AS a teenager, Alan Shearer shivered his way through PE lessons in a “sports shed” that was “colder on the inside than it was outside”.
But yesterday the ex-Newcastle United number nine discovered that it is not just the heating which has been improved at his former school.
Along with renowned Northumberland musician Kathryn Tickell, herself also an ex-pupil, the Match of the Day pundit returned to Gosforth High School, now Gosforth Academy, to officially open a new multi-million pound music and sports centre.
“It’s fantastic and they must all be very proud,” said Alan, 41. “The change is dramatic since the last time I was here.
“The kids are very lucky – I didn’t have any of this in my day.
“Back then the sports ‘shed’ was colder on the inside than it was outside.
“But if there had been facilities like this then perhaps I might have come inside and worked on my left foot more,” joked the notoriously right-footed striker.
Signed shirts from Shearer, former United and Sunderland striker Michael Chopra and current Huddersfield Town manager and United star Lee Clark hang on the wall of the new sports centre, which is open to the public outside school hours.
But as teachers gave the former striker a guided tour he saw that the next potential sporting prodigy starting out in the new Alan Shearer Sports Hall could just as easily be a fencer, climber, badminton player or trampolinist.
Fiddler and pipe player Kathryn Tickell, 44, who lent her name to the school’s new music room and who spent more than two hours practising and performing with children from all four of the academy’s schools, said she hoped it would encourage more students to be creative.