Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Big Al, Aged 12; RARE VIDEO SHOWS SHEARER WINNING SILVERWARE AT ST JAMES'S

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Big Al, Aged 12; RARE VIDEO SHOWS SHEARER WINNING SILVERWARE AT ST JAMES'S

Article excerpt

Byline: By ALASTAIR CRAIG

WHERE Big Al narrowly failed, Little Al triumphed.

Toon legend Alan Shearer's greatest regret was never lifting a major trophy in the black and white stripes.

Two FA Cup final defeats at Wembley in the late-1990s broke the Gosforth lad's heart.

But rare video footage, obtained by the Chronicle, may jog the memory of Newcastle United's trophy-starved but most prolific striker.

Aged just 12, and already showing a killer eye for goal, a pint-sized Shearer starred in a forgotten cup win in front of a packed Gallowgate End.

Playing up front in the final of the coveted Co-op Cup for Newcastle City Schools' victorious under-13s side, Little Al was living his dream.

And as this picture and camcorder clips on our website today reveal, Shearer once had his hands on some silverware in the famous black and white stripes at St James's, albeit 26 long years ago.

Bill Bailey's son Stephen captained the schoolboy Shearer to the glorious cup win at St James's Park in 1983, beating arch rivals Middlesbrough 1-0 in the decider.

And the proud dad still replays the day, caught on camera, when his central defender son formed the backbone of the six-a-side team with a Toon legend in the making.

Stephen, then 13, can be heard shouting instructions at his striker, who was to become the most expensive player in the world.

Stephen, now 39, went on to play with Shearer at Wallsend Boys Club, and travelled to Southampton with his pal for trails, but faced heartbreak when Shearer was taken on and he returned home.

"Alan was dedicated to football, even as a kid," said Stephen, a civil servant at Longbenton's HM Revenue & Customs office.

"It doesn't surprise me that he made it to the top. He had his mind fixed on it and nothing would stop him.

"It was incredible playing as St James's Park that day, although none of his team mates really knew what was going to follow in the coming years. …

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