Alan Shearer only ever won one major honour in his career with Southampton, Blackburn and Newcastle, but he won something that was just as important to him: the hearts of every single Geordie who watched him play.
Shearer was as pure a centre-forward English football has seen, scoring over 400 goals for club and country over the course of his career. And with Harry Kane now a Bayern Munich player, he looks set to remain the Premier League’s record scorer for at least a little while longer.
We’ve compiled 16 of the best quotes on the former England captain from those who played with and against him, as well as some of his former managers.
Sir Bobby Robson
“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.”
“I would compare him to Careca, who is the only striker who would keep me awake the night before a game.”
“A jack-of-all-trades who, in defiance of the proverb, has mastered them all.”
“Alan is a player in a class of his own. He lifts the whole team and turns draws into victories. In a word: priceless.”
“While lining up alongside him, I felt we could win every game, because I knew he was going to score.”
“He wasn’t a dirty player per se, but he was rough and he invariably delivered some form of punishment on the pitch.”
“I like him because you get a lot of flair players, but nobody was as mentally tough as Alan, who got the most out of his body for such a long time. Probably the greatest Premiership player ever.”
“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 was a heroic type of player too – the one others in the team would look up to.”
“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.”
“I don’t think we’ll have a striker in that mould again.”
“I wouldn’t say he was the most talented centre-forward in the world, he wouldn’t go and take a centre-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.”
“As brave as a lion. He’s a bit of a throwback, but with a modern touch.”
“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.”
“There’ll be lads who are not even born yet who, when they come 20 or 30 years in the future, will know about Alan Shearer, because he’ll be talked about in Newcastle United folklore as the best No.9 Newcastle’s ever had.”
“Shearer has equalled and bettered so many records in the hardest aspect of the game – scoring goals. He’s done it in his homeland and been so consistent, he scores season after season. Without doubt, there hasn’t been a better No.9.”
“When I was a young boy I wanted to play for Newcastle United, I wanted to wear the No.9 shirt and I wanted to score goals at St James’ Park. I’ve lived my dream and I realise how lucky I’ve been to have done that.”