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On This Day: A legend is born!

Celebrations all round as Rovers icon Alan Shearer today turns 50!

13 August 2020

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On exactly this day 50 years ago, Rovers legend Alan Shearer was born.

Despite being born in the north-east, somehow the striker slipped through the net of the numerous sides in that part of the world, including boyhood club Newcastle United.

After starting out with the famed Wallsend Boys Club, Shearer ended up trekking almost 350 miles south to get his first taste of professional football with Southampton, a big move for someone who was still only a teenager in 1986.

After two years in the youth teams with the Saints, Shearer got his break in the first team when he came off the bench against Chelsea in 1988.

It didn't take him long to show what was to come in his illustrious career as he bagged a hat-trick on his full debut in the 4-2 win over Arsenal at the Dell, to become the youngest player to score three goals in one game in a top flight encounter, aged 17 years and 240 days.

His stock was rising over the next few seasons, with clubs circling for the young starlet's signature, and it was Rovers who broke the English transfer record by reportedly paying over £3.5m to snare him from Southampton in 1992, in a deal that saw David Speedie head the other way.

That turned out to be money well spent for Shearer's services, with the goals coming in regular supply during his four seasons at Ewood Park.

Although an anterior cruciate ligament injury hampered his first campaign in East Lancashire, Shearer finished the term with 22 goals in 26 games in all competitions.

There was more to come in 1993-94, with a fully fit Shearer finding the net on a whopping 34 goals from his 48 outings as Rovers finished runners-up to Manchester United in the top flight. Shearer's displays for the club led to him being named the Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year for that season

And then came 1994-95. Rovers went one better by winning the title, with Shearer proving to be a huge factor in that success. 

He plundered 37 goals in all competitions in that famous season, with plenty of crucial strikes helping Rovers to vital victories along the way under Sir Kenny Dalglish.

The same number of goals arrived in what would turn out to be the final campaign of his Ewood Park stay, but Rovers couldn't reach the same heights as 1994-95.

Newcastle came calling in the summer of 1996 with Shearer moving for a world transfer record-breaking fee, and he would stay at St James' Park for the rest of his career.

The goals continued to come in black-and-white, and he finished his playing days as the Premier League's top goalscorer of all time (260 goals).

On the international stage, Shearer appeared 63 times for England, scoring 30 goals and captaining his country along the way.

Last year saw Shearer inducted into the Rovers Hall of Fame, with the striker totalling an incredible 131 goals in 172 outings for us.

Have a great day, Al!

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