Alan Shearer OBE is an icon in Tyneside. Famously rejecting Manchester United to play for his hometown club, the consistent striker averaged twenty-five goals a season. He was Keegan's last big signing, and was labelled the last of the entertainers.' At the time he was the world's most expensive player, costing a total of fifteen million. Despite never winning anything with Newcastle, Shearer will forever remain a cult hero, for his goal threat and determination to return from several injuries. He also managed to break Jackie Milburn's 200 goal record, which had lasted for 49 years, when he scored his 201st strike at home against Portsmouth. All proceeds of his testimonial match went to North East based charities. The match included the likes of Gary Speed, Steve Watson and Les Ferdinand, all willing to show their respect to one of the Premier League's greatest ever goal scorers.

The little fella' was a shock signing in October 1995, just months after the Teesiders had made their return to the top flight of English football. The attacking midfielder scored a total of fourteen goals in fifty-six appearances, but despite this could not prevent Middlesbrough's relegation in his first season at the club. He left Middlesbrough for Athletico Madrid after a bid in the region of twelve million. But Juninho then returned to Middlesbrough on loan scoring, a less impressive four goals in twenty-four appearances. Following Athletico's relegation to the Segunda Division, The Brazilian was loaned out to Vasco da Goma and Flamengo. Juninho however returned to the North East outfit, in his third spell in the summer of 2002, after permanently leaving Athletico Madrid. Despite only making forty-one appearances in his final two seasons for the club he still managed to score eleven goals and played a crucial part in Middlesbrough winning the league cup in 2004. In December 2007 he was voted by the Boro' fans, in a PFA fans poll, as their greatest ever player.

Kevin Philips holds Sunderland's record for post-war goals. Super Kev' won the golden boot during his time at Sunderland, being the first and only Englishmen to win the competition. He also was the first Sunderland player to score 30 goals in a season since Brian Clough. He formed a deadly partnership with Irish international, Niall Quinn, both of whom are regarded as two of Sunderland's greatest forwards. Despite his small stature he managed to net a hundred and fifteen goals. Philips left the club after Sunderland's relegation in 2003, in a 3 million pound move to Southampton, who had rejected him as a youngster as he didn't have a striker's physique.' He secured his legendary status when he scored a goal from an acute angle which proved to be the winner against Newcastle, as well as a 30 yard half-volley against Chelsea, in a 4-1 win. Philips would later score against Sunderland, scoring the third goal for Aston Villa at the Stadium of Light, but refused to celebrate, respecting the club where he had arguably played the best football of his career.

Kevin Ball played for Sunderland for nine seasons and was key to Sunderland's promotion push. After just a season at the club, the defensive midfielder established himself as a crowd favourite and became captain. Following Mick McCarthy's departure, Ball became caretaker manager. He was however unable to stop their relegation to the Championship, but did oversee a memorable draw against Manchester United, at Old Trafford. He showed interest in taking the job fulltime, but the chairman ruled him out of the running by saying he wanted a world class manager to take charge of Sunderland, favouring the legendary Roy Keane who would lead them to promotion in his first season.

Leslie Les' Ferdinand MBE signed for Newcastle in 1995 after successful spells at Queens Park Rangers and Besiktas. In his first season he scored twenty-nine goals, which almost helped the 'magpies' to the title. Despite being only at the club for two seasons he managed fifty goals and was given a standing ovation when he came on as a substitute in Alan Shearer's testimonial.

Gareth Southgate was tipped to leave Aston Villa for one of England's major clubs. He instead became future England manager, Steve McClaren's first signing at Middlesbrough. At Middlesbrough he was reunited with defender, Ugo Ehiogu, whom he played alongside with at Villa. That season he became a instant favourite with the supporters, due to his never say die attitude and assured displays, becoming the club's Player of the Year. Following the departure of Paul Ince, Southgate was handed the captain's armband in 2002 and soon afterwards became the first Middlesbrough captain to a major trophy. Unfortunately for Southgate, his final game was the 4-0 defeat to Sevilla in the UEFA cup. Though this was his final game playing for Middlesbrough, he returned the same year as manager helping to maintain their status in the top flight.

Marco Gabbiadini followed his manager, Denis Smith to Sunderland for eighty thousand pounds from York City. Sunderland were currently in a depression after being relegated to the third tier of English football, for the first time in their history. Smith saw Gabbiadini as the perfect player to fire Sunderland out of division three. In his second game for the club he scored twice against Fulham. That season Sunderland were promoted, Gabbiadini notching up twenty-one goals from just thirty-one appearances. He would then go on to net a further eighteen goals, helping Sunderland back into the top flight of English football. However Gabbiadini could not help Sunderland from relegation the next year, Marco himself only scoring nine goals. Marco Gabbiadini, however will forever been seen as the player who saved Sunderland from another season in a league far below their level.

Niall Quinn MBE is currently Sunderland's chairman after serving the club on the pitch for six years. Quinn was around thirty when he joined the black cats' but this did not stop him having the brightest spell in his playing career. The partnership of Niall Quinn and Kevin Phillips was arguably Sunderland's greatest ever strike force, or at least the most prolific in the last twenty years. Quinn's towering frame of six foot four made him difficult to play against and he managed to reach ninety-one goals for Sunderland as well as contributing to many more. Quinn also was the first player to score at Sunderland's current ground, the Stadium of Light, against his old club, Manchester City. Quinn also renowned for his charity work, famously giving money raised in his testimonial match, to charity.

Peter Beardsley was originally released as a youngster by Newcastle but a successful spell at Carlisle meant he was only away for three years. Beardsley was a vital player in Newcastle's promotion and the attacking midfielder soon became a fan favourite. He helped to keep them in the top flight by scoring seventeen goals in just thirty-eight appearances. However after three successive mid-table finishes, Beardsley left after Newcastle accepted a offer from Liverpool. He returned to Newcastle in 1993 and in his remaining three years for the club came within touching distance of the Premier League title. He scored one hundred and seventeen, a impressive statistic for a player whose main attribute was creating goals, rather than scoring them.

Belgium international, Philippe Albert played alongside Ferdinand and Beardsley, in a Newcastle team known as the entertainers.' Albert certainly contributed to this title. Despite being a defender, Albert had a inclination of playing very attacking football. The centre back played ninety-one games for Newcastle, over a three year period. He scored eight times, the most memorable being a clever chip over Peter Schmeichel, in a famous 5-0 victory over Manchester United.

By Joe Hetherington