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Andrew Norman, who died on 24 September, 2007, a few days after his 64th birthday, was the most powerful man in British athletics during the 1980s and a driving force behind the professionalisation of the sport. He served as promotions director for the British Athletic Federation for 10 years and managed the careers of stars Steve Ovett, Steve Cram, Fatima Whitbread, Steve Backley, Linford Christie, Colin Jackson, Jonathan Edwards and Kelly Holmes. He successfully lobbied the governing bodies of international athletics for the introduction of trust funds for athletes in a move that would effectively, if not overtly, end years of amateur status. Andrew John Norman was born in Ipswich on 21 September, 1943. He attended the local grammar school and showed a talent for running in the 400 and 800 metres. In 1962 he joined the Metropolitan Police. As well as rising quickly through the ranks to become the force's youngest sergeant, he continued to develop his sporting interests, running for the Met and later becoming manager of the Metropolitan Police athletics team. He then started to organise successful meetings for the Southern Counties Amateur Athletics Association at Crystal Palace Stadium and by 1974 he was directing meets for the International Athletes Club. With a knack for promotion and a reputation for tough discipline, he began signing big names to Southern Counties where he was coaching secretary. In 1982 he addressed the International Amateur Athletics Federation Congress to call for end of what he called "shamateurism" – a corrupt system which survived on under-the-table payments. In 1984 he left the police force and became promotions director at the BAF, a professional step-up that mirrored the payments his clients were now receiving as athletics began to compete with football for television and advertising revenue. He continued to arrange athletics meetings overseas and managing British athletes. He was principal director for the triumphant European Athletics Championships in Budapest in 1998 and also worked as a consultant to the IAAF. He was married twice, the second time to Fatima Whitbread in 1997 (the couple became estranged in 2005), and had a son and daughter from the first marriage and a son from the second. He died shortly after returning to the UK from the IAAF World Athletics Final in Stuttgart.
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Viewed by: 5655 visitors. Uploaded: 11 years ago
Published in: Online.
Published from: September 24, 2007.
Region: National
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