Nicky Sharkey

Sharkey's five-goal feat

by Stuart Vose

Former striker reflects on goalscoring achievement.

Former striker Nicky Sharkey returned to the Stadium of Light this week as the holder of a unique club record.

Sharkey is the only man alive to score five goals in one game for Sunderland and one of only three players ever to achieve the feat for the club.

The Scot, who left the club as a player in 1966, is still a fanatical follower and was back on Wearside for the Complete Record launch event.

Sharkey signed for Sunderland in 1958 and averaged better than a goal every other game during just over six years on Wearside.

He found the net a total of 62 goals in 117 appearances, including 51 strikes in 99 league games.

And he’s perhaps best remembered for that five-goal haul, which occurred 50 years ago in March.

Norwich City were steamrollered 7-1 at Roker Park back in 1963, with 42,393 fans witnessing Sharkey’s goalscoring feat.

The promotion-chasing Sunderland players earned themselves a tidy bonus thanks to win – except Sharkey, who wasn’t eligible and had to console himself with the match ball!

“It seems like five minutes ago, never mind 50 years!” said Sharkey, who shares his goalscoring feat with Charlie Buchan and Bobby Gurney. “Maybe I’ll get a presentation!

“I can’t believe that amount of time has gone by. It’s too long to think about now – once you get to a certain age you know you’re getting old.

“The day itself is still so vivid – I can describe all the goals. Perhaps my strongest memory is getting the match ball after the game.

“I got the ball but the other players got a big bonus which I didn’t get! That’s something I still get asked about a lot.”

Sharkey was joined by several other club legends at the event earlier this week, including Dick Malone and Bobby Kerr.

“It’s great when the former players descend on the Stadium of Light,” he added.

“When we come to the home games it’s great to have a bit of a chat and meet some faces from the past.

“John Dillon travels down from Scotland a lot, while the likes of Martin Harvey and Johnny Crossan come down – it’s great to have a talk and remember old games.”