On this day in 2006, Alan Shearer’s playing career finished. Fittingly for such a phenomenal goalscorer, he scored in that appearance for his hometown club Newcastle United against their rivals Sunderland in a derby on 17 April.
His final season in 2005-06 also saw him break Jackie Milburn’s 49-year record of 200 (official) goals for Newcastle United in February 2006, with his strike at Sunderland seeing him complete his playing career on 206 goals at the club.
Overall, Shearer scored 283 times in English top-flight league football – the fifth-highest tally of any player, behind only Jimmy Greaves (357), Steve Bloomer (314), Dixie Dean (310) and Gordon Hodgson (287). With those 283 goals coming in 559 appearances, he even managed a ratio of over a goal every two games across his 19-season playing career (0.51).
In the Premier League era, no player has come close the Shearer’s exceptional tally of 260 goals in 441 appearances – a tally that could have been closer to 300 had the former Blackburn Rovers striker not suffered two serious injuries during his career.
Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane has eyes on the Premier League goal record, but his 206-goal tally is currently 54 off Shearer’s tally and he is still two away from Wayne Rooney’s final total of 208 in the competition.
With Kane only 29 years old, there’s every chance he will reach Shearer’s total in years to come, to add this record to his England national team record tally.
Shearer was the most devastating player in front of goal across the early Premier League seasons, with 100 goal involvements in his first 100 appearances in the competition (79 goals, 21 assists) – unsurprisingly a record. In fact, his first 100 Premier League goals came in just 124 appearances, with the former England striker the quickest player to this landmark in the competition history.
Those goals helped Shearer to three Premier League Golden Boot awards across 1994-95, 1995-96 and 1996-97 – only Thierry Henry has won more (four), while Shearer was the first English top-flight player to win the award in three consecutive seasons since Jimmy Greaves in the early-mid 1960s.
Shearer looks likely to lose his Premier League record (which he shares with Andrew Cole) for the most goals in a single season (34 in 1994-95), but Erling Haaland has some way to go to match Shearer’s record of scoring in 190 different matches in the competition.
🎶 “1-0 down, 4-1 up…” 🎶— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) April 17, 2023
On this day in 2006! 🙌 pic.twitter.com/RW6t8iPQgZ