Alan Shearer became a Geordie legend the day he spurned Manchester United's advances and instead signed for his boyhood club Newcastle United. Prised from Blackburn Rovers for a British transfer record fee of £15 million, Shearer joined Kevin Keegan's revolution and was a key member of one of the most exciting teams the Premiership has witnessed.
The son of sheet-metal worker, Shearer was born in Newcastle in 1970 but began his illustrious career at the opposite end of the country in Southampton. He scored a hat-trick on his full debut and soon became one of the most feared strikers in the country; his pace, power and lethal finishing quickly earning him a call-up to the England squad.
Kenny Dalglish broke the then British transfer fee, paying £3.3 million to take Shearer to Ewood Park in the summer of 1992, but it proved to be money well spent. Shearer formed a lethal partnership with Chris Sutton, and the 49 goals of the SAS, as they were known, fired Blackburn Rovers to their first and only Premiership title in 1994-95, snatching the title from Manchester Utd on the final day of the season. The notoriously down-to-earth Shearer celebrated by creosoting his fence.
At Euro 96 Shearer struck five goals, including two against Holland in one of England's finest performances ever. The heartbreak of defeat in a penalty shootout at the hands of Germany followed, but the striker's performances had caught the eye of Keegan, whose Newcastle renaissance was gathering pace.
Shearer put pen to paper in July and effortlessly continued his extraordinary goalscoring feats, hitting 25 goals in his first campaign for the Toon Army, finishing as the Premiership's top goalscorer for a third consecutive season. The goals rained in throughout Shearer's career on Tyneside and in 2006 he broke Jackie Milburn's 49-year-old record of 200 goals for the club. His place as one of Newcastle's favourite sons was assured.