Dodgin, Norman

Birth Date

1st November 1921

Birthplace

Gateshead

Occupation

Manager

Biographical Text

After the disappointment over Tim Ward, the City board lost no time in appointing Norman Dodgin as player-manager. At the time, 31-year-old Norman Dodgin became one of the youngest managers in the Football League.

An uncle of Fulham team boss, Bill Dodgin junior, and younger brother of Bill Dodgin senior, a former Fulham, Brentford and Bristol Rovers manager, Norman Dodgin had a good pedigree. Furthermore, his professional playing career saw him make a total of 116 League appearances with Newcastle United, Reading and Northampton Town. At Exeter He played for another two seasons, helping the team rise to their highest position (ninth) since 1934.

What distinguished Dodgin from City’s other managers was his fanatical obsession with tactics. He was forthright enough to have told directors and certain journalists that they knew nothing about the game. At board meetings he would often move glasses around the table to show his employers where their ideas may have been wrong. For their part, the directors respected Dodgin and allowed him more control than most of his forerunners had enjoyed.

In contrast, his last playing season was disastrous for the City, who just escaped having to apply for re-election. After two more seasons of only limited success, Dodgin was caught up in the great upheaval of March-April 1957 which brought the arrival of a new chairman and his dismissal. Such was Dodgin’s popularity that the players were in revolt. This, however, did not alter the fact that club and manager permanently parted company.

Subsequently, Dodgin managed Yeovil Town, Barrow and Oldham Athletic before retiring to Exeter in 1960 where he opened a newsagents business.

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