Tributes have been pouring in for Alan Shearer, who was brutally murdered in the BBC studios last night by an unknown assailant.
Mr. Shearer, 38, had just finished an appearance as a pundit on BBC's Match of the Day when he was set upon by a man believed to be in his twenties, who was wielding what was later discovered to be the severed DJing arm of Spoony. The man beat Mr. Shearer with the detached limb, screaming incoherently. Witnesses believe they detected an Irish accent.
Mr. Shearer's last word is believed to have been: "Gerroff!"
Friends and colleagues have been reminiscing about Mr. Shearer's career. Lee Dixon, who also featured on last night's edition of Match of the Day, spoke of the great loss to the football community:
"People will talk about his hundreds of great goals for club and country, and, of course, his magnificent leadership skills. But what we'll all remember is his punditry.
"Alan was the people's footballer, and that was reflected in his TV work. He just wanted to share the wisdom that he gained during his long career with those less fortunate."
A devastated Alan Hansen spoke warmly of his friend's studio skills:
"His analysis was always spot on. Like when he suggested that Wayne Rooney punch Cristiano Ronaldo after the Portuguese winker disgracefully got his club-mate sent off in the 2006 World Cup.
"Or his technique when analysing action replays. What the ordinary punter wants - what the gormless non-ex-professional footballer wants - is to be told exactly what's happening in a replay. If someone has made a great run, the viewer wants an expert to say 'great run'. If a cross come in and it's headed wide, you have to have someone to tell you 'cross came in, and the header goes just past the post, and he'll be disappointed with that'. It takes a former player to tell you how the man who's just missed feels. And the better a footballer the pundit used to be, the better he'll be able to do that. Stands to reason."
Hansen talked about Mr. Shearer's fateful last appearance on the MotD sofa:
"Al's performance last night was typical of the man. Stubbsy asked him about the boy Rooney's alleged stamp on the Scandinavian lad. Al said, 'I don't think it was the greatest thing Wayne Rooney's ever done...I hope he gets away with it...Fingers crossed for him.'
"Al knew that it's a man's game. He got the big money because of his experience as someone who got away with kicking Neil Len...disentangling himself from Neil Lennon. It was a great display."
A BBC spokesperson said:
"We're all saddened by Alan's death. Whoever did this should be ashamed of themselves. There must be something wrong with a person who gets so upset by some people sitting on a couch and talking about football. He should get a life, or at least switch over to Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps on BBC Three."
The attacker was not apprehended. Mark Lawrenson is under police guard.