Sheffield Wednesday: How Alan Shearer might have signed for the Owls in 1992 instead of Blackburn Rovers
Alan Shearer’s rejection of Manchester United on two occasions are well-known tales – but may have come close to signing for Sheffield Wednesday too.
Former Wednesday boss Trevor Francis has revealed he was determined to sign Shearer from Southampton during his time at Hillsborough.
In his new autobiography ‘One In A Million’ Francis reveals he pushed former Wednesday chairman Dave Richards to lodge a bid for a striker who would go on to become the top scorer in Premier League history.
He wrote: “When I was at Sheffield Wednesday we had Hirst, Bright and Nigel Jemson as striking options.
“I watched Alan Shearer playing for Southampton and have never been more certain about a player, bearing in mind that when you are considering any player you can never be 100 per cent sure about how it will turn out.
“I was never more certain about a player than I was about Alan Shearer.
“I remember at the time I rang Alan to ask him if he would be interested in coming to Sheffield Wednesday.
“The fee was £3m. I went to our chairman, Dave Richards, and said, ‘Listen, it’s a lot of money but I have never been more certain about a player – I guarantee that in a couple of years’ time, if you wanted to, you would be able to double your money.’
“We did not sign him and he went to Blackburn Rovers for around £4m in 1996 and then, after helping Rovers win the Premiership, went to Newcastle United for an enormous fee of well over £15m.
“Whilst there was no interest from the Wednesday board, my business partner at the time, property developer Nick Rogers, who was not a football man, said, ‘Between us can’t we buy him?’
“I told him that the rules meant that you could not do that in English football.
“I remember Carlos Tevez at West Ham United being owned by a third party but in 1993 that was not an option.”
Francis’ autobiography ‘One In A Million’ is available now.