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Norman Lockhart

Name: Norman H. Lockhart
Born: 4 March 1924, Belfast
Died: 19 August 1993, Belfast
Height: 5.06½ ft

Weight: 10.04 st
Position: Outside-Left

Representative Honours: Ireland: 8 Full Caps / 3 Goals (1946-1956); Irish FA Representative (Canada, 1953).
Club Honours: (with Linfield) Northern Regional League Champion 1944/45, 1945/46; Irish Cup Winner 1944/45, 1945/46, Runner-Up 1943/44.

Club Career:
FA Cup
Windsor Star
Swansea Town
Coventry City
Aston Villa
41/ 6

"A superb outside-left with the ability to coss on the run with accuracy, and also score his fair share of goals", Norman Lockhart found the net twice on his Ireland debut in 1946. He then found himself dropped in favour of Southern-born players, Tommy Eglington and Jack O’Driscoll (who also took Lockhart’s place in the Swansea team). Consequently, he had to wait three and a half years for a second cap!

Belfast-born, Lockhart began his football career as a youth with Windsor Star, then played briefly with Distillery, before finding success with Linfield, for whom he signed for £225 in April 1944, in the “War-Time” Northern Regional League. He played in three Irish Cup Finals, scoring in the 1945 4-2 victory over Glentoran. It was also while a Linfield player that Lockhart won the first of eight caps for Ireland, playing on the right-wing in the first proper post-war Home Nations match.

Transferred to Swansea Town in October 1946 for £2,500, Lockhart suffered the disappointment of relegation to Division Three (South) in his first season (the League’s first post-war), before moving back to Division Two with Coventry City in October 1947 for a fee of £7,000. Despite a broken ankle, he really shone in a five year spell at Highfield Road, regaining his place in an Ireland team now forced to do without their Southern players.

Although Coventry were relegated from Division Two themselves in 1952, Lockhart had done enough to impress First Division Aston Villa who splashed £15,500 on his signature in September 1952. A fast raiding winger, capable of strong crossing on the run, at Villa Park Lockhart linked up again with former Linfield colleague, Dave Walsh, a player who was regularly on the end of the outside-left’s centres. As his pace started to fade in the mid-1950s, Lockhart lost his place on the left for both club and country to Peter McParland, though he found a new role at Villa, filling in on the opposite flank.

Allowed to leave Villa Park in November 1956, Bury paid in the region of £2,000 for the aging Lockhart. A regular in the left-wing for almost two seasons, and also a reliable goal scorer, Lockhart could do little to prevent Bury’s relegation to Division Three (North) in 1957, and come the end of the following campaign, now aged 34, he was released. He returned to Northern Ireland, and replaced the transferred Billy Humphries for the away leg of Ards’ European Cup clash with Stade de Reims in Paris – the French side triumphing 6-2 to make the aggregate score 10-3.
Sporting Mirror 13 January 1950

Ireland Cap Details:
28-09-1946 England. H L 2-7 BC.... 2 Goals
08-03-1950 Wales... A D 0-0 WCQ/BC
07-03-1951 Wales... H L 1-2 BC
19-03-1952 Wales... A L 0-3 BC
03-10-1953 Scotland H L 1-3 WCQ/BC 1 Goal
11-11-1953 England. A L 1-3 WCQ/BC
20-04-1955 Wales... H L 2-3 BC
11-04-1956 Wales... A D 1-1 BC

Summary: 8/3. Won 0, Drew 2, Lost 6.


Anonymous said…
this is my grandad he died 2 months after i was born! he rocks!!luff yoo grandad x x x
jcd said…
Indeed Catherine, you should be very proud of your grandad.

It would be great to hear any tales your family may have to tell.
Anonymous said…
This is also my grandfather. I had the good fortune of habving 18 years with him. He was my hero as a boy and I remember with great fondness him playing football with me out the back of our house. I would practice tricks all week to impress him opnly for him to a) do them better! and b) only let me kick with my left foot! He always said this was his proudest skill - his two-footedness. He was frequently appalled by the inability of very highly paid professionals to use both feet.
I remember him giving me a Northern Irekland football top one christmas when I was 10 - it became my second skin. 14 years after his death and I'm still proud of him!

