Alan Shearer won the golden boot at the European Championship in 1996
Shearer kept up his red hot form in the final group game against Holland by again scoring the opening goal.
He converted from the penalty spot after Paul Ince had been tripped in the box. Shearer got his second of the game smashing the ball past Edwin Van der Sar from close range after a brilliant passing move.
England won that game 4-1 and progressed to the quarter finals where they beat Spain on penalties after a goalless draw. Shearer took England’s first penalty of the shootout and set them on their way to victory with a cool finish.
This game is remembered by all England fans for Stuart Pearce’s reaction after he scored his penalty. Pearce had missed in the shootout in the World Cup in 1990 as England were knocked out by West Germany. This time though, against Spain, Pearce found the net and turned to roar at the crowd to release the years of torment he had endured.
Penalty heartache against Germany
England faced Germany in the semi final and again Shearer scored the first goal before Stefan Kuntz equalised. The game finished 1-1 after extra time and so again England had to face the ordeal of a penalty shootout.
Shearer converted his spot kick but it wasn’t enough. England once more lost out on penalties to Germany. This time it was Gareth Southgate having to suffer the agony of being the one who missed.
Alan Shearer finished as the tournament’s top goalscorer with 5 goals, not including penalty shootouts. England had a team the fans were proud of again after the disappointment of failing to qualify for the World Cup in 1994.
World record transfer fee
On a personal level, Euro 96 was a huge success for Shearer and he became the hottest property in football. Barcelona, Juventus and Man Utd were all rumoured to want him but he opted to join his boyhood club, and Premier League runners up, Newcastle. Kevin Keegan paid a world record fee of £15m to Blackburn to secure Shearer’s signature.
Returning to his roots in the North East was an attractive proposition for Shearer so the front man turned down Alex Ferguson and Man Utd for the second time in his career.
Shearer spent ten years at Newcastle and became a hero to the Toon faithful. Although he failed to bring any silverware to St James Park, Shearer helped them to a second place league finish in 1997, and Newcastle were losing FA Cup Finalists in 1998 and 1999.
One of the highlights of his time on Tyneside came in 1996 when Newcastle beat champions Man Utd 5-0 at St James Park, with Shearer scoring the fourth goal.
All time top scorer
In 2006 Shearer became Newcastle’s all time leading goalscorer when he netted his 201st goal for the club in a Premier League clash against Portsmouth. He retired from football at the end of that season but returned as Newcastle manager briefly in 2009.
He was brought it for the last eight games of the season to try to save the club from relegation. There was little he could do, however, in such a short time. The club finished third from bottom, one point away from safety and dropped into the Championship.
But the relegation did nothing to sour the relationship that Shearer had with the Newcastle fans and he remains a hero and legend to the club and the city.