Dodgin, Norman

Birth Date

1st November 1921


Gateshead, Co Durham



Biographical Text

Exeter City’s manager between April 1953 and April 1957, Norman Dodgin played around thirty games for the club before concentrating on his management duties. A player with Newcastle, Reading and Northampton, he managed Yeovil, Barrow and Oldham after leaving St James’ Park. Norman's brother (Bill senior) and nephew (Bill junior) both became professional footballers and later managers.

After playing for local side Whitehall, Norman joined Newcastle United in August 1940. Owing to the war it was to be seven years before he made his Football League debut, the first of 84 league matches he played for the club. A £5,000 fee took him to Reading in June 1950 but he only featured 13 times in the league before moving on to Northampton in September 1951 where he was to make a further nineteen league appearances.

Then, in August 1953, at the age of just thirty-one, Norman was appointed player-manager of Exeter City making him one of the youngest managers in the Football League at the time. He made his City debut against Leyton Orient in the opening game of the season and featured in thirty league games during his first season at St James' Park. Appearing just three times in his second season, Norman retired as a player in 1955 but continued to manage City until being dismissed by a new chairman at the club in April 1957. Such was his popularity that the Exeter players demanded a meeting with the board to try and change their mind about the decision.

Dodgin was not out of work for long and in June 1957 became manager of Yeovil Town. His stay in Somerset only lasted three months before he left to take over as manager of Barrow in September 1957. He subsequently resigned in July 1958 after a disagreement with the Barrow directors reportedly stating that they had given him no money for players nor help with their accommodation requirements.  The same month he became manager at Oldham Athletic, a job he held until May 1960.

Returning to live in Exeter, Norman ran a newsagents business in Countess Wear for many years before dying locally in August 2000.


Exeter City league games only






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