Alan Shearer

Euro 1996: The story of Alan Shearer's Golden Boot win

Former England footballer Alan Shearer
Lineker, Shearer & Kane have all won Golden Boots at major tournaments

Betfair recently announced the signing of new ambassador Alan Shearer, so we decided to cast our minds back to when the Premier League's record goalscorer won the Golden Boot at Euro 1996.

  • Alan Shearer signs on to be new Betfair ambassador!

  • Shearer one of three Englishman to win Golden Boot at major International tournament

  • Newcastle legend netted five times in home European Championships

Euro 1996 was a tournament of firsts.

It was the first time England had hosted a European Championships. It was the first time the tournament involved as many of 16 teams (4 groups of 4), an increased number from Euro 1994 (8 sides). It was the first time three points were awarded for a victory, and it was the very first time a major tournament was decided via Golden Goal thanks to Oliver Bierhoff's winner against Czech Republic in extra-time.

It was also the first time we all heard 'Football's Coming Home' by Baddiel and Skinner. The anthem of anthems.

England had beaten out Austria, Netherlands, Portugal and Greece in the bidding process to host the tournament, and used eight stadiums for the fixtures - Wembley, Old Trafford, Elland Road, Anfield, Villa Park, Hillsborough, St James' Park and the City Ground.

The Three Lions were then placed in Group A, alongside Switzerland, Netherlands and Scotland.

Shearer's group stage bonanza

By now, we know that Alan Shearer won the Golden Boot at Euro 1996, but how did he do it? Well, England only played five games at the tournament before being knocked out at the semi-final stage to Germany (again), and Shearer netted in four of them.

In another world, Shearer may not have even stepped foot on the pitch for England. The former Newcastle captain has long spoken of his admiration and gratitude for Terry Venables, who kept faith in him despite a 12-game goalless run for his country. There were cries for Shearer not to have a starting birth on the opening day.

However, you don't leave out Alan Shearer lightly, and Venables' faith was repaid from the very fist game.

Shearer would score the opening goal of the tournament in England's 1-1 draw with Switzerland, and never looked back from that moment in the 23rd minute. He netted in all three group stage games, banging in the Three Lions' first goal against Scotland on MD2 at Wembley; a match in which Gary McAllister missed a penalty after Shearer had scored, before Paul Gascoigne's famous goal sealed all three points.

England then hammered Netherlands in their final group game with both Alan Shearer and Teddy Sheringham netting twice in a 4-1 win. England's number 9 was now on four goals after only three group stage games.

Shearer has long said that night against the Dutch was his 'biggest and best' atmosphere he experienced in an England shirt.

Penalty shootout glory and semi-final heartache

England were paired with Spain in the quarter-finals and although the game finished 0-0 and Shearer wasn't able to add to his tally, he did bang in a penalty during a shootout victory for England as the Three Lions progressed 4-2 on spot-kicks to set up a repeat of their Italia '90 encounter with Germany. This time could be different.

Just three minutes into the game, who else but Alan Shearer opened the scoring to take his tally to five for the tournament. Shearer nipped in from a corner to head home and send Wembley into raptures. England though, conceded only 12 minutes later and despite hitting the woodwork in extra-time, and Gazza's nearly moment, the game was heading to penalties.

Who else but Alan Shearer stepped up first again for England to bury his penalty, and with both sides netting each of their first five, we went to sudden death.

Current England boss Gareth Southgate was the unfortunate man to miss the decisive spot-kick, something he managed to avenge 22 years later as he watched his England side beat Colombia on penalties at the World Cup in 2018.

Lineker, Shearer & Kane

It was a sad end to an amazing tournament in England, with Alan Shearer winning the Golden Boot in a home international tournament. He became then just the second Englishman to win a Golden Boot at either a World Cup or European Championships, after Gary Lineker's gong at Mexico '86. Harry Kane (World Cup 2018) would later join them.

Shearer though is the only one to do so at a European Championships.

Despite the disappointment of missing out on a Wembley final, Shearer would move to Newcastle from Blackburn after his heroics at Euro 1996 for a then world-record fee of £15m, before going on to become his boyhood club's record goalscorer with 206 goals, and to this day remains the highest goalscorer in Premier League history with 260 goals to his name.

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