Tributes to former Hartlepool striker Nick Sharkey

left to right''Nick Sharkey and Willie McPheat  November 1960  old ref number sport 2 15
left to right''Nick Sharkey and Willie McPheat November 1960 old ref number sport 2 15

HARTLEPOOL United has paid tribute to former striker Nick Sharkey, who has died aged 71.

Dunbartonshire-born Nick Sharkey spent two seasons at The Victoria Ground, from 1970 to 1972, bagging 12 goals in 60 appearances.

He started his career at North East rivals Sunderland, where he came up through the youth team.

Handed a run in the first team by Alan Brown towards the end of the 1960-61 campaign, he repaid the boss’s faith with four goals in five league games.

He made history in the 1962-63 season, becoming one of only four Sunderland players to score five goals in a game as the Black Cats hammered Norwich 7-1 at Roker Park, and bagged 20 goals in 39 games in his first full season, as the team secured promotion to the top-flight in 1964.

In all, he scored 62 goals in 117 appearances for the Black Cats, moving to Leicester City and Mansfield Town before returning to the North East with Pools.

Jimmy Montgomery visited him in Sharkey shortly after he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

“It was only two weeks from diagnosis,” he said Jimmy. “He had been in to see the doctor for a bad back.

“Nick took over from me as chairman of the former players’ association, but he had just stood down from the committee because he wanted to do more things.

“He was a fantastic lad.”

A Pools spokesman said: “We are deeply saddened to hear about Nick’s passing.

“He had two successful season at The Vic in the 1970s and our thoughts and condolences are with his family and friends.”