Career: Circa 1944
VFL/AFL Clubs: Fitzroy 228 games
RECRUITED BY FITZROY—1944
228 GAMES, 185 GOALS
BEST & FAIREST—1947
LEADING GOALKICKER—1955 (32 goals)
MEMBER OF FITZROY TEAM OF CENTURY
VICTORIAN PLAYER—1 GAME
M.P.F.L.—AFL/VFL PLAYER OF THE CENTURY
Norm employed a pretty simple game plan which revolved around total focus on the ball. Whatever existed between Norm and that object was at risk, because at 183cm and 97kg, he was all shoulders and muscle and he always travelled in a straight lines - at speed.
As he said, “I used to run straight and if someone was in front I would just keep running.” Sounds simple but you need the frame and the pace to carry out the destruction and Johnstone obviously had both. Although reported on three occasions, Norm finished his 228 game career with an untarnished record, though legend has it that many of his opponents could scarcely say the same about their underwear after the game. He was one fearsome competitor.
Norm famously turned his back on the opportunity to play in Fitzroy’s 1944 premiership team choosing instead to return to Chelsea and help them to win the Junior Pennant in that same year. No doubt he thought that he would have many more opportunities to enjoy success with the Lions but only one chance with his mates at Chelsea. He was half right.