Alan Shearer is one of the most famous players in the game today and was also the world's most expensive footballer at the time of his £15m move from Blackburn to Newcastle in the summer of 1996.
Most Newcastle and non-Newcastle fans thought Kevin Keegan's addition of Shearer would seal the title in 1996-97, but another second place finish denied Toon that honour. However, a serious ankle injury then sidelined Shearer for half of the 1997-98 season.
Shearer shot to fame in 1988, scoring a hat-trick on his debut for Southampton against Arsenal at the age of 17, a record, and went from strength to strength. He joined Blackburn from Southampton for a then British record £3.6m fee in 1992 and went on to become the first man to score 30 Premiership goals in 3 successive seasons and won a championship medal in 1995.
He was voted 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. In 2000-01, he suffered from a knee injury, and only played 23 games all season. Some thought that we had seen the best of Shearer after that, but he came back and scored 23 league goals in 2001-02. Shearer was awarded an OBE for services to football in the Queens Birthday Honours list in 2001.
The following season, Shearer helped United again with another 23 goals in all competitons including a brace against Inter Milan in the San Siro and a hat-trick against Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League. He helped United qualify for the competition for the second year in a row, and was awarded three awards in the FA Premier League awards to celebrate 10 years of the Premiership, including Overall Player of the Decade. He also scored his 200th Premiership goal and his 100th league for for Newcastle. He is currently third on United's all-time top goalscorers list behind Jackie Milburn and Len White with 145 goals.
Shearer is already a Newcastle legend and has done most things in the game, but the Geordie striker will not be happy until he's captained Newcastle to a trophy in the next couple of seasons, and who would bet against him doing just that?
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