Hi Catherine! Hope you are well!
Anonymous said…
I’m Robert Lockhart, Norman’s youngest son. My dad hung up his boots for the last time four years before i was born so i never knew the lean winger pictured here. I knew him as a sprightly middle aged man much rounder in face and figure than the athlete i see in old photos. He was a kind and affectionate dad with a strong sense of fairness- alovely man and a lovely dad.
He rarely talked about his playing days. Much of what i know comes from my mum and her collection of press cuttings and programmes. I recall one story he told me many times which i’ll record here because it feels right today (Wed. Feb 5th, 2008).
It happened in the famous 1946 Windsor Park game against England in which my dad made his debut. What a moment it must have been for him to take the field for his country surrounded by some of the games giants, and in front of a heaving crowd desperate for international football after the shadow of war had lifted.
He had a bad case of nerves early on. Taking corners from the left he fluffed the first couple putting them behind the goal. At the third the England goalie, (legendary) Frank Swift walked over and politely handed the ball to my dad. “Take your time, young fella…” he said with a friendly pat on the arm. My dad never forgot this kind gesture by the seasoned veteran to the first timer. Dad got two that day, so maybe the big goalie lived to regret his kindness!
Today is the fiftieth anniversary of the gentleman goalie’s death in Munich, on the flight which which destroyed the Busby Babes. All the coverage on Radio and TV has made me think about the footballing deeds of those times and of my dad’s small part in them.
Thanks to Paul and Catherine for posting their messages here.
jcd said…
Thanks for that Robert. It is anecdotes and memories such as yours that make this site worthwhile.

I am just back from Windsor Park where a minutes silence was observed for the anniversary of Munich. It should be remembered that the world was robbed not just of some fine footballers, but of many more fine men.
Jamie Smith said…
hey guys Norman Lockhart was my grandad's cousin - he always talked about him, best wishes to you all
wee bear said…
Hi Robert

This is your cousin Margaret - I felt I had to add my comments here - your dad was so good to me he gave me pocket money, took me to the park and sung in the car _ I just so loved him singing!!! and now I do it with my grandchildren.
ps I used to read you stories!!!!
Love Margaret
Rbert Lockhart said…
Hi,Robert here again (29.03.10),

Thanks jcd,jamie (who was your grandad by the way?) and Margaret. I remember dad's love of singing very well Margaret (and remember your visits with fondness).

Sadly my Mum, Gladys, died in April 2009. She died peacefully and was herself to the end. One of the things i miss most is chatting to her about my dad's career, which made the first 15 years or so of their marriage such an exciting time. Now i've no-one to ask when queries come to mind. I have to turn to the internet.

i made an exciting discovery
recently. you can watch my dad score a penalty against Scotland at Windsor Park in 1953 at .this meant the world to me as i never saw him play and thought maybe i never would. wish i could show it to Mum.

dad was proud of his penalty technique and here's a perfect example- goalie guesses right but can't get to it!

what's nice about the clip too is how much of Divis Mountain and the streets around Windsor Park you can see, and the wonderful crowd scenes- nearly 60,000 people there!
It looks like a beautiful day for a football game.

there are other clips and glimpses of him on the pathe site and the movietone site too, i'm still looking into this.

cheerio for now, RL
Anonymous said…
So lovely to come across this site. My grandparents had been his neighbours and I used to spend days reading his daughters books in her room (from memory she was at uni). After Mr Lockhart died his wife left me a signed photo of him playing football which I have kept safe all these years wanting to know more about him as I had no idea he was a footballer! I had often searched but gave up about 10 years ago. So glad I tried again x
Unknown said…
Only just came across this, Norman was a very jolly and kindly uncle (married to my dad's (George)lovely sister Gladys) I have very fond memories of both. Do you remember playing firemen in Suffolk Robert, just across the road from mother and papa? Your cousin Lesley x