24th October 1934 – 27th October 2023
It is with great sadness that we have learned, from his son, Clive, of the passing of former
Bristol Rovers goalkeeper Malcolm Norman.
Malcolm, says Clive, died suddenly, but peacefully, in the Royal United Hospital Bath on
27th October at the age of 89.
Cardiff born Malcolm arrived at Eastville in May 1958, via Cardiff Nomads and Cardiff
Corinthians and having played in the Middle East whilst undertaking his National Service.
He had played two games for Rovers reserves before signing, having been spotted playing
for Cardiff Corinthians by the club’s chief scout at the time, Wally Jennings. The 23 year old
shot stopper was offered a full time contract by manager Bert Tann following the second of
However, prior to the start of the 1958/59 campaign, Malcolm underwent an operation on
his left wrist and it wasn’t until Christmas that he took over, from Howard Radford, as
Rovers’ first choice keeper, when he made his league debut in a 3-1 home defeat against
Leyton Orient, becoming the 338th player to represent the club in the Football League.
He remained in the side for the rest of that season, when Rovers equalled their best ever
league position of sixth in Division Two, and for the opening 28 league games of the
During that campaign he appeared in Eastville’s first ever game under floodlights, against
Ipswich in September 1959, and was also in the side that drew 3-3 against Preston North
End in a Fourth Round FA Cup tie which was witnessed by a record Eastville attendance of
That season he also came tantalisingly close to winning a Welsh international cap when he
was placed on standby to replace the injured Jack Kelsey for a game against England. Kelsey,
though, recovered in time to feature in the match.
There were another 17 league games in 1960/61 and three more in 1961/62 when Rovers
were relegated to the Third Division.
Released at the end of that season, after appearing in 69 league games for Rovers, he joined
Kidderminster Harriers in the West Midland League but following a year with them he
returned to play his football for Welton Rovers and was a member of the side that won a
hat trick of Western League titles in 1964/65, 1965/66 and 1966/67.
He moved on to play for Bath City when Welton manager Arnold Rogers moved to Twerton
Park and later played for Welton Rovers (again) and Radstock Town
In an interview several years after his retirement, he said; ‘I’m grateful for my time in
football, particularly with Rovers where I had the chance to play on the grounds of some of
the country’s bigger clubs.’
Malcolm and his wife Joan, who survives him, had three sons and Clive says; ‘Dad
would always speak with great pride and fond memories of certain games, incidents and
characters, both teammates and opponents.
‘Watching grandchildren listening in awe to him telling them about a crowd of over 38,000
at Eastville holding Preston, with Tom Finney, to a draw as he did when we were three
young sons many years ago will be an abiding memory and a proud story that will no doubt
be passed on to his Great Grandchildren in years to come.’
Our thoughts are with Malcolm’s family and friends at this difficult, and sad, time for them