Our latest rewind and look back at the Premier League archives takes us to the 1995/96 season, a campaign which began with Alan Hansen’s exclamation that ‘you can’t win anything with kids’ – an iconic line that would come back to haunt the Match of the Day pundit in spectacular style.
Other notable moments include the arrival of a certain Dennis Bergkamp in north London, whilst the English public was eagerly awaiting the arrival of a home European Championships as football prepared to come home.
Following on from our previous editions we’re recollecting the greatest goalscorers from each Premier League campaign, here are the five leading scorers from the 95/96 season:
Teddy Sheringham – Tottenham (16 goals)
Having won the Premier League’s inaugural Golden Boot three seasons earlier, Sheringham was once again amongst the division’s leading goalscorers following another prolific season with Tottenham.
The north London side headed into the new season amid turmoil following the sale of key players such as Jurgen Klinsmann and Nicky Barmby, but Sheringham was once again the leading light for Spurs and formed another effective partnership alongside summer signing Chris Armstrong.
Sheringham hit 16 league goals for the season including a run of seven in just four games throughout September, finishing the campaign with 24 in all competitions for a Spurs side who finished eighth under the management of Gerry Francis.
The forward’s season earned his inclusion in the England squad for Euro ’96, where he scored twice during England’s run to the semi-finals.
Dwight Yorke – Aston Villa (17 goals)
The Trinidad & Tobago international had begun his first seasons in English football playing predominantly from the right-wing, but a switch of position ahead of the 1995/96 season delivered prolific results.
Yorke scored 17 Premier League goals for a Villa side who began the season brilliantly and in title contention, his tally more than in his three previous Premier League campaigns combined.
The forward formed a fine partnership with Savo Milošević as John Gregory’s side eventually finished fourth, scoring 25 goals in all competitions including the third goal as Villa beat Leeds 3-0 in the League Cup final at Wembley.
Yorke’s positional change saw him produce the best football of his career and he later joined Manchester United in a club record deal, winning three league titles and the Champions League at Old Trafford in addition to the Premier League’s Golden Boot.
Les Ferdinand – Newcastle (25 goals)
Established as one of the Premier League’s most prolific goalscorers after 60 goals in three seasons at Queens Park Rangers, Ferdinand headed to Newcastle in a £6m deal ahead of the 1995/96 season.
The forward arrived at St James’ Park as a replacement for Andy Cole, the prolific youngster having left for Manchester United in a British transfer-record deal mid-way through the previous season.
Ferdinand wasted little time in winning the hearts of the adoring Geordie faithful, scoring prolifically during his maiden season on Tyneside to fire Kevin Keegan’s side into a seemingly insurmountable lead in the title race.
Four goals in his first four appearances got the Magpies off to a flying start in the title race and Keegan’s side held a 12-point advantage in mid-January, only to suffer a torrid run of form to blow their chances of a first league title in almost 70 years.
Ferdinand’s 25 league goals proved not enough to deliver the title to Newcastle, though his performances were recognised at the end of the campaign as he was named as the PFA Player’s Player of the Year.
Robbie Fowler – Liverpool (28 goals)
Fowler had enhanced his reputation as one of the finest young players in English football following a prolific first full season as a Liverpool player, though the young forward reached new heights the following year as the Merseyside club finished third in the Premier League.
The academy graduate formed a deadly partnership with club record signing Stan Collymore, scoring 28 Premier League goals to finish as runner-up for the Golden Boot – a haul which proved to be the best season of his career.
Fowler’s tally included a four-goal haul in an Anfield destruction of Bolton, whilst he also netted braces both home and away to arch-rivals Manchester United – the first memorably including an audacious chip over Peter Schmeichel at Old Trafford.
His 36 goals in all competitions saw the star named as the PFA Young Player of the Year – winning the award for a second successive season – though he left that season’s famed cream FA Cup final suit at home to collect that particular award.
Alan Shearer – Blackburn (31 goals)
Alan Shearer’s final season as a Blackburn player saw the forward win the Premier League’s Golden Boot for a second successive season, scoring 31 goals despite the club’s dismal defence of their league title.
Shearer’s prolific campaign included a single season record of five hat-tricks, whilst he also registered more than 30 league goals for the third consecutive year – a feat no player in Premier League history has ever managed more than once.
The forward’s haul saw him depart Blackburn with a record of 112 Premier League goals in just 134 appearances, leaving the club to join boyhood club Newcastle at the end of the season in a world-record deal.
Shearer headed to Tyneside after starring for England during the summer’s European Championships on home soil, winning the tournament’s Golden Boot and finishing the year third in the rankings for the FIFA World Player of the Year and Ballon d’Or awards.