Alan Shearer reveals just how close he came to joining Manchester United

The former striker is a Geordies legend - but he almost opted for Old Trafford instead

Karl Matchett
Tuesday 27 April 2021 16:00
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Former Newcastle United striker Alan Shearer has revealed he was so close to choosing Manchester United over his home city club that he had even picked out where to live.

A lethal marksman in his prime, Shearer holds the record for the most goals scored in the Premier League since its inception in 1992, netting a massive 260 across a career spent at Southampton, Blackburn Rovers and the Magpies.

He was a leading star as Rovers won the title in 1994/95, but that was to be the only major honour Shearer won in his entire career. One year later he was departing Ewood Park and had the choice of moving to St. James’ Park or Old Trafford - and he almost opted for the latter.

“It was always my dream to play for Newcastle, to have that shirt and wear that with pride and score goals at St James’ Park,” he told Sky Sports.

“I was aware of the interest and also of the interest of Manchester United and I spoke to both managers at the time, Kevin Keegan and Alex Ferguson.

“I was very close going to Manchester United; in fact I’d chosen the house I was going to buy...and I just thought, ‘you know what, I’m gonna go back home’.”

Explaining his rationale, the one-time leading scorer for the England national team noted that he wanted the Newcastle fans to be able to appreciate him in his prime, rather than heading there toward the back end of his career when he might have been less effective for the team.

And, 15 years after his playing days came to an end, Shearer stands by the choice he made.

“I wanted to have some great years at Newcastle whilst I could still play, not to go back in my 30s and for them not to see the best of me.

“And it was the best decision I ever made.”

He netted over 200 goals in his 10 years with the club, before briefly managing them in 2009 in an unsuccessful bid to help them avoid relegation. That remains Shearer’s only venture into management, but as a striker his exploits remain unparalleled in England’s top flight.

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