Alan Shearer is more than a Newcastle legend; he is a Blackburn legend, a Premier League legend and an England legend. But it is for his time with Newcastle that Shearer will be best remembered and rightly so. One of the greatest strikers in history; he is a true great of the modern game.
Shearer made his debut for Southampton in 1988 against Chelsea; on his full debut two weeks later he made the headlines for the first time when he scored a hat-trick becoming the youngest player to do so in the top division at 17 years, 240 days. Over the next 3 years Shearer would become an important part of the Southampton side and he came to prominence in the 1991/92 season with 13 goals in 41 appearances. He earned an England call-up and scored on his debut.
After an impressive season with Southampton, Shearer was the subject of interest from other clubs and moved for £3.3 million to Blackburn Rovers in the summer of 1992. Despite some injury problems, Shearer experienced great success with Blackburn, he scored 16 goals in 21 games in his first season with the club but much greater accomplishments were to follow. In the 1993/94 season, Shearer was named the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year after he scored 31 goals in 40 games and led Blackburn to a second-place finish in the league. The next year, Shearer formed a lethal partnership with Chris Sutton and he scored 34 league goals in a title-winning season. He managed to break the 30 goal barrier again the next season but Blackburn were unable to retain their league title.
After an impressive showing at Euro 96, Manchester United tried for the second time to take Shearer to Old Trafford and though a deal came close to completion; he ended up joining his home-town side Newcastle United for what was a world record fee of £15million. Shearer made a strong start to his Newcastle career and finished as top-scorer in the Premier League for the third year running. The following season however was a disappointment as Shearer missed half them games through injury and Newcastle struggled to a 13th place finish. Shearer was England captain by this point and the next two seasons he rediscovered his form with 14 goals in 30 games and 23 in 37 during the 1999/00 season.
Shearer continued to score goals well into the Noughties until he retired in 2006. He finished as the all-time top goalscorer for Newcastle United and is also the leading scorer in the Premier League with 260 goals.
He was a special striker in that he could score all types of goals. His strength was such that he was used often as target-man but in his earlier years he was a quick player who could run away from defenders. He was powerful in the air; had great long range shooting and had brilliant movement. He is one of the most complete forwards of all time; he was even a great asset when it came to defending corners.
Shearer will forever be cherished by the Newcastle fans; even though he did not manage to deliver the league title that they craved, his commitment and quality will never be forgotten. Even the fact that he failed to stave off relegation last season as manager has done nothing to tarnish his reputation.
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