Alan Shearer began his professional career with Southampton back in 1986, spending two years in their youth ranks before being promoted to the first team squad in 1988 where he made his debut as a substitute against Chelsea in the First Division. His first professional start came two weeks afterwards and it was a game to remember for the future England striker as he claimed an impressive hat-trick to help the Saints to a 4-2 victory over Millwall at The Dell. In scoring this hat-trick he became the youngest player to ever score a hat-trick in the top flight of English football, breaking the record held by Jimmy Greaves for 30 years.
In his time on the South Coast, Shearer became known for being a strong player due to his consistent hold-up play which then allowed those in and around him to play off the forward and get into attacking areas. After a number of successful seasons for the Saints, he was rewarded with the supporters' Player of the Year in 1991.
The Geordie striker was first introduced to International football in the same year as he represented England under-21s at the annual Toulon Tournament where he was voted as the 'star of the tournament' after finding the back of the net seven times in just four matches. He would later earn a call-up to the senior squad after an outstanding season in 1991/92.
It is quite hard to name the finest moment of Alan Shearer's career as he has achieved so much in his time as a footballer. One notable achievement would clearly be winning the Premier League title with Blackburn Rovers in 1994/95. There was great excitement at the start of that season with the arrival of Chris Sutton to partner Shearer in attack. The duo proved to be as lethal as supporters initially thought as they scored 49 goals between them, Shearer scoring 34 of those for the Lancashire club. They clinched the title from Manchester United on the final day of the season and the duo Shearer and Sutton claimed the nickname SAS for their strong attacking performances that season.
Another impressive achievement for Shearer was winning the Golden Boot and claiming a place in the team of tournament following on from Euro 1996 in England. Going into the tournament Shearer had something of an international nightmare as he failed to score in the 12 games prior to the Championship opener at Wembley, albeit England did not have to play any qualifiers as they were the host nation. Suddenly Shearer came alive once the tournament got underway scoring in every group game. He would score again in the semi-finals against Germany however England went out in that infamous penalty shoot-out to miss out on a home final.
It also has to be a proud achievement for Shearer to become the Premier League's all-time record goalscorer, and at 206 goals it looks like a hard task to be matched in the future.
People now know Alan Shearer best for being a regular pundit on BBC's Match of the Day, and he has been a member of the BBC Sport team pretty much since his retirement from the game in 2006 with his first involvement in media being during the coverage of World Cup in 2006.
This is what Shearer is best known for in an active role now, but there are a number of other notable and lesser-known roles that the former England striker has to his name including having the Honorary Freedom of the City of Newcastle. This was given to him in 2000 as a recognition of his strong leadership skills when captaining Newcastle United as well as England. Shearer's captaincy roles were believed to have helped raise the profile of Newcastle as a city and just a year later he was awarded hi OBE in the 2001 Queen's Honours list. This was changed to a CBE in 2016 after his services to the North East of England community.
Shearer was made a Doctor of Civil Law by Northumbria University with the University vice-chancellor stating that "throughout his career Alan Shearer has been hard-working, committed, disciplined and focused in his endeavours, fighting back from career-threatening injuries with great determination and courage." Shearer was then also awarded with the same status from Newcastle University in 2009.
The former professional footballer also has royal duties to attend to after being commissioned as the Deputy Lieutenant of Northumberland after a nomination from the Duchess of Northumberland, a position that requires approval from the Queen. What this role essentially consists of is Shearer having to full in for the Duchess should she ever be unavailable to attend to her duties.
Shearer also deserves praise for the amount of charity work that he has carried out, some of which also took place during his playing days. Since retirement he had a testimonial match which was played at a packed St James' Park and an incredible 14 charities had money raised for them. Some of the money raised was used to help with the completion of the Alan Shearer Centre, a care facility in the city. Alan has also founded the Alan Shearer Academy Scholarship which allows young footballers in the North East to try and reach their potential and make it in the professional game.
In 2008 Shearer helped to raise £300,000 for Sport Relief as he rode a bike with Adrian Chiles, and that same year he was involved in the Soccer Aid match at Wembley where he scored twice whilst raising money for Unicef. A year later, Shearer needed little persuasion to take to the field at St James' Park for a final time as he featured in the Sir Bobby Robson Trophy to raise money for the Sir Bobby Robson foundation where Shearer is now a patron.