Friday, April 07, 2006

Class in a glass (bottle)?

Scottish & Newcastle Breweries have announced a limited edition black and white labelled batch of Newcastle Brown Ale in honour of Shearer's retirement.

A fitting tribute to arguably our greatest ever number nine from a product with long-established links with the club? Perhaps.

But the cynic in me takes one look at the guff spouted by the company and thinks differently: "The Alan Shearer commemorative bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale is a tribute from ‘The One and Only’ to Newcastle United’s One and Only and we hope football fans everywhere will join us in a celebration of Big Al’s incredible playing career". Yes, it's a marketing stunt above everything, an opportunistic attempt to boost sales by trading on sentiment. Shearer is a cash cow who needs to be milked for every last drop before he hangs up his boots.

But when it comes to Newcastle the head very rarely rules the heart, and so yes, I'll no doubt find myself drunkenly buying one of the special bottles of dog and, with a misty eye, toasting our skipper.


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