Norwich City top 100 appearances: Terry Allcock (10)
PUBLISHED: 06:33 28 June 2017 | UPDATED: 14:27 29 June 2017
In our latest look at Norwich City’s top 100 appearance makers, Paddy Davitt speaks to a man who is rightly regarded as one of the club’s best.
389 appearances / 127 goals
Terry Allcock’s dad thought he was a better cricketer than a footballer. Thankfully for Norwich City, Allcock did not heed that paternal advice.
A captain of Yorkshire schools’ football, cricket and rugby teams, Allcock burst onto the football scene as a 17-year-old at Bolton.
The iconic Nat Lofthouse, along with fellow England international Harold Hassall and Scottish captain Willie Moir may have blocked his path to a regular start at Burnden Park, but Bolton’s loss was to prove Norwich’s gain. And Norfolk cricket’s, as Allcock indulged his other passion while representing his adopted county.
“Yes, my father thought I was better at cricket than football. I personally enjoyed the football better,” he said. “I enjoyed the cricket as well. Don’t get me wrong, any ball of any shape. Although I’m getting a bit too old now.
“I captained Leeds and Yorkshire schools at all three sports. I played for Yorkshire federation and Yorkshire seconds. At Bolton, I was playing cricket in the Manchester league, which was a professional league, for Blackpool. When I came to Norfolk I was offered the job of coaching cricket at Gresham’s school and I had 10 years there.
“In those days you needed to supplement your income as a footballer. I was selected to play for Norfolk before I had played a club game. The only time I had lifted my bat at that stage was against the school XI for the masters and scored 150. At that time three of the masters also played for Norfolk. I remember we played Cambridge at Fenners on my debut. I was 54 not out when we declared in the first innings and 50-odd in the second. I used to keep wicket as well.”
Allcock’s versatility was a trait of his sporting prowess. A fearsome goalscorer who finished just five goals behind Johnny Gavin at the top of the all-time City scoring charts actually spent his last five years in green and yellow operating at wing half.
Yet Allcock has no regrets deferring to a man he first played alongside when he first arrived at Carrow Road in 1958.
“If I had stayed in the forwards I would have probably knocked those off quite easily,” he said. “I only played two years as a centre forward. I sustained a hell of a lot of injuries throughout my career. I broke both legs eventually and many other things and obviously in those periods when I was out the club signed players like Ron Davies.
“They asked me if I would play wing half, which I did for the last five years. One of the lads I loved to play against was John Charles and he could do the same. I was lucky to play in an era with some great players: Shackleton, Finney, Matthews, Moore, Charlton. But to be honest I always thought I was equally good. You had to have that mindset. There were no issues for me. I knew I could score goals for fun.”
To prove the point, Allcock is still the holder of some unique personal goalscoring landmarks to sit alongside his part in the Canaries’ fabled 1958/59 FA Cup run.
“I have five hat-tricks, which is still a record for the club, and I scored 37 goals in one season, which is another record,” he said. “I scored a hat-trick at Liverpool, four at Newcastle, and a hat-trick of headers. My main position was inside forward, a number 10 in the modern day, but we were expected to defend in our own penalty area as well as score goals.
“I was doing a talk recently for Alzheimer’s and they had a little photograph of me with some history on the back of the photograph and I was quite surprised that it seems I am the only one in the country who has ever scored a hat-trick in the same season in the league, FA Cup and League Cup. I didn’t know that.”
Allcock is synonymous with that giant-killing run to the last four of the 1959 FA Cup, which included memorable wins over Manchester United and Tottenham before losing a semi-final replay to Luton Town.
“None of us were overawed by playing against top clubs and the confidence and the emotion and the support that went with it just snowballed,” he said. “It was an enjoyable journey with a painful ending to lose a semi-final replay. In our eyes, Luton were one of the lesser top clubs, particularly when you had gone through the likes of Manchester United and Tottenham.”