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Norm MacLeod

Norm MacLeod

1927-1932
22
Other Guernsey Nos.
16, 18, 23

58 CFC Games Played

0 CFC Goals

Date of Birth
8 October 1904
Date of Death
7 October 1951
Recruited From
Northcote District
Collingwood Debut
Round 1, 1927
Height:
170cm
Weight:
64kg

Biography

Throughout the early eras of football it was not uncommon for mistakes to be made with the correct spelling of players’ names.

Bruce Andrew was not aware that he had been selected to play his first game in 1928, as the morning newspaper recorded the Magpie newcomer as Andrews. Leo Wescott and Bill Sneazwell’s names were invariably misspelt in newspaper articles. The Collingwood four-in-a-row Premiership photographs were not immune either, with several errors occurring with the names recorded for posterity.

Norm MacLeod is a classic, little-known example. Throughout his six seasons at Victoria Park, he was continuously referred to as McLeod. Even the Collingwood record books and AFL archives featured this spelling of his name for many years. But his death notice in the Sun News-Pictorial in 1951 and his World War Two record, coupled with confirmation from family members, have shed light on this football misnomer.

Chances are MacLeod did not feel a compulsion to correct those who got his name wrong, because he was renowned as a “quiet, reserved and decent man”.

Born in Oakleigh in 1904, MacLeod played relatively little football as a youngster. He eventually took up the game with Balmain, in Richmond, and then spent two years with Aspendale in a local competition before heading to Northcote District. He first tried out for the Collingwood District team in the mid-1920s, and came under notice for the senior team in the 1927 practice matches. In one trial game it was reported that “McCloud [sic] featured prominently”, while in another he was referred to as “McLean”.

While reporters may not have known his name, they knew he had the skills to make a fist of his VFL career. He made his debut in the opening match of 1927, earning praise from the Sporting Globe: “McLeod [sic], an Abbotsford boy, … is a fast, clever wingman, who knows all the tricks of the football trade.” Syd Coventry said he was proving “a game, little dasher”.

Even in his earliest appearances, the traits that would come to define his play were apparent. He was super quick – good enough to win the Castlemaine Gift in 1927 and to compete at Stawell. He was also highly skilled, plucky, and had a happy knack of bobbing up in the right place at the right time.

After tasting senior football for the first three games in 1927, each time on a wing where the open spaces suited his speed, MacLeod returned to the Districts side. In 1928 he was surprisingly moved into defence but adapted well and managed to hold down a semi-regular senior spot (15 games). Still, the damage his pace could cause was too much of a temptation for selectors and he was back on the wing for the Premiership line-up. The next season he was cruelly given the boot for the Grand Final after playing every other game for the year. While ‘Jiggy’ Harris suffered the same fate and quit the club in disgust, MacLeod stood firm and fought to win back his spot. He managed 16 games in 1930, yet again missed the Grand Final team.

Despite those crushing blows, MacLeod loved his experiences with Collingwood. Although things didn’t always go smoothly. Once, while playing against Fitzroy, he and “Chicken” Smallhorn cannoned into each other in a sickening clash of heads, but the Magpie wingman continued to play on courageously after having several stitches inserted into the large gash on his head. A week or so later, members of his family started to complain of a strange smell coming from MacLeod’s direction. Closer investigation revealed that a tooth — Smallhorn’s tooth — was still embedded in the wound.

Still, MacLeod wasn’t complaining. He enjoyed a remarkable early run of success, playing in a Premiership in just his 18th game. And overall he played 58 games in six seasons, for 51 wins, six losses and a draw. That gives him a career winning percentage of 88.79% – still the highest such ranking amongst VFL/AFL players to have played more than 50 games.

Sadly MacLeod, a boot worker by trade, died a young man, of cerebral haemorrhage, the day before his 47th birthday. At least the death notices got his surname right.

