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Jim Norton
Place of birth Glendale, California
Date of death June 12, 2007 (aged 68)
Place of death Garland, Texas
Position(s) Safety/Punter
College University of Idaho
AFL Draft 1960 / Round : First Selection
Jersey Number 43
Career highlights
AFL All-Star 1961, 1962, 1963, 1967
Honors American Football League Champion 1960, 1961
Retired #s Houston Oilers #43
1960-1968 AFL Houston Oilers

James Charles "Jim" Norton (October 20, 1938 — June 12, 2007) was an American collegiate and Professional Football player. He was an original member of the Houston Oilers of the AFL, playing at strong safety and punter for their first nine seasons, 1960-68. Norton was an AFL All-Star for four seasons and holds the league's record for career interceptions. His jersey was the first retired by the Oilers.

Jim Norton graduated from Fullerton Union High School in 1956 and played college football for head coach Skip Stahley at Idaho, alongside future pros Jerry Kramer, Wayne Walker, and Jim Prestel. Although selected by the Detroit Lions in the 1960 NFL Draft (7th round, 75th overall) [1] and the Dallas Texans in the AFL's inaugural draft 1960, he signed as an original Houston Oiler.[1]

Although he intercepted only one pass in his first year, he went on to become the AFL’s all-time interception leader. In 1961, his first starting season, he snared nine passes and punted with a 40.7 yard average. In a tight defensive duel in the AFL Championship Game, his four booming punts helped Houston defeat the San Diego Chargers, 10-3, claiming their second AFL championship in as many seasons.

While nursing a slim half-game lead in the Eastern Division in Week 12 of the 1962 AFL season, Norton personally tormented Denver Broncos quarterback Frank Tripucka. He stopped three Bronco drives with interceptions as the Oilers stole a 34-17 victory, eventually reaching the Championship Game for the third straight year. That thriller for the AFL crown was the league's longest game, a double-overtime contest won by the Dallas Texans, 20-17.

As a defensive back, Jim Norton was a steady tackler with a nose for the football. His play earned him All-AFL honors for 1961, '62, 63, and '67, when he scored the only touchdown of his career, returning an interception 56 yards. His number 43 was retired by the Oilers, acknowledging his club-record 45 career interceptions, which he returned for 592 yards and a touchdown, and 519 punts.[1]

See also

sick sick man


External links



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