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Premier League Hall of Fame: Alan Shearer

Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer was one of the first two players to be inducted into the Premier League's Hall of Fame in 2021.

Alan Shearer Profile:

NameAlan Shearer
Date of Birth13/08/1970
Place of BirthNewcastle upon Tyne, England
Premier League clubsSouthampton, Blackburn Rovers, Newcastle United
Premier League appearances441
Premier League goals260
Premier League assists64
Premier League titles1
PFA Players' Player of the Year awards2
Premier League Golden Boots3

From Southampton to Blackburn

Growing up in the Gosforth area of Newcastle upon Tyne, Shearer spent his younger days at the fabled Wallsend Boys Club and it was during his time here that he was spotted by Southampton scout Jack Hixon.

Having spent his summer training with the Saints' youth team, the striker had successful trials for First Division clubs West Bromwich Albion, Manchester City and Newcastle United, before being offered a youth contract with Southampton in April 1986.

After making his professional debut for the south-coast outfit in March 1988, Shearer made national headlines in his full debut at The Dell two weeks later when scoring a hat-trick in a 4-2 victory over Arsenal at the age of 17 years, 240 days, becoming the youngest player to achieve the feat of netting three in a game in the top division.

During his time at Southampton, he scored 43 goals from 158 appearances and also made his mark on the international stage, scoring 13 times in 11 games for the U21 side - a record return which is still unbeaten - before netting on his senior debut to continue his rise.

After being linked with a move to Manchester United, it was actually Blackburn that managed to sign Shearer in the summer of 1992 for an English transfer record-breaking £3.6million bid. Having scored 56 goals in 74 appearances across his first two seasons at Ewood Park, it was the following campaign that proved to be one of his finest.

Chris Sutton's arrival from Norwich in the summer of 1994 brought about the famous 'SAS' strike duo (Shearer and Sutton) and the pair fired Rovers to their one and only Premier League title. Between them, the duo scored 49 goals in the 94/95 campaign (Shearer 34, Sutton 15) to pip the Red Devils to the title by a point.

In Shearer's four seasons with Blackburn, he netted 130 times from 171 appearances, while his tally of 34 goals in 94/95 is a record for a 42-game campaign.

Local legend returns home

Despite further advances from Manchester United and interest from Real Madrid, Newcastle managed to acquire the services of Shearer in July 1996 for a then-world record fee of £15m.

The local hero was back at St James' Park and he scored 206 goals from 405 appearances during his time on Tyneside, with 148 of those coming in the Premier League to take his overall tally to a record 260 in the newly rebranded era.

This mark is yet to be bettered and the closest challenger, Harry Kane, moved to Bayern Munich in the summer so this record is set to stand for a good few more years at least.

Frustratingly for Shearer, he never managed to deliver silverware for his boyhood club, with a couple of FA Cup runners-up medals in the 1998 and 1999 finals all he had to show for his efforts.

The striker came closest to lifting the Premier League title for Newcastle in his debut season, scoring 25 goals from 31 league appearances as the club finished second to the Manchester United.

Although he won just one trophy during his domestic career, Shearer is regarded as one of the best strikers of his time and had the lure of playing for his boyhood club not been there, he would have likely lifted lots of silverware elsewhere.

Style of play

Shearer was an old-fashioned number nine. He was physical, could hold the ball up and was brilliant in the air, while he was also adept with both feet as shown by his sensational scoring efforts.

Playing with a strike partner for most of his career, the now 53-year-old managed to adapt his game when his pace started to go later in his career, using his excellent positional sense to keep getting into scoring positions.

Life after football

Since retiring in 2006, Shearer has become a regular pundit for the BBC's Match of the Day, while he has also taken up media duties covering World Cups and European Championships from 2006 onwards.

He did have a brief stint as Newcastle manager from 1st April to 24th May 2009 when he was named on an interim basis to try and save the club from relegation, but he won just one of his eight matches as the Magpies went down to the Championship.

Did you know?

Shearer was given Honorary Freedom of the City of Newcastle upon Tyne in December 2000, while he was also appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2001 and Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2016.

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