Is it really a generation ago?

It was one of those JFK, Princess Diana or 9/11 moments for me and probably thousands of other Newcastle United fans. However, on this occasion the circumstances were far from tragic.

It’s late July in Benidorm 1996, I’m 25 years old and sitting round the pool with a couple of mates on our annual lads holiday.  We’d lost a couple to marriage that summer, one who got married the day Gazza scored that raker against the Jocks, which I’ve never let him forget – tucking into our chicken dinner at the time Dunston’s finest was putting it in the net.  Another had become besotted and also missed that Gazza goal, as he was sitting in the airport waiting to fly off on a romantic holiday for 2, you know who you are!! Four of us remained, not quite musketeers.

Anyway, back in Spain this bloke who we’d said ‘Alreet’ to a few times but hadn’t really spoken to (he had the biggest half-finished Man Utd emblem/Cantona tattoo covering his entire back) shouts over:-

“You lads must be happy this morning”.

Me – “Why’s that like?”

Him – “Have you not heard?”

Me – “Heard what?”

Him – “You’ve signed Shearer”

Me – “Aye, whatever mate”.

His friend – “Honestly lads, you have”.

So after a few moments of thinking we’re being taken advantage of again by the lovely people of Manchester, we seem to get the consensus that it might be true.  No mobile phones then to check instantly with those in the know back home.  No SKY sports in the apartments but a pay TV in the room.

So we quickly leg it to the room, via the lifts as we were on the 18th floor.  50 pesetas (Old School Euros) in the meter and Eurosports News confirms it.  Shearer has indeed signed for the Toon.  We sit and watch the looped news until the 50 shekels runs out, while I get a photo taken with SHEARER 9 in suncream on my back (I still claim I was first to have that honour).  Then straight back to the pool bar for a celebratory round of beer, despite the hangover from the previous night we were trying to get rid of.  Best hangover cure ever.

The next day we gladly handed over £3 (or whatever the extortionate rate was) for the Spanish/English paper that confirms it in print.

I have a more vague recollection of when Keegan signed as a player, although started taking a bit more notice once the first season ticket arrived courtesy of my old man.  I was too young to appreciate that signing fully but this was Shearer, surely the final piece in the jigsaw to clinching some silverware.  Hindsight is a wonderful thing as it turned out but those remaining days in Benidorm in ’96 were spent with the chest puffed out a bit further, the smile a bit wider and loads of people wanting to talk to us about our new signing.

How times have changed in the transfer market for NUFC.  Will we ever see a signing like that again, or will the frugal policy currently employed prove to be more successful?

I’ll tell you with the benefit of hindsight again in another 16 years’ time.  Bloody Hell, I’ll be a kick in the arse off 60 by then!!

Surely a League Cup win at least in that time isn’t too much to ask for, is it?

If you need inspiration for a birthday (or any kind of) present why not get them the new DVD, or something equally class from The Mag’s Amazon Store, or why not treat yourself!

  • Willywonka

    Me and my mates were in Magaluf. We’d just got back to the aparatments after an English breakfast when there was a tannoy announcement round the pool. Shearer had signed for……..Newcastle. Queue bedlam round the pool, we didn’t know there was as many Geordies in our apartment block. We all went out that night in our Toon tops, a couple of Mackems shouted something over to us as we walked to the first bar. “Aye, enjoy watching Alex Rae next season” one of the lads retorted.

    • tynetug

       so your the one who saw a mackem in Magaluf

  • Funbagsmcgee

    Watching the olympics in bed when a newsflash popped up with a picture of the great man. Obviously with the speculation that summer, instantly realised he’d been transferred, which the title of newsflash confirmed and so i was scanning the screen furiously expecting to see that it was to Man ure and not believing my eyes when it miraculously stated that he’d come home. Couldn’t take it in, amazing moment..

