Player of the Day: Nick Sharkey

Published:
by Oscar Chamberlain

Scottish striker in the spotlight.

Part of the 1964 promotion winning side, Nick Sharkey is one of the most prolific goal-scorers in Sunderland’s history.

The Dunbartonshire-born forward averaged over a goal every other game in his time at Roker following his debut in 1960 as a 16-year-old.

After regularly notching for the youth side, Sharkey was handed a run in the first team by Alan Brown towards the end of the 1960-61 campaign and he rewarded his boss with four goals in five league games, including a match-winning double in a 3-1 home win over Southampton.

Despite his fine run of form towards the end of the season, Sharkey played only one league game during the 1961-62 season as understudy to the prolific firepower of Brian Clough, Don Kichenbrand and Ian Lawther.

Arguably, Sharkey’s finest Sunderland game followed during the 1962-63 season as he became one of only four Sunderland players to score five goals in a game as the Black Cats ran out 7-1 winners over Norwich at Roker Park.

Nick’s first full season returned his most prolific goals return in the league as he bagged 20 goals in 39 games as Brown’s side secured promotion to the top-flight in 1964.

The now Scottish under-23 international became a Sunderland regular and 21 goals would follow in all competitions as George Hardwick’s side maintained their top-flight status.

Sharkey would score another six goals for the Wearsiders, taking his total tally to 62 in 117 appearances, before moving to Leicester City in 1966.

Spells with Mansfield Town and Hartlepool United followed before Nick moved into the sales industry and based his work in Sunderland where he still lives today.

Sharkey was recently appointed as Chairman of the Sunderland Former Players Association.