Alan Shearer has ‘no regrets’ over the decision to choose Newcastle over Manchester when the two United’s did battle to sign him from Rovers in 1996.

The pair had finished as runners-up and Champions respectively in the 1995/96 season, with Shearer’s 31 goals having helping Rovers to a seventh-placed finish in the defence of their Premier League crown.

A then world-record fee of £15m would prise Shearer away from Ewood Park after 131 goals and a Premier League winners medal to his name.

That would be the only trophy that he would collect during his time as a player having opted for the draw of his hometown club Newcastle over Sir Alex Ferguson and Manchester United.

United were all conquering through the late 1990s and 2000s, lifting six titles in the 11 seasons that Shearer played in after leaving Rovers, as well as winning the Champions League.

The striker made it a hat-trick of golden boots in his first season at Newcastle, scoring 25 times en route to winning the PFA player of the year award in the process, but the Magpies would once again miss out on the title.

However, speaking to Gary Lineker on the BBC, the Premier League’s all-time record goalscorer opened up about his decision to leave Rovers, where he is inducted in to the Hall of Fame, and admitted the pull of his hometown club was too much to resist, with even Sir Alex Ferguson conceding defeat in the battle for his signature.

"I sat down with Kevin Keegan and Sir Alex Ferguson on the same day in a house in Cheshire. I saw Keegan in the morning and talks went really, really well,” he said.

"Then Kevin left and the Manchester United contingent came in, which was Sir Alex. His first question was 'am I seeing you first or second?' I told him 'second' and his words were 'well I have no chance then'.

"He wanted to see me first and was disappointed. The talks went really well, were positive and I was impressed with what he said.

"I had to make a decision and at one point I was going to Manchester United, I was 90 per cent certain.

“Then I got a call from Keegan, who wanted to see me again, and I thought 'I am going to go back to Newcastle'. It was a club I always supported. Do I have any regrets? No, I would do the same again.

"Once I made the decision, I flew out of Manchester airport to go on pre-season tour in the far east. On the way to the airport, I rang Sir Alex, no answer.

"I didn't want to leave him a message so I rang him again, but the third time I had to leave a message because he wasn't answering. I left a message and, no surprise, I never got a call back."