Alan Shearer is the Premier League’s all time leading goalscorer with 260 goals, and is one of the greatest out-and-out number nines English football has ever seen.
Shearer won his only Premier League title early in his career with Blackburn Rovers before famously turning down the advances of Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson in favour of moving to his hometown club Newcastle United.
He may not have won as many medals at St.James Park as he would have done at Old Trafford, but having spent his youth as a Newcastle fan his achievement of becoming the club’s all time leading goalscorer and gaining the love of the entire Geordie nation meant just as much to him as filling out his trophy cabinet.
Here are some of the best quotes about the Premier League’s greatest ever striker.
“He leads the attack with courage and quality. He’s a superb team player and an inspirational captain. As a player he is up there with the very best, with the Lofthouses, Lawtons, Linekers and any other great striker you care to mention.” Sir Bobby Robson.
“Alan is a player in a class of his own. He lifts the whole team and turns draws into victories. In a word: priceless.” Kenny Daglish.
“In my opinion, Alan Shearer is the greatest English centre-forward there has ever been without a shadow of a doubt; he’s a very, very special player. He makes average balls into great balls. He’s the scorer of every type of goal going. He plays the centre forward role in the hardest possible fashion where he generally has his back against where he wants to be going against men who are generally a lot bigger than him. He is not the biggest guy and people would be surprised if they met him in the street at the size of him.” Graeme Souness.
“The lad has got absolutely everything. England have had many great strikers over the years who have excelled in certain parts of the game but there is no chink at all in Shearer’s armour, even to the point of magnificent mental strength. He works so hard. He’s not afraid to put himself around physically and won’t be intimidated by aggressive tactics. He is a clever player, who is capable of understanding tactical instructions and then carrying them out, even if it means defensive duties. He is not just after the glory of scoring goals. You see him running to the wings, demanding the ball, searching for space, especially down the right, where he crosses the ball in as good as any winger in the game. Not only will Alan score from close in. He can [score] from outside the box, he takes free-kicks and he scores with his head, his right foot and his left foot. There are no real weaknesses.” Glenn Hoddle.
“He’s a natural leader who conducts himself in a totally professional manner on and off the pitch. Alan has the respect of players at club and international levels and he’s a fine role model for youngsters.” Kevin Keegan.
“Alan has been the best striker in the history of the Premier League. He’s strong, great in the air, boasts great technique and power in his shooting and, in his prime, he had real pace.” Alan Hansen.
“He was incredible and with 260, he is so many goals ahead of everyone else in Premier League history it’s ridiculous. He went from strength to strength after leaving Southampton, you’ve only got to look at the stats – breaking Jackie Milburn’s 200-goal Newcastle record in double-quick time. It will be nice to tell the kids, “You know what, I played with him and when I did, I scored twice as many as he did.” Matt Le Tissier.
“Shearer was the archetypal centre-forward, who could head, shoot with his left and right foot and hold the ball up as well as anybody in the world. He was a heroic type of player too – the one others in the team would look up to.” Ian Wright.
“I wouldn’t say he was the most talented center-forward in the world, he wouldn’t go and take a center-half on and do six stepovers and a dummy to the side. It was more straightforward, he would gain that half a yard, shoot, and score the goal. That’s all he had to do, it was so simple, A to B, and that was Alan. He was the best at it.” Kevin Gallacher.
“He scored every type of goal [ . . . ] Alan Shearer was one of those players who scored goals in the six-yard box, he scored goals in the 18-yard box, and he scored world-class goals from 25, 30 yards. He was just an all-round, top-class striker, with every string to his bow.” Matt Holland.
“I was at Newcastle and he was making his debut for Southampton and I didn’t really know who he was, but the guy was phenomenal. After the game, I put my arm around him and said ‘you stick in there son, and you’re going to be a decent player’, he just looked at me and said ‘aye, cheers Gazza’, and that was it. But wow, this guy could score. Outside the box, inside the box, he had a free-kick on him like a rocket. What I liked about Shearer was he didn’t like getting messed about. He gave it as good as he took it. He would get rattled and he hated it, but he wouldn’t roll over. He’d be straight back up.He had a bad ligament injury and he came through that. One of the good things with Shearer, even though he got rattled, he never let anyone know. He was always quiet and just got on with it and you knew he was going to get his own back. He just knew where the net was. I was watching his ‘100 Greatest Goals’ on Sky and some of them were absolutely phenomenal. I had a bit of a lump in my throat watching it. I went to his testimonial and I had tears in my eyes. He went back there and he showed them he had it.” Paul ”Gazza” Gasgoine.
“England could really do with Alan Shearer now, that’s for sure, he was a fantastic centre-forward.” Ray Wilkins.
“He was a phenomenal finisher, and didn’t miss much. He had really low backlift on the shot, but such power in the shooting.” Chris Sutton.
“I would compare him to Careca who is the only striker who would keep me awake the night before a game.” Alessandro Costacurta.
“Considering he wasn’t so big, it’s amazing the amount of headers he scored – he crashed them in from 20 yards too. As brave as a lion, he’s a bit of a throwback, but with a modern touch.” Jamie Redknapp.
“He is almost the perfect centre-forward for the English game. he closes people down, he can hold the ball up, run with it, he’s good in the air and he’s dangerous inside and outside of the box.” Chris Waddle.
“Alan is not particularly quick but he usually reaches balls clipped over the top. He is not particularly tall but he scores frequently with his head. For someone who isn’t particularly skilful, Alan can drop his shoulder and drill a 30-yard right-footer past a keeper.” John Barnes.
“Top player. Always very difficult to play against. Great goalscorer, strong in the air and could hold the ball up.” Denis Irwin.
“Alan was one of the most mentally strong people I’ve ever met. He knew what he wanted to do. He went 12 games without scoring before Euro 96, but he knew he would score. Whenever he had a drought, he knew he would score.” Rob Lee.
“When I think about a complete striker and what I’d want as a manager as my striker is Alan Shearer. It’s not just the goals he scored, he was a handful, he could run the channels, his retention of the ball was fantastic and he was a leader of men. I don’t think we’ll have a striker in that mould again.” Paul Ince.