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Born: August 13, 1970, Newcastle

Shearer, the club's greatest-ever goalscorer, returned to St.James' Park as manager on April 1, 2009 after signing a deal until the end of the season and was immediately charged with task of saving his hometown club from relegation to the Championship.

Alan was the world's most expensive footballer at the time of his £15m move from Blackburn to Newcastle in the summer of 1996.

Many believed Kevin Keegan's addition of Shearer to a squad which had just missed out on the 1995-96 Championship would seal the title, but another second place finish in 1996-97 denied United that honour.

The scorer of a hat-trick on his debut for Southampton against Arsenal as a 17-year-old in 1988, Alan went on to become the first man to score 30 Premier League goals in three successive seasons.

He joined Blackburn from Southampton for a then British record £3.6m fee in 1992, and won a championship medal three years later.

English PFA Player of the Year in 1995 and 1997, he scored 30 goals in 63 games for England before his retirement from international football at the end of Euro 2000.

During 2000/01 Alan's season was disrupted by injury which restricted him to only 23 appearances. He underwent two knee operations to clear up his tendinitis problem, one in December and one in May in the USA.

Awarded the OBE for services to Association Football in the Queen's Birthday Honours List in June 2001 to go with the Freedom of the City of Newcastle upon Tyne that was bestowed upon him in March.

Received a terrific and emotional welcome when he returned to first team action as a sub against Sunderland on 26 August 2001 before hitting two goals against Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium on his first start of the season on 8 September. His brace against Ipswich Town in the Worthington Cup on 27 November took his United goals tally to 100.

Goal against Arsenal on 18/12/01 was his first at Highbury and it also broke United's London 'jinx'. Hit his 200th Premiership goal against Charlton at St. James' Park on 20 April 2002. Voted North East Player of Year for 2001/02 and also scored North East Goal of the Season 2001/02 (versus Aston Villa).

Scored his 300th club career goal at Blackburn on 19 October 2002. Hit his 100th Premiership goal for United in the 5 - 3 reversal at Old Trafford on 23 November 2002. After a terrific December 2002, Alan was voted Barclaycard Player of the Month and his goal against Everton on 1 December, voted Premiership goal of the Month.

Goal against Manchester City on 18 January (10 seconds) equalled record of fasted ever Premiership goal and fastest ever United goal (Jackie Milburn in November 1947).

Scored his first Champions League hat-trick against Bayer Leverkusen on 26 February 2003 at St. James' Park, his two goals against Inter Milan on 11 March took him to the top of United's European goalscoring charts (11) and his goal against Charlton on 15 March took him above 1920s goal scoring legend Hughie Gallacher in terms of United career goals.

Voted North East Player of Year for 2002/03 and also scored North East Goal of the Season 2002/03 (versus Everton). Shearer has also finished either top scorer or joint top scorer for his club in each of the past 14 seasons, covering spells at Southampton, Blackburn and Newcastle United.

Niggling muscle injuries blighted his 2004/05 season but he signed an extension to his United contract (becoming player/coach) on 1 April 2005 taking him through until the end of the 2005/06 season.

Equalled Jackie Milburn's '200 goals record' with winner against Mansfield in FA Cup on 7 January 2006, and broke it with goal versus Portsmouth at St. James' Park on 4 February 2006.

Announced his retirement from the game on 22 April 2006 following ligament injury picked up at Sunderland on 19 April, where he signed off with a decisive penalty in United's 4 - 1 derby success - goal 206 for Newcastle.

End of season testimonial versus Celtic on 11 May 2006 in front of 52,275 at St. James' Park was a fitting tribute to a glorious career.