Richard Day reviews the strikers careerHaving been born in Inverness on October 16 1958, Dave began his footballing career at Inverness Clachnacuddin.
He joined top-flight Middlesbrough in January 1978 with the Highland League side receiving £5,000 and three months later the 19-year-old scored both goals in a 2-0 home win over Chelsea on his Boro debut.
In March 1980 he had an enjoyable loan spell at Division Four Wigan Athletic where he registered nine goals in 11 games.
The striker was top scorer for Boro in the 1982-83 campaign with 13 goals in both league and cup competitions which took his tally to 23 goals in 97 games during his time at Ayresome Park.
After a short spell at Grimsby Town, where he made just four appearances, he next stop was here at Priestfield where boss Keith Peacock was building an attack minded side.
‘Shakey’ Shearer arrived here in August 1984 to supplement the likes of Tony Cascarino, Dave Mehmet, Martin Robinson and his former Boro team-mate Terry Cochrane.
He wasn’t particularly great in the air, he had little pace but his one outstanding quality was going in where it hurts to find the back of the net – something, when fit, he did regularly for the Gills.
His Gillingham debut was as a substitute for Cochrane in a 4-2 Division Three victory at Orient in September 1984 but match fitness meant his appearances were sporadic.
It was at York in November, in what was his fifth game, that he registered his first goal for the club, albeit in a 7-1 reverse at Bootham Crescent.
Dave made 27 league and cup appearances in his first season but scored 16 goals which included two hat-tricks, one in a 5-0 FA Cup demolition of Colchester United at Layer Road and the second was in a 5-1 thrashing of Wigan Athletic at home in the final league game of the season.
Things were not always straightforward with Shearer, on one occasion he went AWOL in Cochrane’s car and was involved in a crash. Then on New Year’s Day 1985 both he and Cochrane were sent-off in a defeat at Bournemouth – nine-man Gillingham losing 2-0.
AFC Bournemouth paid £20,000 to take him to Dean Court in October 1987 but stayed for just four months before he moved to Scunthorpe United in a £15,000 deal. Just ten months (December 1988) later he returned to the North-East when a £10,000 fee took him to Darlington.
Next on his list was a move to non-league Billingham Synthonia, where Cochrane was once again amongst his team-mates.
After retiring from the game, he returned home to his Scottish roots at Fort William.
His younger brother Duncan was also a professional footballer who played for the likes of Huddersfield Town, Swindon Town, Aberdeen and Inverness Caledonian Thistle.