- Category : Football Player
- Type : GE
- Profile : 2/4 - Hermit / Opportunist
- Definition : Split - Small (20,21,31,36)
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Explanation 3
Alan Shearer OBE (born 13 August 1970 in Gosforth) is a retired professional English footballer who played as a striker for the England national team and Premiership clubs, Southampton, Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United.
During his career he enjoyed successes at both club and international level and also in his personal life, becoming one of the most prolific strikers of all time. In total he scored 422 goals for club and country, averaging 25 goals a season for each of his 17 seasons as a player. Shearer currently holds the Premier League goalscoring record with 260 goals. He announced his international retirement following England's exit from Euro 2000 but continued to play for Newcastle United until 2006, when he retired completely from football.
Since 2006 he has worked a football pundit for the BBC.
As a 15-year-old schoolboy at Wallsend Boys Club, Shearer was rejected by Newcastle, with a legendary trial as goalkeeper (he has admitted he was only in goal for a small part of a full day), and instead signed as an apprentice with Southampton. He made his debut as a substitute against Chelsea on 26 March 1988, before prompting national headlines with his full debut at The Dell a month later, on 9 April 1988, when he scored a hat-trick against Arsenal. At the age of 17 years and 240 days, he broke the record for the youngest player to score a hat-trick in top-flight football, held for more than thirty years by Jimmy Greaves.
Despite this auspicious beginning to his career, Shearer was only eased gradually into the first team, making ten goalless appearances for the club the following season. In his early Southampton career his prime asset was his strength, which enabled him to retain the ball and generally lead a line in which others (notably Rod Wallace and Matt Le Tissier) did the scoring. His performances in the centre of the Saints attack were soon recognised by the fans, who voted him their Player of the Year in 1991.
He did not become truly prolific for Southampton until 1992, when he scored thirteen goals in 41 appearances.
Blackburn Rovers (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 an early stage. However, his ability had been noted by Blackburn Rovers manager Kenny Dalglish who, with vast funds at his disposal from benefactor Jack Walker, offered Southampton £3.3 million for Shearer, which was accepted, and the transfer to Blackburn was completed. Shearer was also offered terms by Manchester United but turned them down.
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 FIFA World Cup. His first season with Blackburn was mixed - he missed half of it (and more World Cup qualifiers) through injury, snapping his right anterior cruciate ligament against Leeds United on 26 December 1992, but scored sixteen 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, he scored 31 goals from 40 games in the 1993-94 season, as they finished a close second in the table behind Manchester United. He also won the honour of the Football Writers' Footballer of the Year for that season. Shearer added three more goals to his England tally before embarking on his most successful domestic season as a player at that time.
The arrival of Chris Sutton for the 1994-95 season established a strong attacking partnership at Blackburn, with the duo acquiring the nickname "the SAS" - Shearer And Sutton. In 42 games, Shearer scored 34 goals, as Blackburn took the Premiership title on the last day of the season. This remains the only club honour that Shearer won in his career, though he quickly followed it up with a personal award, winning the PFA Players' Player of the Year.
In 1995-96 he scored 31 goals in 35 games, although his England strike rate completely dried up, with no goals in the eleven matches leading up to Euro 96. England, now managed by Terry Venables, were hosting the event and therefore hadn't needed a qualification campaign.
Newcastle United (1996-2006)
After Euro 96, Shearer was approached by Manchester United with another offer to buy him from Blackburn. However, Jack Walker wouldn't allow the move under any circumstances so he joined Newcastle United, managed by Shearer's boyhood hero Kevin Keegan, who paid £15 million to secure his services, making Shearer the world's most expensive footballer at the time.
Shearer continued to score goals: 25 in 31 games in his first season at St James' Park. At the end of his first season at Newcastle he picked up his second PFA Player of the Year award.
In the summer of 1997, Shearer suffered an ankle ligament injury in a pre-season match at Goodison Park, an injury which greatly restricted his number of appearances. He still helped Newcastle United (now managed by his old boss at Blackburn, Kenny Dalglish) to the 1998 FA Cup Final, but Arsenal won the game 2-0, although Shearer hit the post during the match.
In the latter part of that season, controversy surrounded Shearer when he kicked Neil Lennon in the head at Leicester City during a Premiership match. FA Chief Executive Graham Kelly later claimed in his autobiography that Shearer threatened to walk out on the World Cup squad if he was punished by the FA. Shearer denied this - and also claimed the incident with Lennon was entirely accidental - and he was not punished.
Shearer announced that he would retire at the end of the 2004-05 season, but, influenced by then Newcastle manager Graeme Souness, he decided to continue playing in a player-coach capacity until the end of the following season. During this time, he broke Jackie Milburn's 49-year-old record of 200 goals for Newcastle United when he netted his 201st strike in a home Premiership fixture against Portsmouth on 4 February 2006. Some media sources have pointed out that, including matches played during World War II, Milburn scored 238 goals for the club. Discounting those games and goals, however, Shearer beat the record in five fewer games than Milburn.
