Newcastle to rename bar named in Alan Shearer's honour

Alan Shearer is a legend at Newcastle. Photo: PA

The bar dedicated to Alan Shearer at Newcastle's St James' Park is to be refurbished and renamed.

Signs at Shearer's Bar were removed on Thursday, hours after the Magpies' record goalscorer used his column in a national newspaper to criticise the club over the appointment of Joe Kinnear as director of football and the resulting fall-out.

However, the development was a coincidence and the start of a major redevelopment programme which will see the bar reopen next month as 'Nine'.

Finance director John Irving said: "Shearer's Bar was immensely popular when it was first launched in 2004, but its popularity has dwindled over the years as this part of Newcastle has developed and new bars have opened around it.

"In transforming the site and opening the bar up to a wider range of visitors, it was important that a new name remained in keeping with the club's history and heritage, and Nine is certainly faithful to that.

"We have liaised directly with Alan to keep him abreast of the plans, which he has been appreciative of, and we're looking forward to launching Nine next month."

Shearer's Bar opened in December 2004 during Freddy Shepherd's reign as chairman.

The striker scored 206 goals during a 10-year spell with his home-town club, eclipsing Jackie Milburn's record in the process.

He later had a brief spell as manager under current owner Mike Ashley in 2009, but could not prevent Newcastle from slipping out of the Barclays Premier League.

Shearer wrote in today's Sun, in response to the controversy over Kinnear's appointment: "Where do we start?

"What I do know is that right now people are laughing at the football club I support. And that sickens me.

"I promised myself years ago never to be surprised by what happens in football - particularly when it comes to Newcastle. But this situation really is stretching it a bit.

"While other clubs are all plotting and planning for next season, Newcastle have a manager who has just been totally undermined.

"Alan Pardew has said he will carry on but I am sure it will be a difficult situation."

Kinnear has wasted little time in making his presence felt with a series of free-ranging interviews which have hardly enhanced his reputation as he struggled to pronounce the names of some of his players as well as managing director Derek Llambias - who has since resigned.

And Shearer added: "What are the players to think when he can't even get their names right? It's all a PR disaster."