Terry Allcock – A Canary Giant

11/06/24

Terry Allcock, a true Norwich City great in every sense of the word, and also someone who gave so much back to the great county of Norfolk. Nick Hayhoe helps remember the man, the footballer, the legend.

As natural a finisher as the others through the pantheon of later greats such as MacDougall, Drinkell, Roberts, Holt and Pukki – Terry Allcock scored 127 goals in 389 games for Norwich City, placing him second on the list of all top goal scorers behind the pre-war Johnny Gavin. But it was his exploits in the 1959 FA Cup run, and the subsequent acceleration of the club from Third Division obscurity to Second Division promotion contenders that really stand him out from those other Norwich City heroes as a giant of whom’s shoulders we now stand on.

Born in Leeds, the son of a railwayman, Terence Allcock seemed destined for greatness from a young age: playing for Leeds Boys and England Schoolboys in football and Yorkshire Boys and later 2nd XI in cricket. His family moved to Blackpool when he was 15 and it was then, after leaving school to join the ground staff at Burden Park in Bolton that he signed as a professional for Wanderers. His debut at 17, naturally, saw the goals flow as he scored twice against Bert Trautmann’s Manchester City in the opening 20 minutes.

In the spring of 1958, he signed for Norwich City for a fee of £8,000 and went on to form a formidable goalscoring team with fellow forwards Terry Bly and Bobby Brennan, alongside wingers Jimmy Hill and Errol Crossan. Allcock played in every single one of the 12 matches of the 1959 FA Cup run, scored in the quarter final at White Hart Lane and undoubtedly helped Bly deliver his 7.

Promotion for Norwich City soon followed in 1960 off the back of his 16 league goals, and the step-up unfazed him, with his name becoming an ever-present in the brackets following the Norwich score in newspapers.

In 1962, Allcock scored three times in the FA Cup 4th Round tie against an Ipswich Town side who went on to be league champions under Alf Ramsey, but it was the 1962-63 season that delivered his goalscoring annus mirabilis. 37 across all competitions, including two hat-tricks against Bury and Carlisle and four against Newcastle United. Those 37 more remarkable by the fact that the harsh Winter of 1963 had seen most football wiped out between January and February, and Norwich played 16 matches in 7 weeks once the thaw set in. Allcock played every single one of Norwich’s 52 games.

In the 1965-66 season, Allcock by now 31, moved from inside forward to half back (a proto-deep lying defensive midfielder), and won the inaugural Barry Butler Player of the Season award in 1966-67 which had been named for his teammate and friend who had tragically died in a car crash the previous April. The 1968-69 season would be his final one as a player for City, where in May, weeks after his Testimonial against Ipswich Town he was initially transfer listed and then later hired by the club as a coach.

Multi-talented on the pitch, he was just as multi-talented off of it. His post-playing career saw him take various local football positions, including Norwich youth team coach then chief scout, head coach of the Norfolk FA team and manager of Dereham Town. A high quality cricketer who could have also turned professional in that sport, he appeared as wicket-keeper for Norfolk in the Minor Counties Championship throughout the summers of 1959 through 1975 – under the captaincy of former England great Bill Edrich (who, coincidentally, had briefly played for Norwich City in the 1930s).

Add to that, remarkably: he was captain of Sprowston Park Golf Club in the early 1980s, the assistant manager to Ron Saunders at Manchester City, was a cricket coach at Gresham school, became a club ambassador for Norwich City. On top of all of this, he was also a successful businessman, becoming a partner in a car dealership in Great Yarmouth and running a local funeral service in his adopted home city with his son Paul – a business that continues to this day. 

Like most of the footballers of his generation, a humble hero who excelled at sports he played for no other reason than passion, and then afterwards wanted nothing else except to give back to them. A Yorkshireman who made and lived the Norfolkian dream. A man for whom Norwich City owe so much for the club they would then become. 

Terry Allcock

1935 – 2024  

Comments

  1. G strath says:

    A true ncfc legend rip terry

  2. Canary58 says:

    By season 1959-60 Bill Punton was outside left, Jimmy Hill the tricky little no. 10, Irish if I remember right (Crossan was Canadian).
    Terry Allcock, one of my heroes growing up, a gentleman footballer, RIP.

  3. Erde says:

    Robert Fleck?

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