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Feature

Silkmen A-Z: Ollie Norburn

17 June 2019

We continue our look back at the Silkmen stars of yesteryear by featuring a midfielder whose stay at the Moss Rose may well have been short, yet it proved to be an illustrious one.

Oliver Lewis Norburn was born in Bolton in 1992. Playing football from a young age, he caught the eye of the youth scouts at Chelsea and made the move to the capital shortly after. Two years at Stamford Bridge followed, before he moved up to the Midlands as he signed for Leicester as a 17 year old back in 2009.

Signing professional terms in 2011, Ollie was unfortunately unable to win a First Team place and went out on loan to Bristol Rovers during the following September. He went on to make his professional debut for The Pirates as an 86th minute substitute in a 5-2 victory over Rotherham United.

After a one month loan he returned to the King Power Stadium, but failed to secure a First Team shirt and subsequently signed with The Pirates on a permanent basis in July 2012.

The move to the Memorial Ground proved to be the right one and Ollie went on to make over fifty appearances for the club over the following two seasons. Opportunities eventually dried up however and he left the club by mutual consent in April 2014. Signing for Plymouth shortly after, First Team opportunities continued to elude him and he moved again in 2015 - this time to Guiseley.

Whilst with The Lions, Ollie scored a controversial goal in a National League match against Braintree Town. The ball had been put out by Braintree to allow their player to receive treatment. When play resumed, Ollie went to take the throw and threw the ball back to the Braintree 'keeper - who missed the ball and it ended up in the back of the net. This prompted Braintree’s Danny Cowley to state that it was “the worst thing that I have seen on a football pitch!”.

Helping Guiseley to avoid relegation, interest started to build around the young midfielder and he caught the eye of the team at here at Macclesfield.

Initially signing a short term contract using funds raised through the 2016/17 Silkmen Campaign Fund, Ollie made his Macc debut on 6th August 2016 against Torquay United at the Moss Rose.

Regular appearances within the midfield followed, before a knee injury sidelined him for three months and it was March 2017 before he regained his place in the starting line up.

Although only playing twenty-nine times for The Silkmen, Ollie gained a well-earned reputation for scoring spectacular and important goals for the team. His first came on his aforementioned debut against Torquay, with a sweet strike from outside the area. The goal later won the Silkmen’s Goal of the Season award, as well as being included in the BT Sports Top 10 Goals in the Vanarama National League that year.

Scoring in the 93rd minute to secure all three points away to Solihull was another memorable moment, but it will be Ollie’s contribution to our FA Trophy campaign during the 2016/17 season that earns him a place in the Silkmen history books.

Over the two-legged semi-final against Tranmere Rovers, Ollie scored both Silkmen goals to earn us a place in the final at Wembley. On the hallowed turf of England's national stadium, he scored yet another spectacular strike to bring the scores level at two-all in the dying minutes of the first half.

Heartbreakingly it wasn’t enough to lift the historic trophy however, with opponents York City going on to secure a 3 - 2 victory courtesy of a late Jon Parkin goal.

Parting ways with The Silkmen in the summer of 2017, Ollie signed a two year deal with Tranmere - who had obviously liked what they had seen in the FA Trophy Semi-Final of the previous season. He spent just twelve months at Prenton Park before joining Shrewsbury, who were then managed by his former boss, John Askey.

Although his time with Macclesfield was short, the goals he scored will always be remembered fondly by every Macc fan and it is for this reason that Ollie earns his rightful place in our Silkmen A - Z.


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