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Shearer offers support to Gazza after latest setback

Alan Shearer has offered his support to former England footballer Paul Gascoigne after his latest battle with alcoholism.

Gascoigne was admitted to Poole Hospital this week after paramedics were called to his home in Dorset.

Shearer said:

He's having a tough time at the minute. I hope he doesn't give up. I hope he keeps on fighting.

– Alan Shearer

Ex-footballer aims to raise £1m with Premier League stadium run

Former Southampton defender Francis Benali is hoping to raise more than one million pounds for charity by running between every Premier League ground.

The 45-year-old started his 1,000-mile journey from St James' Park in Newcastle this morning. He's due to finish the run at St Mary's Stadium, in Southampton on September 13.

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The moment Benali's Big Run started

This is the moment former Southampton defender Francis Benali started his 'Big Run' between every Premier League ground.

The 45-year-old will take around three weeks to complete the challenge and is aiming to raise more than £1 million for cancer research.

Benali was waved off by Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer at St James' Park.

Shearer offers his support to Benali's Big Run

Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer has backed Francis Benali to complete his 1,000-mile run to every Premier League ground.

Shearer was at St James' Park in Newcastle this morning to support his former Southampton teammate.

Benali is hoping to raise around £1 million for cancer research from his three-week challenge.

Benali's Big Run in pictures

Former Southampton defender Francis Benali has set off on his 1,000-mile charity run to every Premier League ground.

The 45-year-old left St James' Park in Newcastle this morning. Alan Shearer was among the group of people that saw him off.

Crowds gather to support Francis Benali at St James' Park Credit: ITV
Alan Shearer was at St James' Park to offer his support to Benali Credit: ITV
Francis Benali will visit every Premier League ground in the next three weeks Credit: ITV

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Shearer: "Pardew will take punishment on the chin"

Former Newcastle United striker Alan Shearer says Alan Pardew has apologised for his actions and will "take his punishment on the chin".

Speaking during his attempt to sit in every seat in Wembley Stadium to raise money for the Sports Relief, the former number nine said Pardew was aware he shouldn't have done what he did.

Shearer on Kinnear: "I was surprised ... when he was announced director"

Former Newcastle United star Alan Shearer says the hours after the transfer window closed, and Newcastle being beaten 3-0 by Sunderland on their own pitch for the second successive season, were factors that could well have led to Joe Kinnear's resignation.

"I shouldn't say I'm surprised but I was surprised in the first place when he was announced director, particularly the way the news was broken when Joe himself announced it on the radio when he got some of the players' names wrong.

"What has he been there now, about seven months? And two players have come in, albeit both players on loan.

"Maybe it's Newcastle's way of trying to say that the performance on Saturday wasn't good enough and why they didn't get any new players in, maybe that's one of the reasons.

"But they can only get players in if there's one man prepared to sign a chequebook."

– Alan Shearer on BBC Radio Five Live

"You just never know what goes on at Newcastle behind closed doors.

"I think we were all surprised because Joe had been out of football for so long. Let's say that we hope he's okay and it's nothing to do with ill-health but it's just bizarre sometimes at Newcastle.

"It's amazing what happens in three or four weeks in football, 3-0 on Saturday hurt everyone and they were second best all over the park on Saturday with a lack of fight and a lack of desire from the players and now it's come to this."

– Alan Shearer on BBC Radio Five Live

Alan Shearer breaks ground on heart unit housing

Breaking ground (from right to left): Alan Shearer, Dr Richard Kirk from the Freeman Hospital and project donor Graham Wylie. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

Alan Shearer has broken ground on new family accommodation at the Freeman Hospital. The so-called 'Home from Home' will provide free housing to families with seriously ill children.

Young people from all over the UK can be referred to the Children's Heart Unit at the hospital. Building started this morning on the new £1.9 million facility, which is due to be completed in summer 2014.

The project is a collaboration between The Sick Children's Trust and the Children's Heart Unit Fund.

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