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Last Updated: Friday, 1 April, 2005, 08:03 GMT 09:03 UK
Shearer plays on with coach role
Alan Shearer
Newcastle striker Alan Shearer has confirmed he will postpone his retirement to stay on next season and become player-coach at the club.

Shearer, 34, insisted he would quit in May, but has now agreed a contract extension to stay for another year.

The former England captain is just nine goals short of Jackie Milburn's club-record total of 200 goals.

He said: "I went through a hell of a lot of people and the response was unanimous, that I should play on."

But Shearer denied that Milburn's record was a motivating factor.

"I stayed on because I think the club is moving in the right direction, not because I want to break the record," said Shearer.

And chairman Freddy Shepherd revealed that Shearer would join the back-room staff next season.

I have contributed a lot more than I did last season or even the season before
Alan Shearer

Shepherd said: "It is the news every fan wanted to hear, and also the news the board and the manager Graeme Souness wanted to hear.

"His new contract will read 'player-coach' and we are looking forward to another year of Alan Shearer at Newcastle."

Shearer added: "I believe I'm making the right decision. I probably haven't scored as many goals as I have before, but I feel I have contributed a lot more than I did last season or even the season before.

"The people I spoke to felt I was playing too well to retire. I admit I was a bit hasty and I felt I couldn't retire just because I said I would.

"I'm carrying on because my performances have been at a level I've been happy with, and more important what the manager and chairman have been happy with."

Shearer's U-turn was influenced by Newcastle's improvement under manager Souness.

Souness has made a point of trying to get Shearer to change his mind since replacing Sir Bobby Robson as the club's manager in September.

His need became more pressing following the public row with Craig Bellamy, which saw the Wales forward move to Celtic on loan in January, and the increasing doubts about the value of Patrick Kluivert to the team.

Shearer has scored 18 goals for Newcastle this season, helping them reach the FA Cup semi-finals and the quarter-finals of the Uefa Cup.

He announced in February 2000 that he would retire from playing international football after Euro 2000 and despite pressure to change his mind, bowed out of the England squad that June, having scored 30 goals in 63 appearances for his country.

Shearer began his professional football career with Southampton in 1988, scoring a hat-trick on his full debut.

He moved to Blackburn in 1992 before joining his home-town club Newcastle in 1996 for a then world record of 15m.

He has scored 364 goals in 681 appearances in club football.

Watch Alan Shearer's press conference

Shearer - England's best striker?
01 Apr 05 |  Newcastle United

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