to France for the World Cup.

Shearer headed home England's first goal of the tournament as Tunisia were dispatched 2-0. He didn't score again as England got through the group to face Argentina - like Scotland and Germany, another grudge team - in the second round.

The game was hugely eventful. Shearer put away a penalty to make it 1-1 after his teenage strike partner Michael Owen was fouled; then with the game at 2-2 (and England a man short after David Beckham's infamous sending-off), Sol Campbell thought he'd got a late, heroic winner for England only for the referee to rule out his goal for a foul by Shearer on the Argentine goalkeeper. The game went to penalties and Shearer scored again but colleagues Paul Ince and David Batty didn't, and England were eliminated.

Hoddle later departed the England job and Shearer's former Newcastle boss Keegan took over, maintaining Shearer's role as captain as England set about their qualifying campaign for Euro 2000, which had not started well under Hoddle. Newcastle, meanwhile, made the FA Cup final again - this time Ruud Gullit was the manager - and again they were outplayed, this time by Manchester United.

In September 1999, Shearer showed immediate morale progress like fellow compatriot Steve McManaman from Keegan's arrival and hit his first England hat-trick in a qualifier versus Luxembourg and was at the centre of club controversy when Gullit dropped him for the fiery north-east derby match against Newcastle's sworn enemies, Sunderland. Sunderland won the game and Gullit was not in his job for much longer, replaced by Bobby Robson. More controversy came when Newcastle directors Freddy Shepherd and Douglas Hall were covertly recorded by a News Of The World journalist describing Shearer as a "Mary Poppins" figure.

England qualified for the European Championships thanks to a play-off victory over two legs against Scotland. By now, Shearer was approaching his 30th birthday and he announced before the tournament that he intended to retire from international football as soon as England's involvement in the competition was over. Though Keegan was his biggest fan and his place didn't seem in doubt as a result, many observers claimed this was Shearer's slightly cynical way of guaranteeing a spot in the squad.

Shearer didn't score in England's opening 3-2 defeat against Portugal but scored the all-important goal as England defeated Germany 1-0 in Charleroi, giving England a chance of qualifying for the last four provided they beat Romania in the final group match. Shearer scored a penalty as England went in at half-time 2-1 up, but Romania ultimately won 3-2. England's tournament, and Shearer's international career, was over. From his 63 caps, he scored 30 goals, level with Nat Lofthouse and Tom Finney. He remains joint fifth in the England scorers all-time list.

Later years at Newcastle (2000-2005)

At Newcastle, Shearer continued to score regularly, but the club have not won a trophy during his time at the club. He was appointed an OBE for services to Association Football in the Queen's Birthday Honours List in June 2001, an honour to go with the Freedom of the City of Newcastle upon Tyne that was bestowed upon him in March. He was also awarded the Barclaycard Merit Award on in 2002 for reaching the landmark of scoring 200 Premiership goals. Shearer had hit his 200th Premiership goal against Charlton at St. James' Park on 20 April 2002.

Shearer announced that he would retire at the end of the 2005 season, though he later relented on this decision and he continued playing for another year in a player-coach role. He is currently working on his UEFA coaching qualifications, which are required to manage a team in European competitions. Since his international retirement, he has resisted calls from both the England coaching staff and the media for his return to the side, largely because his presence as a strong centre forward with goalscoring capability has yet to be found in any of his successors.

He married Lainya, whom he met on a blind date in Southampton, when they were both 20 years old, and they have two daughters and a son. He is currently combining his playing duties with occasional punditry for the BBC and Sky Sports, ready for his expected career in the media when leaving the game. That said, he is also regularly touted as a future manager of Newcastle United.

Though he is seen as a dour, unexciting figure in interviews (an image enhanced by the infamous "creosote" comment and which he satirised in a series of ads for McDonald's), Shearer retains the respect and admiration of his peers, with many claiming he will be as successful in a media career as his England predecessor Gary Lineker proved to be.


  • Southampton F.C. (1988-1992)
  • Blackburn Rovers (1992-1996)
  • Newcastle United (1996-present)
Preceded by:
Chris Waddle
Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year
Succeeded by:
Jürgen Klinsmann
Preceded by:
Eric Cantona
PFA Players' Player of the Year
Succeeded by:
Les Ferdinand
Preceded by:
Les Ferdinand
PFA Players' Player of the Year
Succeeded by:
Dennis Bergkamp

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Alan Shearer