  • moggy

    Gran Canaria on holiday, found out on the night after a friend phoned home, capped off the following morning by a makem reading the Sun newspaper by the pool and exclaiming to his wife “the bastards have signed fucking Shearer”
    sweet music the SMB

  • Alanrogers050

    I was sat in the ops room in Bosnia.. Watching the tv and remembering Gary lineker saying “yes you heard me correctly, shearer signs for Newcastle united, not Manchester”… It made my tour!! I immediately called my dad to buy me a shearer no 9 shirt and send it out to me before the charity shield… Well it actually arrived in the back of a lynx helicopter on the day of the competition.. I wore it with pride and then had to suffer the abuse as we were destroyed lol…

  • Speedysherpa

    I just got off a 36 hour bus journey to Amritsar from Ladakh, got inot the hotel and turned on the very fuzzy TV….had to adjust the aerial to make sure I wasn’t seeing things 

  • Howla

    I was in Ibiza in a same state, with a load of sour faced Mancs who couldn’t believe he turned them down, I can still remember the Shearer’s coming home song ringing around the bars for the entire fortnight :D

    • me mam and dad were on hoilday there at the time

  • The snooker club in eastleigh just outside southampton 

  • B8m4n

    I was also on holiday. An 11yo kid in Albufeira portugal. I went to planet football with my toon top and asked for 9 shearer on the back. They guy in the shop laughed as he didn’t believe me that we had signed him. Next night shearer t-shirts in various style, they must have made a fortune that summer!! lol

  • GarageFlower

    Ditto Howla’s post but we were in Kavos,Corfu(the biggest shithole of a resort I’ve ever been to!)

  • Greener

    ASDA in Washington

  • Tone Army

    I was in Wales at the time, surrounded by mancs in utter disbelief that he would shun them for lowly Newcastle, could not quite beleive it myself to be honest.

    Seems a shame nearly everyone who has posted so far was nowhere near home at the time.

  • jinkyjimnufc

    None of these exotic places for me – I was driving up the A1 past Washington services with the news coming over Five-Live and the top news topic was ‘Shearer signs for Newcastle’. This resulted in me driving whilst waving my arms in the air and looking in the review mirror the guy in the car behind was doing exactly the same – just brill.

  • Thewaughster

    Tokyo, Japan…Geordies were thin n the ground!

  • Jarra

    I was in th car park of Castle Buildings, Stormont.  The peace process was slowly taking place and as the worlds press started to gather by the security gates to get pictures of the emerging Sinn Fein crowd AKA IRA, making their way towards the press.

    I, dressed in my B/W footie shirt shouted out  “your all in the wrong place, you should be at SJP, we have just signed Shearer”

    You should have seen the look on the IRA faces, if looks could kill.

    The press thought it was funny but took no pictures……I hope.

  • WalkerMag

    Scottish Gas offices, Granton, Edinburgh

    Id had a bet on with one of the office mancs ( strictly tongue in cheek like ) that the lion would sign for us above Manure. sitting in the office on that day , one of the lads watlzes across with a beaming smile & told me to go & see the manc to claim me fiver cos we’d just signed Shearer
    drank some beer that night..

  • Peterelittle

    On Sellafield erecting a scaffold working with a Blackburn supporter who was gutted to say the least  

  • John

    i was in benedorm aswell and remember doing a conga up the main street from the lochness pub, singing walking in a keegan wonderland, unforgettable day when newcastle were the biggest news in the football world we even had barcelona fans jealous !!

  • Jarrapara

    Robbie You just don’t look right with hair !!!

    For some reason I had a day off & was over at my Mam & Dads very early. It was a lovely sunny day & the front door was open. My Dad had popped out for a paper…in his Replica Fairs Cup Toon Top. Suddenly all I could hear was someone (My Dad) shouting Shearer Shearer ! I went to to the front Door to see him running up the street (he was 60+ at the time) with the Morning Paper held aloft  & Smiling like a Cheshire Cat! He went straight across the road & knocked on the neighbours door…a Makem, to taunt him…priceless! He never misses a match to this day…his ashes are scattered at SJP :) 

  • Pete

    I was stuck in a hotel in Ottowa for an ‘business’ meeting that my employer had instruced me to attend. My wife called with the news – she hates football, but even she knew how important this was.