Players | Managers | Clubs | Grounds | National Teams | Leagues & Cups
    The Beautiful Game
    Football Stories


28/07/97 v Chelsea 0-0 Friendly at Everton's Goodison Park

This was the game in which Alan Shearer broke his ankle.

"I was on the bench for this one recovering from an injury and Al went down awkwardly. You knew straight away it was a bad one. He just lay there still, which is usually a bad sign. Les was down in London that weekend about to sign for Spurs and when the injury happened Dalglish and Freddie Fletcher tried desperately to get him back. I remember Les phoning us when we were on the bus after the game trying to find out what was happening. To be honest, we thought he should tell Fletcher to stuff it and that they should never have let him go in the first place. In the end he did just that and I think most professionals would have done the same, although Les never wanted to leave Newcastle. The club cocked it up badly.

"A couple of weeks later it was Alan's birthday and we thought we'd do something special for him as he was in pot (plaster). The usual stripper idea was discounted but I had the idea of getting my sister to try and wind him up. It worked....

"We went to a restaurant in Durham - about 12 of us with our partners. To start with my sister, Michelle, went up to him and asked him for his autograph which was no problem, you expect that when you're out. However, while he was signing the autograph she said, "I'm sure you weren't with her last time I saw you in Julies," pointing at Alan's wife. Al just stared as he handed back the signature and then laughed nervously.

"Later on she returned with a camera and asked if she could have a picture with Alan. He was starting to get a bit fed up but agreed. As they all grinned for the photo she started to tickle the back of Alan's neck in front of his wife. He was starting to get really angry. Alan pulled me to the side and said, "You've gotta help me here, she's driving me up the flamin' wall." I was desperately trying to keep a straight face and not blow everything. At that point, Al's wife (who was in on the joke from the start) came up to him and gave him a right dressing down, asking who the girl was and saying he was ruining the night. Al was stunned. He said: "Bloody hell, she never has a go at me in public - she usually waits until I'm home...".

"Once more Michelle returned, this time with a mobile phone, asking Alan to say hello to her Mum, who she claimed was his biggest fan. At this point Alan lost it and shouted at her to get out and leave him alone. So we got the manager to send a waiter in, claiming Michelle was calling the Police and that he had humiliated her and abused her but that if he apologised nicely she would forgive him. Al was fuming and refused.

"Finally, Michelle said she just had one thing to say to him before she left and we persuaded Alan to listen, although he was still really mad. She marched right up to him and just said, "Gotcha!!", presenting him with a gold Oscar-like trophy. Al was speechless as we rolled on the floor howling with laughter. All he could say was, "You b*stards!! I knew it. I bloody knew it!". Michelle and her mate, stayed and had a great night, Alan just kept shaking his head...."

All quotes are taken from John Beresford's interviews for