Book Review: Alan Shearer – Fifty Defining Fixtures by Tony Matthews
This look at the career of Alan Shearer in the Fifty Defining Fixtures series from Amberley Publishing was released in 2016 and this website has reviewed a number of them including the editions on Brian Clough, Ryan Giggs, David Beckham and Jose Mourinho.
And to repeat what has been said before in those reviews, these books are not intended as a full biographical analysis of a player or manager’s career, but rather an overview which the author illustrates through their choice of key games. And in that regard, there is a place for this type of formulaic book, as long as they are done well.
Unfortunately, in the Shearer version, as with some of the others, the result is a bit of a mixed bag. The Introduction and Fact File are beneficial enough, but facts and figures are only useful if they are accurate. The author of this edition also produced the Ryan Giggs book and it appears that a key fact of the Manchester United legend found its way into the Shearer story, as Matthews states the Newcastle United star “played in 1,031 senior games for club and country”, figures which actually relate to Giggs sparkling career.
Again, comparing this edition with the Ryan Giggs book, both suffer from the same overuse of the exclamation mark and typos aplenty, leaving the reader with the impression that this would have benefited from decent proof-reading and editing.
It is ultimately a huge shame, because for a generation of young football fans, who only recognise Shearer as a BBC pundit on Match of the Day, this could have been a good introduction to a player who was certainly a brilliant centre-forward for Southampton, Blackburn Rovers, Newcastle United and England.