6th August 1949 - 19th October 2015
The passing of Norrie Fulton saw Junior football mourn as it lost one of its true legends.
Born in Luton in 1949, Norrie was still a bairn when his family moved to Greenock, allowing the young Fulton to kick off his football career with his school team, St. Mungo's Secondary, during which time he won an Under -13's league title.
After leaving school, his association with St Mungo's continued, turning out for the Boys' Guild where his ability saw him appear on the radar of Largs Thistle manager Davie Baxter, who signed Norrie up for his first spell in the Juniors during the 1967/68 season.
Norrie's stay at Barrfields was brief, lasting approximately 3 months where he netted twice before rejoining Boys' Guild football.
His return to the Junior fold came when Willie McFarlane signed him for Port Glasgow. In a prolific spell he scored 74 goals for the Woodhall Park side, including a hat-trick in the 1970/71 Erskine Hospital Charity Cup final when Port Glasgow defeated Neilston at Newlandsfield Park.
His form at Port Glasgow attracted the attention of Senior clubs, and during the 1970/71 season he made three appearances as a trialist for Queen of the South, scoring once. Indeed, had it not been for the dismissal of Doonhamers manager Harold Davis, a contract may very well have been offered.
As things transpired, Norrie was on the move at the end of the season to Johnstone Burgh. Once more he was to sample League football with one match on trial for Albion Rovers, but despite his remarkable record of goal getting in the Junior ranks, his final Senior stats would read played 4, scored 1.
Those connected with the Burgh would have been secretly pleased that things didn't work out for Norrie at senior level, netting more than 90 goals in his four years at the club. When his time at Burgh ended it took a record transfer fee from Petershill to pry him from Keanie Park.
The record fee proved to be no millstone around his neck though, as in his four years with the Springburn side Norrie finished top of the goal charts with a cumulative total of 108 counters. The highlight of his time at Peasy would probably have been the Sectional League Cup Final of the 1977/78 season when he aided his side to a comprehensive 3-0 win over Pollok at Shawfield, the goals coming from Roddy Gordon and a double from Norrie McLaren.
The Pollok fans would come to forgive Norrie for his hand in that match when yet another record transfer fee saw him cross the city and sign for the 'Lok in the close season of 1979. Once more, there was no danger of Norrie being overawed by yet another substantial transfer fee, finishing his maiden season with 40 goals. He picked up his first silverware at the club when he scored the first in a 2-0 win over Kirkintilloch Rob Roy in the Central League Cup final.
Despite "only" scoring 26 goals in the 1980/81 season, he netted what is undoubtedly the most famous goal in Pollok's history on 16th May 1981, namely the only strike of the game when the 'Lok defeated Arthurlie 1-0 in the Scottish Junior Cup Final to lift that particular trophy for the first time. Indeed the lasting legacy of that goal came towards the end of that decade when those responsible for the Pollok fanzine christened it "Fulton One-Nil"!
1980/81 could arguably be referred to as the greatest season in the history of Pollok, winning as they did a remarkable five trophies thanks in no small part to Norrie. In addition to his Junior Cup final goal he also netted a brace in the National Drybrough Cup final as Arniston Rangers were brushed aside 7-1, a first half strike against Blantyre Victoria in the Central League Championship decider which Pollok would eventually go on to win on penalties, as well as the opener in the Evening Times' Cup Winners' Cup final against Maryhill who were defeated 2-1.
Norrie's last goal for Pollok came on 30th January 1982 in a 2-2 draw with East Kilbride Thistle having taken up a player/coach role as his playing days wound down. A brief managerial stint at Largs Thistle followed to close out his active role in Junior football, after which he ran a public house in Greenock.
Although Norrie's playing days were over, son Stephen took up the reins going on to have a successful career, most notably with Celtic and Heart of Midlothian, who he captained to Scottish Cup glory in 1998. The Fulton dynasty continues with Stephen's sons Jay, Dale, and Tyler all having played at a professional level, Jay following in his grandfather's footsteps by netting at the national stadium when Falkirk lost 3-1 to Celtic in the League Cup semi-final of 2012.
Despite the achievements of his offspring, those of a Junior football persuasion will recognise Norrie as the greatest of his family. His 8 caps for Junior Scotland, his mantelpiece full of medals, and the memories of his 350+ goals will attest to that.
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