The 11 top players to come out of Wallsend Boys Club – including Manchester United, Newcastle United, Liverpool & England heroes

As the Longstaff brothers’ instant impact in their first game together for Newcastle shines a light on junior football in the North East, one club remains the standard bearer nationwide for producing future stars.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 12: Wes Brown of Manchester United clashes with Alan Shearer of Newcastle United during the Barclays Premiership match between Manchester United and Newcastle at Old Trafford on March 12 2006 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 12: Wes Brown of Manchester United clashes with Alan Shearer of Newcastle United during the Barclays Premiership match between Manchester United and Newcastle at Old Trafford on March 12 2006 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

As the Longstaff brothers’ instant impact in their first game together for Newcastle shines a light on junior football in the North East, one club remains the standard bearer nationwide for producing future stars.

Among the loudest praise for the Longstaffs’ heroics against Manchester United on Sunday came from former England stars Alan Shearer and Michael Carrick – both products of Wallsend Boys Club.

And the brothers’ Newcastle manager Steve Bruce also graduated from the same legendary career launching ground.

Here, we take a look at the best XI who have been schooled at the most famous junior club in the country.

Alan Shearer

The Gosforth born striker started out at Wallsend, which turned out to be his gateway into professional football.

After trials with West Brom, Newcastle (where an apocryphal story suggested he was put in goal), and Manchester City, Shearer signed a youth contract at Southampton.

Having emerged as the country’s hottest young striker at The Dell, Shearer moved on to Blackburn in 1992, made his England debut, won the Premier League in 1995 and then left for boyhood club Newcastle in world record transfer.

The rest is Geordie history.

Peter Beardsley

After joining Wallsend at 16, Beardsley had failed trials at Gillingham, Burnley and Cambridge before getting a break at Carlisle and then playing in Canada for Vancouver Whitecaps before Arthur Cox took him to his boyhood club in 1983.

After a stellar career which saw him star in a second spell at Newcastle after successful spells at Liverpool and Everton, Beardsley hung up his boots in 1999 having scored 237 goals in 755 games.

He then went into youth coaching, but is currently suspended from football.

Steve Bruce

A calm, composed but very rugged defender, Bruce ultimately linked up with Gary Pallister in arguably the best centre-back pairing in Manchester United’s history.

But Bruce’s path immediately after Wallsend had taken him to the backwater of Gillingham and then Norwich.

Despite winning three Premier League titles amid 14 trophies at Old Trafford, Bruce ended his career as one of the best players never to be capped by England.

Michael Carrick

Having left Wallsend, Carrick rejected Newcastle – concerned at the lack of a reserve team under Kevin Keegan – for West Ham.

Having blossomed alongside Joe Cole for the Hammers, Carrick joined Spurs, and then Manchester United, where he won 17 major honours and continued a controversially stop-star England career.

After 12 years as a player there, Carrick retired in 2018 to take up a coaching role at Old Trafford.

Lee Clark

Viewed as a huge talent after progressing from Wallsend to Newcastle’s academy, Clark made his debut for his boyhood club in 1990, and won promotion to the top flight in 1993 under Kevin Keegan.

Clark left United in 1997 for an initially successful but ultimately controversial switch to Sunderland, before a long period at Fulham and a final playing season back at Newcastle.

After spells in charge at Huddersfield and Birmingham among others, Clark now manages Blyth Spartans.

Steve Watson

The now York City manager became the youngest player in Newcastle’s history when he made his debut for Ossie Ardiles aged 16.

Watson went on to have a successful career at St James’ Park due to his athleticism and versatility.

Spells with Aston Villa, Everton, West Brom and Sheffield Wednesday followed, before he eventually went into coaching.

Fraser Forster

The Hexham-born keeper spent four years at Wallsend BC before being snapped up by Newcastle in 2005, but never made a senior appearance for the Magpies.

Forster was loaned out five times before signing for Celtic, and impressing enough at Parkhead to be snapped up by Southampton in 2014.

After falling out of favour with the Saints, Forster is now back on loan at Celtic.

Steven Taylor

Taylor signed for Newcastle from Wallsend at 17, and developed into a United first team regular after a loan spell at Wycombe Wanderers under his childhood hero Tony Adams.

Taylor was a consistent presence in the Newcastle defence until 2016, when he was released, and then signed for MLS club Portland Timbers.

His stay in America was short, however, and Taylor impressed at Peterborough last season before moving down under to Wellington Phoenix.

Robbie Elliott

Blooded in the Newcastle first team alongside Clark, Watson and other teeangers by Ossie Ardiles, Elliott vied with John Beresford for the left-back berth under Kevin Keegan before leaving for Bolton in 1997.

After 79 games for the Trotters, he returned to Newcastle in 2001, where he made a further 61 appearances under Sir Bobby Robson before going into coaching and expert sports nutrionist work after late-career spells at Sunderland, Leeds and Hartlepool.

Michael Bridges

Bridges was another shining teenage star when he left Wallsend for Sunderland, and he shone despite the Black Cats’ relegation from the Premier League in 1997.

Having helped get the club back up, Bridges joined Leeds United for £5 million.

After leaving Elland Road in 2004, Bridges relaunched his career with a happy spell at Carlisle before becomingone of the best strikers in Auustralia’s A-League with Newcastle Jets.

Graham Fenton

Although he lifted the League Cup with both Aston Villa and Leicester in a career which also saw him play for West Brom and Stoke among others, Fenton gained notoriety for effectively ending Newcastle’s 1995-96 title challenge by scoring two goals against them off the bench for Blackburn at Ewood Park.

The lifelong Newcastle fan went into non-league with Blyth Spartans during his later playing days, but has since carved out a very successful non-league management career at North and South Shields.