Shearer’s thun­der­bolt strike

FourFourTwo - - CONTENTS -

On 260 sep­a­rate oc­ca­sions Alan Shearer found the back of a Pre­mier League net. The striker’s record col­lec­tion of goals fea­tures some­thing for ev­ery­one: penal­ties, free-kicks, tap-ins and one-on-ones. But there’s one net-buster that stands out above them all – his fire­ball vol­ley against Ever­ton.

As the 2002-03 cam­paign neared the mid­way point, New­cas­tle wel­comed the Merseysiders to St James’ Park. Vic­tory would move them within reach of the top four, but the hosts en­coun­tered Richard Wright on a day he de­cided to im­per­son­ate a world-class goal­keeper.

With four min­utes to play, the Mag­pies were trail­ing 1-0 and needed their Ge­ordie hero to don his black and white cape and res­cue the re­sult. He duly obliged...

“Since I made my first-team de­but for Southamp­ton in 1988 to me re­tir­ing in 2006, that was easily the sweet­est vol­ley I ever caught,” New­cas­tle’s record goalscorer tells Four­fourtwo. Alan’s op­por­tu­nity to leather the ball with lethal in­ten­tions came about thanks to some pleas­ingly un­com­pli­cated build-up play: Lau­rent Robert hoofs the ball up­field, Shola Ameobi knocks it down and Shearer makes a snap de­ci­sion. “You’ve got about half a sec­ond to make up your mind,” says Shearer. “I could have taken a touch and hit it, but I just thought, ‘It’s there, have a go!’” And have a go he did, let­ting rip with a first-time vol­ley that moved at such a speed the cam­era­man strug­gled to track its tra­jec­tory into the net. “I con­nected with the mid­dle part of my boot so I knew ex­actly where the ball was go­ing,” adds the for­mer Eng­land tal­is­man. “Think­ing about it now, it’s quite amus­ing re­mem­ber­ing the goal­keeper try­ing to save it. One in 100 goes on tar­get, but one in 1,000 goes right in the top cor­ner. Luck­ily, that one did.” How did he cel­e­brate in front of the Gal­low­gate End? Right arm in the air, wheel­ing away...

Alan Shearer is part of the BBC’S pun­ditry team for the World Cup

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