Former Norwich City striker Sheffield dies at 82
- Credit: Archant
Former Norwich City striker Laurie Sheffield - who scored a hat-trick during his Canaries debut - has died aged 82.
The news was announced this morning by one of his former clubs, Doncaster Rovers, having made the South Yorkshire town his home after his career had finished.
Sheffield joined City from Doncaster for £12,000 in 1966 and scored 16 goals in 29 games before being sold to Rotherham for £16,000 the following year.
Born in Swansea, Sheffield had started his career with Bristol Rovers, Barry Town and Newport County. He scored 28 goals during 1965-66 to help fire Doncaster to the Division Four title.
He joined Norwich in November of 1966 having continued his form in the third tier, after the Norwich City Supporters Club had donated £15,000 from fund-raising to help the club.
Lol Morgan had arrived as manager that summer after a mid-table finish in Division Two during Ron Ashman’s final season in charge – and Sheffield scored a hat-trick on his debut, during a 4-1 win over Derby at Carrow Road.
He was 27 years old at the time and spoke to the Eastern Daily Press after that memorable first match but said “I’m not young enough for that” when asked how excited he was about the hat-trick.
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Having missed chances for more goals, he said: “I didn’t worry about the ones I missed because I was on the right spot. If I miss them but am still on the right spot, I always think they will go in next week.”
After another mid-table finish for City, Sheffield only made two appearances during 1967-68 before returning to South Yorkshire with another second-tier side, Rotherham United.
Stints at Oldham and Luton followed, before returning to Doncaster and then finishing his career at Peterborough United, having to retire at 31 due to a broken bone in his left foot, having scored regularly for all of his clubs.
Playing alongside players including Dave Stringer, Kevin Keelan and Terry Allcock, Norwich were third from bottom with three wins from 16 games when Sheffield arrived but his 16 goals in 25 league matches helped City to finish 13th thanks to 10 wins and nine draws from their remaining 26 games.