Premier League legend Alan Shearer has declared snubbing Manchester United the “best decision” he made in his career.
The Newcastle hero was inducted in the top-flight’s Hall Of Fame this week, with his 260 goals over 14 years yet to be beaten.
He helped Blackburn to a sole Premier League title in 1995 before heading to St James’ Stadium to score 206 goals in more than 400 appearances.
But Shearer’s career could have taken a very different turn as he was “90 per-cent certain” he would join United in 1996 before a disagreement with Sir Alex Ferguson on penalty duties sparked a U-turn.
And the Premier League all-time top scorer has reflected with delight on his final choice to play for hometown side Newcastle.
Speaking after his induction, the Magpies hero said: “The No9 shirt in Newcastle is very important, very special.
“I watched No9s when I was a youngster in Newcastle growing up, it was always my dream to play for them and have that shirt.
“I was aware of the interest, and also the interest of Manchester United.
“I spoke to both managers at the time, Alex Ferguson and Kevin Keegan, and I was very close to going to United.
“In fact I’d chosen a house I was going to buy and then I thought ‘you know what, I’m going to go back home’.
“I left home in 1985 to go to Southampton to start my career.
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“It had been 10 or 11 years and I thought ‘you know what, I’m going to go back home’.
“It meant that much to me and I wanted to have some great years at Newcastle where I could still play and not go back in my thirties and not see the best of me.
“It was the best decision I ever made, I know I would have won more trophies at United but the ten years I had there were unbelievably special, it was everything I hoped and wanted and more.”
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