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FA chief David Davies
"We did have an inkling earlier in the week"
 real 28k

Sunday, 27 February, 2000, 09:22 GMT
Doubters 'forced Shearer out'

Shearer has his doubters, despite scoring 28 England goals

England captain Alan Shearer's decision to retire from international football was influenced by doubters among England fans, say soccer experts.

The media have had a go at him and you can put up with that but I think once your own supporters, and I'm talking about England supporters, starting doubting you, then you've got a problem
Alan Hansen
The international striker, with 28 goals in 57 England appearances, stunned the football world by announcing that this summer's Euro 2000 championships would be his swansong.

Reports on his decision have dominated the front and back pages of the newspapers.

Shearer, 29, said he had to pace himself to give Newcastle full value over the remaining four years of his contract there, saying he was giving the England manager time to plan for the 2002 World Cup.

But BBC Match Of The Day presenter and former England skipper Gary Lineker said Shearer's feelings that he had been "under appreciated" by fans influenced his decision.

Keegan Keegan tried to persuade Shearer to change his mind
Fellow pundit Alan Hansen also said the decision to bow out of international football had been brought on by "doubters" among England fans.

He said: "I'm surprised to a certain extent because I think he could have gone on a bit but certainly I don't think there's been a top class striker with his record who has had so many doubters.

"The media have had a go at him and you can put up with that but I think once your own supporters, and I'm talking about England supporters, starting doubting you, then you've got a problem."

Keegan's choice

Shearer has been an automatic selection for England manager Kevin Keegan despite criticisms of his goal-scoring form.

It was Keegan as Newcastle manager who paid a then world record 15m to bring the striker to the club.

Shearer's records
Youngest League hat-trick (for So'ton, 1988)
First to 100 Prem'ship goals
Most expensive British transfer (15m, Newcastle)
Most goals in one game (five v Sheff Utd, 1999)
Keegan revealed he had attempted to persuade Shearer to change his mind but insisted that "everyone should respect his decision. I certainly do".

"Of course I was very sad and I tried to persuade him to change his mind. But I know that what makes Alan Shearer special is that he is his own man," he added.

Shearer said in a statement: "I want everyone to understand that I am not walking away from a challenge. I am hugely patriotic and my time as England captain has made me incredibly proud.

"However, I realise that if I want to give Newcastle value for money in the remaining four years of my contract with them, I will need to pace myself a bit more than I am able to do at the moment."

He added: "I am not saying that I would never play for England again - if there was an injury crisis or real need for me to help out, I would always be honoured to answer the call.

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See also:
26 Feb 00 |  Football
Shearer to quit after Euro 2000
26 Feb 00 |  Football
Shearer: Single-minded goal machine
05 Jun 99 |  Football
Shearer defiant before half century
12 Jan 98 |  UK
Shearer for PM?
20 Feb 00 |  Football
Shearer looks to future not past
13 May 98 |  UK
Fans crown Shearer Angel of the North
Links to other Football stories are at the foot of the page.