Quotes on: Alan Shearer

“He’s broken every record, he’s captained every side he’s been with, he’s taken penalties with every side he’s been with. He’s just un-rivalled.” — Jack Hixon (the Southampton FC Talent Scout who took Shearer to the club)

“(He was the best striker I played with) just by the sheer number of goals he scored; just a phenomenal player. While lining up alongside him, I felt we could win every game, because I knew he was going to score.” — Les Ferdinand

“He was an all-round center-forward. He could do everything.” — Les Ferdinand

“The best goalscorer in the history of the Premiership [ . . . ]. For a while we formed an awesome partnership at Newcastle.” — Les Ferdinand

“You try and go through the different eras of players, and there were great players, but Alan is certainly up there with the best of them.” — Les Ferdinand

“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

“Scored goals at every level and even when he was out injured for months on end, he always seemed to be top scorer! 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.” — Michael Owen

“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

“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

“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

“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

“If you’d have said to me that he’d go on to be the Premier League’s leading goalscorer by 87 goals, I’d have probably said no. But if you said to me ‘Will he be a very good professional footballer? Will he make a good career out of the game?’ 110 percent. What you could see from him was a mental toughness you didn’t see in a lot of players that age (18). To have scored a hat-trick on his debut against probably the best back four he could have gone up against (Arsenal) was just incredible, and he went from strength to strength.” — Matt Le Tissier

“Top player. Always very difficult to play against. Great goalscorer, strong in the air and could hold the ball up.” — Denis Irwin

“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

“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

“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 Dalglish

“England could really do with Alan Shearer now, that’s for sure, he was a fantastic centre-forward.” — Ray Wilkins

“He was fantastically aggressive in the air. He didn’t get pushed off the ball easily.” — Kenny Dalglish

“Alan has lots of qualities, on and off the pitch, and one of them is certainly his determination. That’s possibly his biggest asset.” — Kenny Dalglish

“I think he just believed he would score every time. What we did at Blackburn was we had the players who could create chances for him, and we knew that if we got anywhere within the 18-yard box, with any goalkeeper, we could just put the ball in, and nine times out of ten, Alan Shearer would be on the end of it.” — Kevin Gallacher

“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

“You can rely on him to put the ball in the back of the net and if you had to put your house on any one player taking an opportunity in a game, he is the man.” — Rob Lee

“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

“He was a great striker of the ball. Give him a ball, he’d try and hit it first time, and nine times out of ten he connected well.” — Rob Lee

“Let’s not forget, he had two severe injuries, he was out for nine months with his ankle, another nine months with his knee; imagine how many goals he’d have scored if he’d been fully fit!” — Rob Lee

“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 Gascoigne

“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

“In terms of looking after Alan Shearer, the best case scenario was to keep him away from your goal, because he scored goals from every angle. Even with his back to goal, he’d turn and take a shot when you’d least expect it.” — Matt Holland

“Shearer’s ability in the air was feared by a lot of center-backs. He was very good at pulling away to the back post, and very clever at anticipating in the six-yard box and getting across people; he had spring, and for someone his size, he did so well.” — David Pleat

“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

“I would compare him to Careca who is the only striker who would keep me awake the night before a game.” — Alessandro Costacurta

“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

“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

“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 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

“A jack-of-all-trades who, in defiance of the proverb, has mastered them all.” Alan Smith

“Jackie Milburn was the first iconic number 9 for Newcastle fans; he was adored, and still is, by Newcastle fans. It was the same with Malcolm MacDonald, who wore the number 9 and scored goals, and Newcastle fans loved him because of that. There’ll be lads who are not even born yet who, when they come twenty or thirty years in the future, will know about Alan Shearer, because he’ll be talked about in Newcastle United folklore as the best number 9 Newcastle’s ever had.” — Steve Howey

“History has a tendency to rosy up the memory of players and matches from the past. While Jackie Milburn is a legend, Alan Shearer has earned the right to be ranked up there with the very best. Fifty years from now when memories are fading, all that will be left are the record books. 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 No9.” — Malcolm MacDonald, former Newcastle number 9



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