Monday, 13 December 2010
218 Richard Sharpe
Played : 1994-95
Appearances : 16
Goals : 2
During the summer of 1994 Dave Sutton took advantage of the World Cup being in the USA to wangle a busman's holiday doing some coaching over there. While there he came across Richard who was banging in the goals for a team called Cocos Expos (an impressive 47 in 21 games !) and invited him to come over when the US season finished. Contrary to what many fans assumed, Richard was actually a 27-year old Englishman who'd been on the books of West Ham and Leyton Orient before going to the University of Florida in 1989 and making his name in college soccer.
Richard didn't saunter over until the middle of October and made his debut as a half time sub in the Dickins-led debacle at Torquay then started the next game as Sutton punished Paul Williams for his awful display. He was then sent off in Sutton's last game away at Hartlepool. Once he'd settled down under Docherty he was OK-ish. He always looked a bit off the pace and rarely played for the whole 90 minutes but he did work very hard and his goal in the Auto-Windscreen at Bury came from running a clearance down. He scored a good volleyed winner away at Doncaster then a few weeks later decided to return to Cocos. His last outing was a brief appearance as a late sub in a 0-0 draw at Hereford in March, a game so devoid of entertainment that the last half hour was played in total silence. They could have made a killing selling the video to dentists.
Docherty said he'd be prepared to re-sign him if he committed himself to a career in England and Lincoln were rumoured to be interested but he never returned. His subsequent career with Colorado Rapids and Carolina Dynamos was dogged by injury and he retired with a back problem in 1997.