A gentle giant of a centre-half, who came from Norfolk to play a pivotal role in Tottenham's growth as a dominant force and in the Double winning side of 1960-61.
He was spotted playing for Wymondham Minors by Norwich, who took him to Carrow Road and signed him as a professional. It was three years before he made his league debut, but within a few months, his performances had marked him out as a man that Bill Nicholson would anchor his back four around. Played only 35 matches for Norwich City before Tottenham moved to sign the big centre-half in November 1955. However, he was bought as a replacement for Alf Ramsey at right back and started in the team immediately in that position until he was hit by injury in September 1956 and he was out of the side for six months.
On his return to the side, Maurice found that Peter Baker had made the right back place his own, so it was on the other flank that he found his way into the team. Solid as a full back, his forte was in the middle of the defence and he took the place of John Ryden there, but failed to hold the shirt on a regular basis. It took until the middle of the following season to win favour in central defence, but it was to be a long run in the side, with only the career ending injury brining to a close a six year stretch in the side.
Big Mo won international caps, starting with his debut alongside Bobby Moore in Peru in a 4-0 win that secured his place in the World Cup team playing Hungary in Chile just eleven days later. He played in all four games for his country in that competition before losing 1-3 to Brazil in the second round and went on to win 23 caps in all over two years in the side.
His development as a centre-half of strength, class and intelligence has set him aside as a player who played a pivotal part in the club's successes of the early 1960s. The Double, another FA Cup in 1962, the European Cup-Winners Cup all featured Big Mo in middle of the Tottenham back line, winning headers and launching attacks from his passes out of defence, both short and long. His ability to know where he wanted his opponent to go translated well into European and international football, as he made the switch to dealing with other styles of attacks. While not the greatest tackler, his positional play allowed him to dispossess opponents or direct them away from goal.
Helped in one way by having the half back pairing of Dave Mackay and Danny Blanchflower alongside him, his feeding of the ball to them helped them initiate forward moves and his position sense in holding a defensive position let them have free rein to move up-field. Indeed, Norman became one of the first centre-backs to go up for set-pieces, with his presence causing disruption in penalty area for others to profit from rather than being the one who scored himself.
Using his long legs not just to win the ball in the tackle, but to stretch them out in bringing the ball out of defence, Maurice was a key player in the Double team, making the defence a unit that was difficult to break down.
An incident in a show-piece friendly game against a Hungarian Select XI at White Hart Lane left both Maurice's leg and career shattered, as it left him with an injury he never recovered from and his retirement left a big hole in the middle of the Tottenham defence for many years to come.
Norman's time at Tottenham coincided with a period of great success and his part in the great team of that era should not be over-looked, as he was not only a strong centre-half, but also showed good use of the ball from the back and he became one of the first players to move forward for set-pieces to add his not inconsiderable height to the attack from dead ball situations.
He moved back to Norfolk and then Suffolk, as he enjoyed his life after retiring from football.