Statistics

CFC Career Stats

Season played Games Goals Finals Win %
1927-1932 58 0 5 87%

CFC Season by Season Stats

Season GP GL B K H T D Guernsey No.
1927 3 0 16

1927 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 Geelong W 0 16 View match >
Round 2 Hawthorn W 0 16 View match >
Round 3 Richmond L 0 16 View match >
Legend
  • #Guernsey
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • DDisposals
  • MMarks
  • TTackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1928 15 0 16

1928 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 Geelong W 0 16 View match >
Round 6 North Melbourne W 0 16 View match >
Round 7 Carlton W 0 16 View match >
Round 8 Sydney W 0 16 View match >
Round 9 Melbourne W 0 16 View match >
Round 10 Western Bulldogs W 0 16 View match >
Round 11 Essendon W 0 16 View match >
Round 12 Geelong L 0 16 View match >
Round 14 Richmond W 0 16 View match >
Round 15 Hawthorn W 0 16 View match >
Round 16 St Kilda W 0 16 View match >
Round 17 North Melbourne W 0 16 View match >
Semi Final Melbourne D 0 16 View match >
Semi Final Melbourne W 0 16 View match >
Grand Final Richmond W 0 16 View match >
Legend
  • #Guernsey
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • DDisposals
  • MMarks
  • TTackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1929 19 0 0 0 22

1929 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 Richmond W 0 22 View match >
Round 2 Hawthorn W 0 22 View match >
Round 3 Sydney W 0 0 0 22 View match >
Round 4 Geelong W 0 22 View match >
Round 5 Fitzroy W 0 22 View match >
Round 6 North Melbourne W 0 22 View match >
Round 7 Melbourne W 0 22 View match >
Round 8 St Kilda W 0 22 View match >
Round 9 Western Bulldogs W 0 22 View match >
Round 10 Carlton W 0 22 View match >
Round 11 Essendon W 0 22 View match >
Round 12 Richmond W 0 22 View match >
Round 13 Hawthorn W 0 0 0 22 View match >
Round 14 Sydney W 0 22 View match >
Round 15 Geelong W 0 22 View match >
Round 16 Fitzroy W 0 22 View match >
Round 17 North Melbourne W 0 22 View match >
Round 18 Melbourne W 0 22 View match >
Semi Final Richmond L 0 22 View match >
Legend
  • #Guernsey
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • DDisposals
  • MMarks
  • TTackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1930 16 0 0 0 23

1930 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 Richmond W 0 23 View match >
Round 2 Hawthorn W 0 23 View match >
Round 3 Sydney W 0 23 View match >
Round 4 Geelong L 0 23 View match >
Round 5 Fitzroy L 0 23 View match >
Round 6 North Melbourne W 0 23 View match >
Round 7 Melbourne W 0 23 View match >
Round 9 Western Bulldogs W 0 23 View match >
Round 10 Carlton L 0 23 View match >
Round 11 Essendon W 0 23 View match >
Round 12 Fitzroy W 0 0 0 23 View match >
Round 15 St Kilda W 0 23 View match >
Round 16 Western Bulldogs W 0 23 View match >
Round 17 Carlton W 0 23 View match >
Round 18 Essendon W 0 23 View match >
Semi Final Richmond W 0 23 View match >
Legend
  • #Guernsey
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • DDisposals
  • MMarks
  • TTackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1931 4 0 0 0 18

1931 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 Geelong W 0 18 View match >
Round 8 North Melbourne W 0 18 View match >
Round 11 Fitzroy W 0 18 View match >
Round 16 Carlton W 0 0 0 18 View match >
Legend
  • #Guernsey
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • DDisposals
  • MMarks
  • TTackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
1932 1 0 18

1932 Season stats

Hide Season
RD VS Result GL B K H T D Guernsey No. Match Report
Round 1 Hawthorn W 0 18 View match >
Legend
  • #Guernsey
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • DDisposals
  • MMarks
  • TTackles
*Player goal statistics included VFA (Victorian Football Association) results.
Totals 58 0 0
Avg/Game   0.00 0.00
Legend
  • GPGames Played
  • GLGoals
  • BBehinds
  • KKicks
  • HHandballs
  • TTackles
  • DDisposals

Key Facts

CFC Debut Number

309

Total AFL Games
58
CFC Debut
Round 1, 1927
CFC Last Game
Round 1, 1932
Recruited From
Northcote District
Full Name
Norm Macleod

Awards

  • Premiership
    1928
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