Robert Fleck

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For the rugby player, see Robbie Fleck.
Robert Fleck
Personal information
Full name Robert William Fleck
Date of birth (1965-08-11) 11 August 1965 (age 48)
Place of birth Glasgow, Scotland
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Playing position Striker
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1983–1987 Rangers 85 (29)
1983–1984 Partick Thistle (loan) 2 (1)
1987–1992 Norwich City 143 (39)
1992–1995 Chelsea 40 (3)
1993–1994 Bolton Wanderers (loan) 7 (1)
1995 Bristol City (loan) 10 (1)
1995–1998 Norwich City 104 (16)
1998–1999 Reading 9 (1)
2000–2001 Gorleston ? (?)
Total 400 (91)
National team
1990–1992 Scotland 4 (0)
Teams managed
2000–2001 Gorleston (Player-manager)
2002–2006 Diss Town
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Robert William Fleck (born 11 August 1965 in Glasgow) is a Scottish former professional footballer and manager. He played as a striker from 1983 until 2001, notably in the Scottish Premier League for Rangers, in England for Chelsea in the FA Premier League, and for Norwich City in the Football League.

He also played for Bolton Wanderers, Bristol City and Reading. He earnt 4 caps for Scotland featuring in the 1990 World Cup. He went into management in 2000 with a spell as player-manager of Non-league Gorleston, and later having a four-year spell in charge of Diss Town. Fleck was made a member of Norwich City's Hall of Fame. Since retiring as a player, he has worked in football management, but is now a teaching assistant in Norwich.

Career[edit]

Fleck started his senior career with Rangers under manager Jock Wallace, although it was only after the arrival of Graeme Souness as player/manager in 1986 that he began to make a real impact, scoring 22 goals in 48 appearances in season 1986–87.[1] Fleck's goal tally that season included four hat-tricks; in league games against Clydebank (twice) and Falkirk, and in a UEFA Cup tie against Ilves Tampere.[2]

In December 1987 Fleck was transferred for £580,000 to Norwich City in the English Football League First Division.[3] He scored 66 goals in 181 appearances in his first spell with the club, earning a call-up to the Scotland Squad, winning 4 caps, including 2 at the 1990 World Cup. 'Flecky' attained hero status among Norwich supporters and was voted Norwich City player of the year in 1992 which was the final season of his first spell at Carrow Road. He helped them finished fourth in the league in 1989, when they also reached the FA Cup semi-final, though Fleck and his team-mates were unable to compete in the following season's UEFA Cup due to the ongoing ban on English clubs in European competitions that followed the Heysel disaster of 1985. Fleck helped the Canaries reach another FA Cup semi-final in 1992, where they surprisingly lost to Second Division underdogs Sunderland, Fleck returned from injury to play in this game but he was clearly unfit.

He controversially moved on to Chelsea for a (then) club record fee of £2.1million just before the first season of the new Premier League got underway, Norwich turned down the bid, but he forced it through by threatening to go on strike and refuse to play for the club again. At the time the deal was a record sale for Norwich, As part of the deal a clause was included to ruled Fleck out of playing against Norwich the 1st time they met just a couple of weeks later. Despite his now legendary status at Norwich, at the time he was probably one of the most hated players among Norwich fans. The move proved unsuccessful; Fleck scored just four goals in 48 appearances and was loaned out to Bolton Wanderers and Bristol City. He missed out on a place in Chelsea's squad for the 1994 FA Cup Final, which they lost 4–0 to Manchester United.

Despite his dismal goalscoring record at Chelsea, he is remembered fondly by the club's fans, who sang a song in his honour – We all live in a Robert Fleck world – based on the lyrics of Yellow Submarine by The Beatles.[4]

Fleck re-joined Norwich (who had just been relegated from the Premier League) for £650,000 in September 1995 after a loan spell, to begin with he made an impact forming a solid partnership with Ashley Ward up front, but after Ward was sold due to Norwich's financial problems, his performance was no where as consistent as in his first spell at Carrow Road, and they failed to make a serious attempt to push for promotion in any of his three seasons back at the club. He moved to Reading towards the end of the 1997–98 season, spending one season at the Berkshire club, and in nine league games he scored once against Luton Town (in the first game at the Madejski Stadium),[5] before injury ended his playing career.

Fleck is now a teaching assistant at the parkside school in Norwich, Norfolk.

Management career[edit]

After a spell as player-manager with Gorleston,[6] where he won the Norfolk Senior Cup in 2001, he joined Diss Town who play in the Ridgeons League, as manager in the summer of 2002. He won the Norfolk Senior Cup again in 2003 and 2005. A poor run of form during 2006 saw him sacked on 18 October 2006. Fleck returned to employment with Norwich City in May 2007, when he joined the club's scouting network.

Personal life[edit]

Fleck is fourth in the list of Norwich City FC all-time goalscorers, behind Johnny Gavin, Terry Allcock and Iwan Roberts. In 2002, Norwich fans voted him into the club's Hall of Fame. Fleck's nephew John plays for Coventry City F.C.. By October 2011, Fleck had changed career direction completely, working as a teaching assistant at Parkside School in Norwich.[7]

References[edit]

External links[edit]