Alan Shearer signs off in style at St James' Park
NEWCASTLE, England, May 12 (Reuters) Alan Shearer signed off with one of his trademark celebrations at St James' Park as the curtain came down on the career of one of English football's most successful strikers.
The moment that Newcastle United supporters have been dreading at last arrived last night when they finally had to say goodbye to their talismanic skipper and they did so in the noisiest fashion imaginable.
The 35-year-old former England captain bowed out after 10 years' of impressive record-breaking service for his local club in a testimonial between his own select team and Scottish champions Celtic.
More than 50,000 people converged on the stadium to pay tribute to Shearer who said the proceeds of the testimonial would go to a number of charities and good causes that were set to benefit to the tune of a combined 1 million pounds.
Shearer, tipped by many pundits to become Newcastle's manager in the future, was joined by his three young children as he led out his team for the last time.
Unfortunately, he was only capable of the briefest of cameos due to the knee injury that had forced his premature retirement from competitive football and hobbled off the field just 14 seconds after kicking off the match.
Shearer returned to the fray in injury time with the two sides pegged together at 2-2 and for the last time he played a decisive role.
This time - with the last kick of the match - Shearer beat David Marshall with a penalty in front of the adoring fans at the Gallowgate End of the famous old stadium.
Forced to opt for precision rather than his customary power, Shearer sent the goalkeeper the wrong way and Newcastle saw that famous right-arm raised aloft in celebration for the last time.