Alan Shearer hilariously jokes about treatment from the BBC
The former England striker returns to screens today as part go the BBC’s coverage of England’s Euro 2020 quarter-final clash against Ukraine. Regarded as a legend for his time at Newcastle, Shearer remains the Premier League’s record goalscorer and was inducted into the Hall of Fame earlier this year. But looking back at his childhood, the 50-year-old recalled a chant he would often hear in the stands about former striker Tony Cunningham that now makes him feel uncomfortable.
Speaking to Ian Wright during the ‘No Room for Racism’ campaign in April, he said: “When I went to watch football [at] Newcastle in the early Eighties, when I was 12, 13, 14, we had a black centre-forward, Tony Cunningham.
“And one of the songs the Gallowgate End used to sing was ‘he’s black, he’s broon, he’s playing for the Toon’.
“There were thousands [who] sang it. He acknowledged he clapped, he smiled. That was his way of saying thanks, I guess.”
Cunningham spent two years on Tyneside after joining in 1985, and was regularly serenaded with the song.
Alan Shearer questioned a chant he heard as a youngster
Newcastle fans are said to have chanted the song
Wright questioned how it made Shearer feel, to which he replied: “Well, I never thought anything of it at the time, but then you look back now and think, wow.
“He’s black, he’s broon, he’s playing for the Toon..how on Earth can thousands of people sing that?”
Wright chipped in: “What they’re doing Al, without being too deep about trying to explain it, is it’s bringing you back to just a colour.”
But not everyone agreed, replying to the comments online.
One claimed: “Our modern woke society has lost the plot when it comes to racism. The use of a word is not inherently racist. It is the intent behind it.”
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Former Newcastle striker Tony Cunningham
Another added: “Shearer sounds like he’s losing the plot and becoming a woke far-left political appeaser.”
And a third claimed: “The left and PC brigade can twist anything from the past into a form of abuse.
“In my experience real racists are few and far between but they do exist and need to be dealt with firmly.”
However, others agreed it was important to learn from the past.
One said: “In time there will be things we do now that will be seen as wrong in the future.
“History is what we learn by. We can’t change the past, we can learn and move on.”
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Ian Wright was angered by the chant
And a second added: “Yes PC culture is out of hand, but acting like there isn’t a serious race problem in the UK is dangerous.”
And another summed it up: “The last thing black people need is patronising white people.”
Writing in his BBC column after England’s emphatic 2-0 domination of Germany on Tuesday, Shearer said it was “nights like this that allow us all to dream”.
He added: It felt like there were 140,000 fans inside Wembley on Tuesday, let alone 40,000, and the team responded to them – especially in the second half.
“There was an absolutely incredible atmosphere, a very good England performance… and the perfect result.
Alan Shearer is a Newcastle legend
“There will be more than 60,000 there for the semi-final if we can get past Ukraine in the quarter-finals in Rome on Saturday, and playing in front of those amazing fans again is one heck of an incentive to make it back.
“If we are lucky enough to make it to the final that will be our sixth game at Wembley at Euro 2020.
“I don’t think we could have wished for a much better scenario than this one, but it’s more than just having the home advantage that gives me confidence about England’s chances of winning this tournament now.”
A record sum of almost £5million has been bet with Betfair on hot 15/8 favourites England winning Euro 2020, as more of the public believe football is coming home than ever before.