Football commentator and media personality
Alan Shearer stands high in any list of North East sporting legends, widely admired for his prowess as a prolific goal-scoring footballer and his sharp intelligence as a TV analyst of the modern game. That he continues to live in the North East and to support the region in many ways adds further to the esteem in which he is held. The award of a CBE in 2016 “for charitable services to the community in North East England” and the Doctor of Civil Law degrees awarded by Northumbria University in 2006 and Newcastle University in 2009 bear testimony to his standing as a local philanthropic hero.
Alan was born in 1970 and raised in Gosforth by parents Anne and Alan, attending Gosforth Middle School and Gosforth High School. His footballing talent was evident at an early age and groomed at school where he captained the school side and then at the famous Wallsend Boys Club. When the professional scouts came calling, he elected to join Southampton where he signed a youth contract before making his professional debut in March 1988, aged 17 and scoring a hat-trick two weeks later against Arsenal. Alan remained at Southampton for five seasons before moving to join Blackburn Rovers in 1992, where he scored 112 goals in 138 appearances over four seasons, winning the premier league title in 1994-5 after finishing runners-up in the previous season. He then joined Newcastle United where he played for ten seasons before retiring in 2006. At Newcastle, he scored 206 goals in 405 appearances in all competitions to beat the previous all-time scoring record set by the other legendary Newcastle centre-forward, Jackie Milburn. Alan is the top goal scorer in the history of the premier league with 260 goals. At an international level, he played 63 times for England scoring 30 goals, playing in the semi-final of the European championship against Germany in 1996, a match England lost on penalties.
Following his illustrious career as a player, Alan Shearer has made a second career as a television match analyst working for the BBC, appearing regularly on Match of the Day alongside the programme’s host and fellow England striker, Gary Lineker. His natural confidence, incisive comments, inside knowledge and no-nonsense opinions make for compulsive viewing, playing well as straight man against the natural charm and wit of Lineker.
Alan’s involvement in philanthropy began during his playing days as a supporter of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), taking part in its high profile Full Stop campaign in 1999. He has given freely of his time to numerous charities since that time in support of fundraising events and campaigns. Following his retirement in 2006, Newcastle United arranged a testimonial match against Celtic, which raised £1.64 million. Alan donated the entire amount to his favourite charities, including £400,000 to the NSPCC and £320,000 to the charity with which he is most closely identified, St Cuthbert’s Care in Newcastle.
St Cuthbert’s is a singular charity that provides residential and day care facilities for children, the elderly and disabled people. It is noted for its outstanding support for people most in need. The Alan Shearer Foundation has raised £2.75 million for St Cuthbert’s since it was founded in 2012. This funds the Alan Shearer Centre, a recreational, sensory and social centre for disabled people. It has also helped fund the Alan Shearer Short Break Centre that offers specialist respite care for children and adults in a picturesque setting, with accessible facilities, a sensory garden and play area. Each year the Foundation runs a high profile Charity Ball and a Foundation Golf Day at Close House Golf Resort. Alan Shearer is not only philanthropic in giving time and money, but he also gives of himself because it matters to him to give back to the community that has given so much to him, as he explained on receiving the CBE in June 2016:
“The North East is my heartland and I have been lucky enough to fulfil my boyhood dream to play for my hometown club and represent my national team. In the years ahead I will, therefore, continue to make it my priority to help give something back to the region and country that has served me so well.”
Charity Commission (2017). St Cuthbert’s Care- Trustees’ Report and Financial Accounts 2017, Available here (Accessed: 20/07/2018).
Shearer Foundation (2018). Website. Available here (Accessed: 24/09/2018).
Southern, K. (2016). Newcastle United hero Alan Shearer awarded a CBE in the Queen’s birthday honours list. Chronicle Live, 10 June 2016. Available here (Accessed: 24/09/2018).
St Cuthbert’s Care (2018). St Cuthbert’s Care- Home, Available here (Accessed: 20/07/2018).
Wikipedia (2018). Alan Shearer. Available here (Accessed: 24/09/2018).