Ex-Sunderland keeper joins Blyth Spartans coaching staff

Blyth Spartans goalkeeping coach Tony Norman, centre, with keepers Fabian Otte, left, an Adam McHugh.
Blyth Spartans goalkeeping coach Tony Norman, centre, with keepers Fabian Otte, left, an Adam McHugh.

Blyth Spartans have appointed a new goalkeeper coach.

The vastly experienced and former professional keeper Tony Norman has started working at Croft Park.

The 57-year-old played for Hull City between 1983 and 1988 and holds a club record of 226 consecutive appearances out of a total of 372.

He was transferred to Sunderland and played for the Black Cats at Wembley in the FA Cup Final when they lost to Liverpool 2-0.

He is the only Sunderland keeper to have played at Wembley twice, and he turned out for them 198 times.

He left Sunderland in 1995 to play for Huddersfield and retired in 1997, aged 39.

He is also a Welsh international having played for his country five times. He would undoubtedly have played more but for the presence of the legendary Neville Southall.

“I’m delighted to be at Blyth, to be honest,” he said.

“It’s a smashing move for me and I was more than happy to join after manager Tom Wade asked me.

“Training with the lads is going really well. Both Fabian [Otte] and Adam [McHugh] are at a good age to develop well. This is the time they can learn and improve.

“They are both good keepers but everyone can improve by slight tweaks here and there. But they’re both hungry to get better, they listen and are not afraid of hard work.

“I told them from the start it would be hard work but enjoyable.

“When I trained I used to feel invigorated afterwards and I hope the lads will too.”

Norman played against Blyth for Hull City in 1980 in three memorable FA Cup second round games at Hull, then a replay at Croft Park before a deciding replay, which Blyth lost, at Leeds United’s Elland Road.