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Doing Alan Shearer justice?

6 years ago

Newcastle fans will soon be able to marvel at a nine foot statue of Alan Shearer – our record goal scorer and all round nice guy, BBC pundit and club legend, in case you weren’t familiar with his work!

This giant sculpture has been in the pipeline for a while now and we’ll see his likeness take pride of place just next to the Gallowgate end, where many a shot and header was exquisitely planted. Geordie Royalty, as it were.

Shearer deserves it. Make no mistake about it. That bloke could have gone to Manchester United and won a bucket full of medals, but instead he opted to return home and play for the club he supported as a kid. We’ll never see his like again. How we could have used him during that relegation run in – as a player, not a manager though.

As the wearer of the number nine jersey this was a guy who embarked on a ten year goal scoring odyssey that saw him strike 206 times in our colours. I didn’t think he’d quite make Milburn’s record, but my word, he got there. There were some stunners too (goals, not birds). It was only a year or so after he’d hung up his boots that I stopped to think and realised just how good he was, and that I’d been privileged enough to witness that era.

The statue has been crafted by the same guy who did Sir Bobby Robson’s. A sculptor called Tom Maley from Morpeth. It’s been cast over in China and then it’ll be shipped over here.

Now this is the point where I may get some stick, and this is just my own opinion I grant you. Others may differ in their view, and far be it from me to become some sort of art critic….but…

I really don’t like this Shearer statue. There, I’ve said it.

When I first saw the pictures last year I’d hoped the artist may have gone back to the drawing board, but that appears not to be the case.

I don’t think it looks anything like Alan Shearer. The face has the appearance of Shearer if he’d had a Spitting Image puppet done of him. There’s a shade of Bobby Davro in there too. Even the hairline is wrong.

Shearer was famed for wheeling away, one arm raised in the air when he had found the back of the net. This has him with a finger pointing skyward, giving the appearance of being on the dance floor at a wedding after a few too many beers. The Gangnam Style craze from the summer of 2012 springs to mind.

I never once saw a Alan Shearer goal celebration where he had his finger up like an umpire in a test match giving someone out LBW.

The statue may grow on me though. They often do. I never said a word at the time but my initial reaction to Sir Bobby’s was not that positive. I absolutely adore it now. When I was a bairn in the 1980s and they put Jackie Milburn outside McDonald’s on Northumberland Street I can still remember, even at the tender age of 13, thinking it was a bad likeness. Today, it’s my favourite statue in the city.

I guess I will just have to wait and see what Shearer’s actually looks like when it’s up on its plinth. It could be a grower, but at this moment in time I’m just not taken by it.



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