After a sorry few seasons supporting this gruelling club, it’s time for a little indulgent nostalgia by remembering a few of the greats from the better days. Enjoy as we take a look back at some of our heroes from the Premiership years. Some excellent players narrowly miss out but here’s my top five…
There’s only one place to start isn’t there? Alan Shearer became Newcastle’s all-time record goal scorer in 2006 netting 206 goals for the club. That alone would set Shearer’s place in club folk law, but there is much more that cements Shearer as number one.
Club captain for several years, a leader of men, courageous, committed…a man who chose club over country. When others gave up, Shearer fought on like a bloodied warrior. It could have been very different. Should the club have backed Ruud Gullet, Shearer may well have been sold. Thankfully Gullet shot himself in the foot when dropping Shearer and Big Duncan Ferguson for the Tyne – Wear derby, which Newcastle subsequently lost. Gullet was disposed of and Newcastle hired Sir Bobby Robson. Shearer celebrated Robson’s arrival by scoring five against Sheffield Wednesday in his first game in charge. Shearer’s Newcastle career was back on track.
Big Al’s character was matched by his ability. Shearer’s right foot (no not me…his actual right foot) was mesmerising. He could strike the ball so accomplishedly in so many different ways. He could curl the ball with his instep (see his first ever goal for Newcastle against Wimbledon). He could swerve it with the outside (see goal vs Spurs in FA Cup Semi-Final), volley with the laces (goal vs Everton), volley with the instep (vs Villa and Schmeichel). He could place it and he could let fly with immense power. But the key to his success…he always hit the target.
He was solid with his left too and magnificent in the air. Considering he wasn’t the tallest of players, he had great timing and a desire to attack the ball.
Turning down Sir Alex at Manchester United in favour of a world record move to Keegan’s Newcastle in ’96, it’s a shame he was never rewarded with the silverware his talent deserved at Newcastle.