Norris: Why I became a part-owner in Pompey

David Norris celebrates his derby strike. Picture: Allan Hutchings (121221-540)
David Norris celebrates his derby strike. Picture: Allan Hutchings (121221-540)

For some of his team-mates it was a grand gesture driven by the opportunity for precious positive PR to appease the fans.

Others signed up under pressure from the ever-persevering Jamie Ashdown and his wife, Zoe.

But David Norris always intended to fulfil his pledge for a Pompey Supporters’ Trust share.

The midfielder’s time at Fratton Park spanned merely a season before he departed as the administrators attempted to slash the wage bill.

In footballing terms, Fratton Park was a fleeting stop-over in a career which has seen him serve six league clubs so far.

Nonetheless, Pompey remains in the heart of the 32-year-old who famously netted a dramatic late equaliser against Southampton in a south-coast derby during that time.

Now he is following-up his initial £100 pledge by settling the full amount to own a £1,000 share.

In doing so he joins Ashdown and David James as modern-day Blues players who have become part-owners of the club they used to serve.

He didn’t have to – but the Leeds player wanted to.

Norris said: ‘When I initially pledged I was not doing it just for the sake of it and trying to impress the fans.

‘I genuinely meant it and the intention was to follow it up when the time came but I had not heard about it for a little while.

‘At the time there were people losing their jobs. The club could have gone under and they were tough days but I am in a position to be able to help out.

‘I do not mind, I am happy to do so, it’s a great cause and, believe it or not, my Pompey days are one of my favourite times in my career.

‘For me it’s not a big deal about getting a share, lots of people have done it and some of those are less fortunate than myself. I just wanted to do my bit.

‘I was only there for a year and they were difficult times but it never felt like that to me and I always enjoyed playing for Pompey.

‘The fans were unbelievable to us. We were staring relegation in the face for a while until it eventually happened but they were good to us. Great people.

‘I lived in Swanmore. I like to live near the training ground, the family were really settled and happy as well. And that goal topped everything off!

‘It was so important the off-the-field stuff was taken care of and that seems to be the case now with the club in the hands of people who care the most.’

As well as being in the process of buying a share, Norris has also donated one of his Pompey shirts for a charity raffle in aid of Jack Robinson.

The four-year-old from Denmead has captured hearts in recent weeks through his brave battle against an inoperable brain tumour.

And having been contacted, the former Ipswich midfielder was only too pleased to play his part by handing over a strip which has a one-in-three chance of being the one he wore against Southampton.

He added: ‘It is heartbreaking when you hear stories like that and you want to help.

‘I kept the shirts I scored for Pompey in but when I moved to Leeds three of them on different hangers got mixed up.

‘So it’s a one-in-three chance I have donated the shirt I wore for that St Mary’s equaliser! I don’t know myself.’