By Alex Taylor

Dean Saunders has revealed why Alan Shearer retired from football in 2006.

Shearer, 46, called time on a brilliant playing career 12 years ago after scoring a record-high 260 Premier League goals with Southampton and Newcastle.

The former Toon forward now works as a pundit for the BBC’s flagship football television programme Match of the Day.

“Steven Taylor as a young 17-year-old came to train with us,” Saunders told Jim White on talkSPORT on Wednesday.

“He started rag-dolling Alan in training and out-strengthening him, so Alan retired. Graeme (Souness) offered him another contract and said listen, don’t play, just sort the dressing room out and keep everybody in order.

“Alan said ‘no, I can’t look at myself in the mirror. I know if I’m getting out-strengthened by a young lad then it’s time to pack it in.’ He didn’t play for money, he was offered a contract, a massive contract to not even play and he said no.”

The former Toon star is in line for a busy week this week as he prepares to manage a Newcastle legends team that includes goalkeeper Steve Harper, French left-back Olivier Bernard and the Magpies Under-23’s manager Peter Beardsley.

Despite relegating the Tyneside outfit as boss 2009, Shearer is well loved by Newcastle fans and recently unveiled a statue of himself outside of St James’ Park

In other Newcastle news, Rafa Benitez is set to rival three other Championship managers for the Manager of the Month award.