Alan Shearer is set to be honoured with a life size statue of himself just a stones thrown from St James’ Park if reports in The Chronicle prove to be correct.
It is understood that Jackie Milburn will also be honoured in the same way with the two statues being located on St James’ Boulevard in time for the Olympic competition next year.
I realise I’m probably going to get hammered for this as people will read this line and go into meltdown without listening to the reasoning behind it, but I personally feel that there are a other people ahead of Alan Shearer who deserve to be commemorated in statue form.
One of them being Joe Harvey. The term legend is thrown around easily these days, and whilst it mustn’t be forgotten that Shearer was a playing legend for us, it must also not be forgotten what the likes of Joe Harvey and others have done for us in days gone by.
Harvey spent 21 years at the club as a player and then as a manager. He played 224 games for us and won two FA Cups, one in 1951 closely followed by another in 1952. After retiring in 1953 he then became a trainer and watched from the sidelines as the team lifted yet another FA Cup in 1955.
Sitting on the sidelines was to be a a recurring theme for Harvey as he spread his wings and took to management. Brief spells managing Barrow and Workington went with varying fortunes but it wasn’t long before he returned to NUFC and in 1962 he was confirmed as manager – seven years after he left.
He then led us to promotion back to Division One before taking us to Europe and bringing home the Fairs Cup in 1969. That remains our last “top” honour although he did guide us to another FA Cup final in 1974 which we lost to Liverpool before resigning in 1975. In total he managed 591 games at Newcastle United.
I’m not saying that Shearer isn’t a legend. He is. The stats back him up and the service he gave us over ten years was fantastic. To me he kept us up on our own sometimes and helped us mix it with the best for a brief few years. His time will come.
However in a week where people have been keen to point out the history and nostalgia of Newcastle United, would it not make sense to honour one of the older all time greats? A great who had a direct influence on three of our last four major honours?
Personally I’d say so…