Alan Shearer thanks Sunderland for putting him on path to greatness | inside World Soccer

Alan Shearer thanks Sunderland for putting him on path to greatness

Thursday, November 23, 2017

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Premier League and Newcastle United goalscoring legend Alan Shearer says he owes his development to Sunderland.

But rather than Newcastle's arch rivals, the Sunderland which kick-started him on the route to football stardom was sports teacher Graham.

Shearer was visiting Grange First School in Gosforth on Wednesday and was reunited with his ironically-named former teacher Graham Sunderland.

Alan Shearer meets up with his former sports teacher Graham Sunderland
Photo: @alanshearer

And Shearer, who played for the under-9 team at Grange First School in Gosforth, thanked Mr Sunderland for helping him on the way to his record-breaking career.

The Toon legend said in the Chronicle Live:

You couldn't write that script could you, a teacher called Mr Sunderland who encouraged me so much.

Football was always a passion of mine since I was young and Mr Sunderland who I recognised today was sure that I should play football, so Mr Sunderland put me on the right path.

I will always be eternally grateful to the school and its teachers for the great start they gave me to my education and first steps towards my football career.

One of the main reasons that I made it in football and now I'm lucky enough to talk on TV about it is because of what I was taught at this school.

What I would say to young people is that 50 percent of what happened with me was talent, the other 50 percent is attitude, the willingness to learn, to listen and to understand.

Mr Sunderland, now 72 and who later became headmaster at Grange, added:

He was an average pupil and he was in the school football team, but there were other players at that time who appeared to be equally good as he was. It was a bit later on when he went to middle school where he really came on.

I've not spoken to him since he left. I'm pleased to be back in my old stomping ground where I was both a teacher and later head. Alan has made us proud of his old school.

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