Norwich City A-Z: C is for The Count - whose round is it?

PUBLISHED: 06:00 14 June 2018 | UPDATED: 09:02 14 June 2018

Father Philip Mulryne made a guest appearance at Carrow Road last month 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Father Philip Mulryne made a guest appearance at Carrow Road last month Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

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What do you do when last orders is called on your playing career? Former City footballers have been more creative than you think. Paddy Davitt looks at C in our alternative Canaries’ alphabet ...for The Count.

Terry Allcock tests Gordon Banks in his Norwich City pomp Picture ArchantTerry Allcock tests Gordon Banks in his Norwich City pomp Picture Archant

When you live the dream what happens when you crash back to reality?

The financial rewards on offer to Premier League footballers in an ever spiralling cycle of bloated broadcast revenues should, in theory, ensure they never have to work again.

But for those who had limited or no exposure to the top-flight gravy train, a life of leisure is unlikely to be a viable option.

Some opt for further punishment prowling the touchline. Increasingly others prefer the safer confines of the television studio.

Dion Dublin is now a daytime television fixture Picture: Ady KerryDion Dublin is now a daytime television fixture Picture: Ady Kerry

Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard did it in reverse. Chris Sutton went from Lincoln City’s dug-out to a niche as an outspoken, forthright pundit.

Some love him, some loathe him, but you cannot ignore the former Norwich City striker when he engages in verbal jousts with friend and foe alike.

Back in the day, the myth would have you believe footballers went straight from the pitch to the public house.

But that was about as lazy a cliché as continental imports might not be able to do it at Stoke on a wet and wild winter’s night in the Potteries.

There has been myriad career changes down the decades for the footballing fraternity, once the adulation from the terraces subsides and the limbs no longer cover the ground.

Terry Allcock, affectionately known as ‘The Count’ was a fearsome goalscorer who will forever be revered and remembered in those tales about the ‘59ers’ passed down through generations of Norwich fans.

Allcock stayed in the game as a coach at Carrow Road but the man who also played cricket for Norfolk in his summers off from terrorising defences in green and yellow ended up in the funeral business.

Allcock’s family funeral services, on the site of a former pub on Norwich’s City Road, has now carved out quite the reputation.

To quote this extract from ‘Good Funeral Guide’ bible, ‘They are a notably impressive lot, warm, friendly and unhurried - of a far higher calibre than most funeral home personnel’.

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Leon McKenzie swapped dishing out punishment with his feet for his fists following well-publicised brushes with the authorities and a brave struggle with mental health issues.

McKenzie fought for an English super-middleweight title, as he carried his famous family name into the boxing ring.

Dion Dublin looked like a heavyweight in his pomp as he bashed defenders out of the way for Manchester United, Coventry City, Aston Villa and latterly the Canaries.

But upon retirement, Dublin settled for the unique double of launching a musical instrument called ‘The Dube’ and fronting daytime television programme ‘Homes Under the Hammer’.

Quite how working under Sir Alex Ferguson prepared him for a career talking about extensions and rental yields is anyone’s guess.

Dublin’s former team-mate at Carrow Road, Simon Lappin, is currently working towards his commercial pilot’s licence, clocking up miles in the air and down the left wing for King’s Lynn Town last season during the Linnets’ run to the Southern Premier League play-offs.

Father Phil Mulryne’s recent return for the ‘Legends’ game, to raise funds for the Community Sport Foundation’s project to ‘Build The Nest’ and commemorate that notable Uefa Cup run, was a reminder it is best not to pigeon hole your average footballer.

The Catholic priest’s vocational calling underlined there are plenty in his old profession not driven by personal gain.

Robert Fleck has also worked as a teaching assistant in Norwich at a school for children ‘with complex needs’. Both careers are a long way removed from beer barrel and optics.

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