In an exclusive with The Chronicle, Alan Shearer has named his greatest NUFC XI, talking Gazza, ‘Wor Jackie’, his Man Utd offer and those who didn’t make his team in the process.
First things first, here’s his greatest ever NUFC side, picked by the Big Al to commemorate the club’s 125th year anniversary..
SHEARER’S NUFC XI: (4-3-3)
GK: Shay Given
RB: David Craig
CB: Bob Moncur
CB: Jonathan Woodgate
LB: Frank Clark
MIDFIELD: Chris Waddle
MIDFIELD: Paul Gascoigne
MIDFIELD: Peter Beardsley
FORWARD: Kevin Keegan
FORWARD: Alan Shearer
FORWARD: Jackie Milburn.
Not a bad, is it!
Here’s what Alan said when speaking about his first name on the team-sheet, Jackie Milburn:
“My dad was a Newcastle fanatic and Wor Jackie was his hero,”
“So to walk into our house having broken such a great man’s record meant everything to me. I had made my dad proud.
“I invited Jackie’s widow Laura to my testimonial match as a tribute to him. He stands out like a beacon in United’s history.
“Every Geordie knows what Jackie Milburn means to this club and therefore this is a special time to remember him.”
Shearer then went on, explaining just why he’s never regretted turning down Man Utd ‘for a moment’:
“For another Geordie – this one from a council estate in Gosforth – to overtake Wor Jackie’s goalscoring record is unbelievable for me. It answers anyone who dares to question why I chose Newcastle ahead of Manchester United.
“I’ve never regretted that decision for a moment.”
Alan then discussed the ‘huge talent’ that was Paul Gascoigne – the ex-NUFC midfielder who went straight into Shearer’s side also:
“In their pomp the two Pauls, Gascoigne and Scholes, were the best passers of the ball I ever had with England,”
“Gazza was the very best of his generation, a mad lad but with a big heart and an even bigger talent.
“I spoke to him recently. He sent me a photo of himself after he had scaled the fence and climbed on top of my statue. Typical of him, always the laughter maker.
“Paul has had tough times since finishing playing of course. I worry about him and wish him well.”
Shearer then touched on Waddle, Beardsley and Gazza once again – three top young English talents in his team who were all sold within a short space of time at NUFC – making him wonder what has happened to all the local talent that used to come through on Tyneside:
“Ridiculous wasn’t it?” “What a waste of an opportunity.
“However thinking of those three lads sets me wondering where the great Geordie kids of today are as far as United are concerned.
“There doesn’t seem the same quality. What has happened?”
And finally, Alan gives mentions to Malcolm Macdonald and Rob Lee – two players he seems reluctant to have left out of his all time NUFC XI:
“It’s tough on SuperMac and Rob Lee but I can only pick 11!”
Let us know your thoughts on Shearer’s team! What would your all time NUFC XI be?