Let’s be honest here – Newcastle United fans haven’t exactly had much to cheer recently. Despite being promoted back into the Premier League last season, their most recent transfer window was a farce. They’ve made a disastrous start to the season and inspirational manager Rafael Benitez is rumoured to be abandoning ship at any time.
It hasn’t always been like this for the Geordie faithful – while the Magpies have been somewhat of a yo-yo club as of late, only a few years ago they were one of England’s most powerful sides, dominant on home soil and on the continent, and St. James’s Park was home to some of the Premier League’s greats.
Here then, are five special moments that Newcastle fans would love to relive again.
#1 Alan Shearer joins Newcastle and breaks Jackie Milburn’s Goalscoring record
It’s a telling of the Mike Ashley era at Newcastle that the club haven’t broken their record transfer fee since the 2005/06 season – over a decade ago now – when they paid what now sounds like a paltry fee of £16m to bring Michael Owen to St. James’s Park. It wasn’t always like that. A decade before Owen signed, Newcastle shattered not only the English transfer record, but the world record too to bring local boy Alan Shearer back from Blackburn Rovers. And in 1996, £15m was a huge sum.
While Shearer didn’t deliver the Premier League title to Newcastle as the Geordie fans would’ve hoped, he did prove to be a monstrous success in the famous black-and-white shirt. Shearer had been a goalscoring machine while at Blackburn and despite some serious injuries during his Newcastle stint, he didn’t exactly slow down when it came to putting the ball in the back of the net. Shearer spent ten seasons there before his retirement, and in six of those, he broke the 20-goal mark.
His most outstanding achievement, though? February 4th, 2006 saw Shearer score a rather low-key goal for his standards, a toe-poke against Portsmouth. For Shearer though, it was anything but low-key, as it was his 201st goal for Newcastle, meaning he’d broken the 49-year old record of 200 goals scored by the legendary Jackie Milburn to become the Magpies’ all time leading scorer. Shearer ended up retiring with 206 goals for the club – a record that most likely will take a lot longer than 49 years to break.
Shearer’s goalscoring exploits – and his legendary 201st goal – are something that Newcastle fans would kill to relive today.