Euro 2020

Alan Shearer tells Gareth Southgate ‘I never once blamed you’ for Euro 96 penalty miss and says ‘I’m proud of you’

ALAN SHEARER has told Gareth Southgate he’s ‘proud’ of him and insisted he never blamed him for his Euro 96 penalty miss.

The England boss gained redemption on Tuesday as his Three Lions beat Germany 2-0 at Wembley to set-up a quarter-final showdown with Ukraine.

Alan Shearer has delivered a passionate message to Gareth Southgate
He insisted no-one blamed him for his Euro 96 penalty miss against Germany

Southgate is now preparing England to face Ukraine in the quarters

That stunning victory occurred almost 25 years to the day that Southgate famously missed in the semi-final shoot-out defeat to the same nation.

Southgate said after this week’s triumph: “I can’t change the fact that the guys I played with in 96 didn’t get to play in a final. That will always live with me.

“But what this group of players have been able to do is give a new generation a lot of happy memories and another afternoon where they’ve made a bit of history.”

Shearer was one of Southgate’s team-mates on that heartbreaking night, but after witnessing the win 48 hours ago, the ex-Newcastle striker has delivered a rousing message of support for the former defender.

Writing in his column for The Athletic, Shearer said: “Gareth, I have never once looked at you and blamed you.

“I have never thought of you as the man who cost me or who cost our England team a trophy and a winners’ medal at the European Championship 25 years ago.

“I have never considered you a failure for taking a penalty against Germany and missing. “There is not a spark in my brain or an atom in my body that thinks in those terms, and I hate that you might suspect otherwise.


“Do I think about it ever? Do I think about it at all? Jesus, yes. I think about that semi-final and how we could have won it in 90 minutes.

“I think about extra time, and how we could have done it then. I think about the players and the talent we had and I will die believing we were good enough to go the whole way.”

Shearer continued: “I can’t remember what I said to you, all those years and nights ago. I can remember my first thought when you missed: Oh, f***.

“We all had that sense of desolation, because why wouldn’t we? We’d been on a great ride, the best adventure.

“But if I personalised it at all, if I measured your contribution, it was as a fine defender and a fine human being, who stepped forward and offered yourself when it mattered most.

“And here’s something that life has taught me. You have to sample the shit to appreciate the good stuff. And if you put yourself forward that many times, every now and again, you’ll trip up. You tripped, Gareth. But you stepped forward.

“And now it’s time to finally let go, to let the rest of us catch you.”

Shearer added: “From the team-mates that played with you — let us catch your fall. There is nothing to feel sorry for, no reason for an apology and nothing for you to change, except what happens next.

“Hurt? No. F*** that. I’m smiling and I’m proud. Proud of England, proud of you.”

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