On 17 April 2006, with three games remaining in his final season as a player, Shearer suffered a tear to the medial collateral ligament in his left knee after a collision during the 4-1 win at Sunderland in which he scored his 206th goal. The injury caused him to miss those final three games, effectively ending his career prematurely. On 22 April, 2006, Shearer confirmed his retirement as a player.
On 11 May 2006, Newcastle United played Celtic at St James' Park in Shearer's testimonial match. Guest ex-Newcastle players included Steve Watson, Gary Speed, Rob Lee and Les Ferdinand. Shearer could not play in the testimonial because of injury; however, he initiated the kick-off and scored a penalty to win the game for Newcastle, 3-2. All proceeds from the game went to North East charities, including the NSPCC (for which Shearer is a patron), and the Bobby Moore Fund.
In 2002-03, Shearer and Newcastle made a return to the UEFA Champions League. Newcastle lost their first three matches in the first group stage, but then won the remaining three and managed to qualify for the second group-stage (the only club ever to do this), where they were finally eliminated.
After this, Newcastle would have one more chance to enter the Champions League proper in 2003, but were eliminated on penalties by Partizan Belgrade, with Shearer missing his penalty.
Shearer was appointed an OBE for services to Association Football in the Queen's Birthday Honours List in June 2001, and the Freedom of the City of Newcastle upon Tyne was bestowed upon him in March.
International career (1990-2000)
Having earned a regular place in the England U21 team the previous year, scoring thirteen goals in eleven matches in the process (including seven in four games at the Toulon tournament), 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. A month later he made his one and only appearance for the England B team.
Like his full debut at club level, his full debut in international football was successful: Shearer scored a poacher's goal in the first half as England won 2-0. The other goal came from Gary Lineker, who was retiring in the summer after Euro 92 in Sweden, leaving Taylor with the job of finding a successor.
In the opening twenty minutes of the inaugural group game of Euro 96 against Switzerland at Wembley, Shearer scored, breaking his goal-drought. After that game ended 1-1, a victory against Scotland in the next game was crucial. After a tight and goalless first half, Gary Neville swung over a 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 second goal from Paul Gascoigne. England now needed to avoid defeat against Holland to be in the quarter-finals, and Shearer and his strike partner Teddy Sheringham helped them win 4-1 with two goals each, with a performance described as "Total Football" by pundits.
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 into the semi-final against Germany. Shearer headed England into the lead after three minutes, but the Germans quickly equalised and the match went to penalties again. This time, Germany won from the spot; although Shearer scored, his team-mate Gareth Southgate missed his kick and England went out. Germany went on to win the final. Shearer's five goals made him the competition's top scorer, and together with team mates David Seaman and Steve McManaman, was listed in the official UEFA Team of the Tournament.
He scored five times in England's steady start to their qualification campaign for the 1998 FIFA World Cup, and that summer he was named as England captain. Shearer scored England's first goal of the tournament, in a 2-0 win over Tunisia, but that was his only goal in the three group matches. England faced Argentina in the second round: Shearer scored a first-half penalty in a match that went to penalties after a 2-2 draw. Shearer scored again, but colleagues Paul Ince and David Batty missed, and England were eliminated.
England's Euro 2000 qualifying campaign did not start well, and Hoddle departed the England job, with Shearer's former Newcastle boss Kevin Keegan taking over and maintaining Shearer's role as captain. Newcastle, meanwhile, made the 1999 FA Cup Final - their second consecutive - this time with Ruud Gullit as manager. Again they were defeated, by Manchester United, 2-0.
In September 1999, Shearer scored his first England hat-trick in a qualifier against Luxembourg. 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 that he intended to retire from international football after the Euro 2000 tournament.
Shearer did not score in England's opening 3-2 defeat against Portugal, but did so as England defeated Germany 1-0 in Charleroi, ensuring that England beat their European neighbours for the first time since the 1966 World Cup Final. To remain in the tournament, England only required a draw against Romania in the final group match, and Shearer scored a penalty as England went in at half-time 2-1 up, but Romania ultimately won 3-2. England's tournament was over, and so was Shearer's international career. From his 63 caps, he scored thirty goals, joint-fifth in the England all-time goalscorers list with Nat Lofthouse and Tom Finney.
There has been much speculation about Shearer's future in the game, with many expecting to see him in a management/coaching role at Newcastle. However, he has stated that he will take some personal time off to "enjoy life" for the next couple of years.
He spent the summer of 2006 as one of the main pundits for the BBC's coverage of the World Cup. Shearer famously suggested that Wayne Rooney would "stick one on" Cristiano Ronaldo after their much publicised incident during the quarter finals.
Shearer currently works as a pundit for the BBC's Match of the Day. In July 2006 he turned down a role with England, although he has expressed his desire to become a manager. He still needs to gain the required qualifications: he is currently working on the UEFA Pro Licence, required to manage a team in European competition.
Former Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd announced that, after Shearer finished the 2005-06 season as Newcastle's caretaker assistant manager, he would become the club's "Sporting Ambassador" for 2006-07.. On December 4, 2006, Shearer was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Civil Law degree by the Northumbria University.