Talented striker

Alan Shearer was born on August 13 1970 in Gosforth, a local council estate in Newcastle. When he was a boy, Shearer was known as ‘Smoky’ as he had a fondness for smoky bacon crisps! His family has long supported Newcastle United for generations and the young Shearer

once queued for hours just to catch a glimpse of his boyhood hero, Kevin Keegan. At 12, Shearer was captain of his school’s football team. Even then, his skills were remarkable. He once scored 13 goals in one game. Yet, during his Newcastle trials, Shearer played in goal! Needless to say, Newcastle failed to notice his goal-scoring abilities, a mistake which has cost them £15m. Joe Hixon, Southampton’s talent scout however, saw his potential and signed him as an apprentice for the club.

Shearer then left Newcastle at age 15. During his 1988 league debut, Shearer became the youngest player ever to score a first-class hat trick. However, Shearer never really made an impact at the Dell. Yet his strong work ethic was renowned - he used to get up before dawn for three-mile runs and practised by himself after training until he had to be dragged away! It is this quality of sheer hard work that has turned Shearer into one of the best footballers today. On a more personal note, Shearer met his wife Lainya on a blind date in a Southampton pub. Funnily enough, she hated football and couldn’t understand his strong Geordie accent. They married at age 20 and have 2 girls, Chloe and Hollie, both of whom can beat him at video games!

In 1992 Shearer moved to Blackburn Rovers for a British record of £3.6 million. He became the only player in English football history to score 30 or more goals in three consecutive seasons, helping Blackburn win their first Premiership title in 81 years in the 1994/95 season. In 1998, Shearer was inducted into the FA Hall of Fame for his 1994/95 season with Blackburn. He also received the England captaincy in 1996, a task that he has carried out with tremendous pride. In fact, Shearer is seen by many to be the perfect embodiment of the nation.

He also captained England into France 98. In a touching move, Newcastle fans crowned him the Angel of the North by placing a giant Shearer jersey replica on the 65-ft Tyneside statue before the FA Cup Final. Still, Mark Lawrenson who worked with Shearer at Newcastle says, “That’s Shearer. Put a microphone under his chin and a camera in front of him and he switches off. But I can tell you now that he has got one of the most outstanding personalities in football.” Shearer himself says, “There is another side to me which people don’t often see, but it’s very hard for me to show that.” While he may be one of the most famous strikers in the world, Shearer remains fiercely proud of his working-class background. His father, Alan is still a sheet-metal worker and his mother Anne, works as a home help. He maintains a close relationship with his parents and Joe Hixon, keeping contact with them almost every day. Shearer still prefers sharing a pint with his pals from his boyhood.