Tony Spearing returns to Norwich City in head of recruitment role

Tony Spearing, left, celebrates a goal with Dale Gordon during a Norwich City friendly against Harwi

Tony Spearing, left, celebrates a goal with Dale Gordon during a Norwich City friendly against Harwich and Parkeston to mark the club's centenary year, at Carrow Road in September 2002. Picture: Julian Nicholls

Former Norwich City defender Tony Spearing is returning to Carrow Road after being appointed as head of recruitment.

The position has been vacant since March 2015, when Barry Simmonds left City suddenly, and sees the Canaries academy product return to the club he helped to win the FA Youth Cup in 1983.

The 51-year-old played as a left-back for clubs including Leicester City, Plymouth Argyle and Peterborough United after leaving Norwich in 1988, having made 82 appearances.

After finishing his career locally with the likes of King's Lynn and Great Yarmouth Town the Romford-born defender had two spells as manager with Lynn.

Spearing went into scouting roles with Blackburn Rovers and West Brom, where he held the position of head of European recruitment during an eight-year spell.

He joins the Canaries from Championship club Reading, where he was operating as head of scouting and recruitment and is reunited with City's head of scouting Lee Darnbrough – who arrived in July last year following Simmonds' exit.

'I'm delighted to be back at the club that gave me my football education and I'm really looking forward to working with the rest of the backroom team and contributing to Norwich City's future success,' Spearing told City's official website.

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Spearing had joined Reading in February 2015 but now makes the step back up to the Premier League with Norwich.

A statement on the Royals' official website said: 'Everyone at the club would like to thank Tony for all his hard work and wish him the best of luck in his new position at Carrow Road.'

Spearing spoke to the Norwich Evening News in September 2011 about his role as head of European recruitment at West Brom, describing himself as being 'a Norwich fan' and still living in the city at the time.

He said: 'At Blackburn I was a member of a team but at West Brom I was given the opportunity to run the European operation.

'We have 11 or 12 scouts abroad working for us and recommending players. We follow them up and go and see the players and if we think a player is good enough we go through a process and sit down with the manager and see if he fits the bill.'

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