Alan ShearerAlan Shearer
One of the most famous players in the game today, Alan was also the world’s most expensive footballer at the time of his £15m move from Blackburn to Newcastle in the summer of 1996.
Geordie Alan makes no secret of his love for Newcastle United, and the partnership is a marriage made in heaven, but one which before the start of this season had borne no trophies, though a few near misses.
Many believed Kevin Keegan’s addition of Shearer to a squad which had just missed out on the 1995-96 Championship would seal the title, but another second place finish in 1996-97 denied United that honour, and a serious ankle injury then sidelined Alan for half of the 1997-98 campaign. However, his regular goals output has continued and a total of 30 in season 1999/2000 underlines his enduring ability in the penalty area. The scorer of a hat-trick on his debut for Southampton against Arsenal as a 17-year-old in 1988, Alan went on to become the first man to score 30 Premier League goals in three successive seasons.
He joined Blackburn from Southampton for a then British record £3.6m fee in 1992, and won a championship medal three years later. English PFA Player of the Year in 1995 and 1997, he scored 30 goals in 63 games for England before his retirement from international football at the end of Euro 2000. During 2000/01 Alan’s season was disrupted by injury which restricted him to only 23 appearances. He underwent two knee operations to clear up his tendinitis problem, one in December and one in May in the USA.
Awarded the OBE for services to Association Football in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in June 2001 to go with the Freedom of the City of Newcastle upon Tyne that was bestowed upon him in March. Received a terrific and emotional welcome when he returned to first team action as a sub against Sunderland on 26 August before hitting two goals against Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium on his first start of the season on 8 September. His brace against Ipswich Town in the Worthington Cup on 27 November took his United goals tally to 100. The goal against Arsenal on /01 was his first at Highbury and it also broke United’s London ‘jinx’. Hit his 200th Premiership goal against Charlton at St. James’ Park on 20 April 2002. Voted North East Player of Year for 2001/02 (versus Aston Villa).