Footballers being on the end of some banter from opposing fans goes on all the time but it doesn’t often happen when they’re retired and working as a pundit.
Well, this happened to Alan Shearer, who was mocked by Manchester United fans as they tore apart his old club Newcastle.
Shearer, who is the Premier League’s all-time leading goalscorer, was working on commentary for Amazon Prime but was forced to listen to songs about him from the Old Trafford faithful.
Chants of ‘cheer up Alan Shearer’ went around the stands during the match and Shearer finally decided to speak up around an hour into the match.
He told TV viewers: “I wish the Manchester United fans would stop singing my name. I’m being very complimentary to them here.”
It’s not clear why Shearer was being picked on by the Man United fans but it could be related to the time when he turned down the opportunity to join the Red Devils.
It is understood Shearer nearly became a Man United player in 1996 but former United chairman Martin Edwards said Blackburn’s owner at the time, Jack Walker, put the brakes on the transfer.
Edwards said: “Shearer had been to Alex Ferguson’s house, spoke to him and assured him he wanted to come.
“The problem, I think, was with the chairman of Blackburn, Jack Walker, who was not a great fan of Manchester United, (we were) local rivals, both Lancashire clubs. He did not want Alan Shearer to come to Manchester United.
“Shearer was quite close to Walker, who was like a father figure to him, and I don’t think Alan wanted to upset him by coming to United. And I’m not sure Jack would have let him come anyway, whereas he was happy for Alan to go to Newcastle, I don’t think that was a threat to him.”
However, the reason Shearer was being mocked could be a lot more simple.
Newcastle made a number of errors as they suffered a 4-1 defeat.
They actually took the lead through Matty Longstaff’s well-taken goal but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men were 3-1 up at half time.
Anthony Martial levelled the scores before Mason Greenwood capitalised on Fabian Schar’s dreadful ball across goal to turn the game around.
Marcus Rashford headed in just before the break and then Martial latched onto Longstaff’s woeful backpass before dinking the ball coolly beyond Martin Dubravka.
The Red Devils are just four points off a Champions League spot after Chelsea surprisingly lost at home to Southampton earlier on Boxing Day.