Steve Norris

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It was only fitting that the first class of inductees into the Lancashire Wolverines Hall Of Fame included Steve Norris, as to write a biography of him is to compile the history of the club.

From the conception in 1985, of the then Wigan Wolverines, Steve played a pivotal role by anchoring the offensive line at the centre position. Mr Norris was to hold that starting job for the next 9 years as well as captaining the side from 1986-1992 and managing the side until he retired from playing in 1994. It was at this point that Steve’s forward thinking led him to realise that something had to be done to address the lack of young blood joining the rapidly ageing senior squad. While others buried their heads in the sand, avoiding the inevitable decline of the club, Steve tackled the problem head on by setting up the Colts in 1995 as a feeder club for the seniors. Steve then made the tough decision not to enter the league in the first season, and hindsight has proven what an inspired choice this was as this bought him the time to complete the master stroke of appointing fellow Hall Of Famer, Paul Day, as Head Coach. With Steve and Paul at the helm, the fledgling Lancashire Wolverine Colts joined the national league in 1996 making a statement to the league by challenging the reigning National Champions, London Capitals, to a preseason friendly.

The league pundits projected only two wins for the new comers who stunned the league by steamrolling their way to the National Final to face a very strong Farnham Knights side that had not conceded a point all season.  Despite losing a hard fought battle to the Knights the season was a victory for Mr Norris and the club as a whole. Steve managed the Colts to another unbeaten season in 1997, this time avenging the previous seasons defeat to Farnham by beating them and becoming national Champions only 33 months after starting the team from scratch. Handing the managerial role to Julia Chatwood in 1998, Steve became club Chairman so that he could now bring the same success to the senior side. Unfortunately the Senior’s success was not to come as quickly as it had for the Colts, who retained their National Championship following another unbeaten season. In 1999 the Senior team manager stepped down and Steve stepped into the breach as caretaker manager and offensive line coach. Maintaining his position as Club chairman, Steve steered both the Senior and Colt teams through highs and lows until 2002 when he had to once again step into the spot as Senior manager as well as establishing The Standish Raiders Junior Team.

Despite all of Steve’s valiant efforts the Senior side was forced to withdraw from the league in 2004. Many believed that, that would be the end of the Lancashire Wolverines, but not Steve, he saw it as an opportunity. A chance to build the club from the base up and get all the right building blocks in place to ensure that the Lancashire Wolverines would become a dominant force in British American Football. This was never going to be easy and the league delivered a body blow by refusing to allow the team entry to the league for the 2006 season. Always the optimist Steve took this as a chance to build the club even stronger and add even more talent to the teams coaching staff by signing Paul Horsburgh. Proving numerous people wrong the Senior side rejoined the league in 2007 with a winning season.

It is true to say that this club has had many highs and lows in it’s proud history but the one constant in all of it’s successes and the key figure in the survival of the hardest of times has been Steve Norris. He was instrumental in steering the side through the amalgamation of The Wigan Wolverines and Lancashire Chieftans in 1990, the Colts were born of Steve’s vision for the future of the club and it is no coincidence that now the club boasts the largest American Football Academy in the country that it is Steve Norris who is leading the way as Chairman, so it is only right that the longest servant and leader of the club is the first name into it’s Hall Of Fame.