The day Gary Lineker scored a perfect hat-trick in a Norwich City shirt

Tim Sheppard tapes up Gary Lineker's leg, who had come to Carrow Road for John O'Neill's testimonial

Tim Sheppard tapes up Gary Lineker's leg, who had come to Carrow Road for John O'Neill's testimonial - Credit: Courtesy of Tim Sheppard

He is one of England's most prolific ever strikers - and the first ever to claim a World Cup golden boot with the Three Lions on his shirt.

However, on May 15, 1989 there was a different logo on his jersey as he helped himself to a perfect Carrow Road hat-trick - the famous canary of Norwich City.

This was not fantasy football though, or even a video game. It was real and in the flesh.

The Match of the Day presenter was one of a number of players drafted in for the testimonial of Northern Irish defender John O'Neill, who was close with Lineker from the pair's time together at Leicester City.

Then a Barcelona player, Lineker flew in to link up with John O'Neill's All Star team, who took on a Norwich City eleven at Carrow Road.

John O'Neill

John O'Neill - Credit: Archant


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And it saw him pull on a Norwich City jersey for the only time in his career - the white away shirt of the time to be precise.

Reflecting on his 21 years at the club, former physio Tim Sheppard fondly recalled the occasion, describing Lineker as probably the most high profile player he had treated - having been called upon to strap up the England international's leg ahead of the game.

He said: "Lineker was best known for not scoring too many goals from outside of the box, but that day he did.

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"He scored a beautiful 20-yarder with his right foot, then another inside the box with his left and one with his head - a perfect hat-trick."

The light-hearted affair ended 8-2 to O'Neill's All Stars, but Lineker's impression was not limited to his contribution on the pitch.

Sheppard recalled: "He was playing at Barcelona at the time but was such a big friend of John's that he flew over on his own to play in Norwich.

"After the game he took all of the lads out for a drink and paid for the first round himself - and it was a big round.

"There was no pomposity about him at all, even though he was a big name of the game."

O'Neill made just one appearance for the Canaries, suffering a career-ending injury 34 minutes into his debut against Wimbledon, but was granted a testimonial by the club at the end of the 1988/89 season.

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