“He was a mountain of a man and a legend of the game”
Stormin' Norm Hadley was one of the real characters at Wasps just before the game went professional. He worked in financial markets around the globe and played as an amateur.
He was capped 15 times for Canada and reached the World Cup quarter finals in 1991. Norm went on to captain his country five times during 1992 to 1993.
Later he joined Wasps and, during the club's 1994-95 cup campaign, Norm played in a fifth round tie up at Waterloo on 28 January, 1995. The match showcased the club's running rugby ethos and the result was a highly satisfactory 13-54 victory. If this "correspondent" recalls correctly, the referee evened up the second half by sending Stormin' Norm to the clubhouse for what appeared to be the rucking out of one of his own teammates!
Wasps went on to reach the Pilkington Cup final on 6 May, 1995 and Norm was present in the team that included a very young Lawrence Dallaglio (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1994%E2%80%9395_Pilkington_Cup).
Sadly Norm passed away in Japan earlier this week, aged 51. "He was a mountain of a man and a legend of the game, known throughout the rugby world for his sheer size and toughness," former Canadian captain, Al Charron, said in a statement to the Canadian Press association.
The measure of the man is the legacy he leaves: dozens and dozens of anecdotes in the press on social media years after he stopped playing. Many of us will recall the incident when he helped to arrest two ne'er do wells he met on a journey home from the City in the mid nineties. They refused to extinguish their cigarettes on a tube carriage. Norm stood up and enforcement swiftly followed.
All Wasps send their thoughts, very best wishes and condolences to Norm's family.
Rest In Peace, Norm.
Once A Wasp, Always A Wasp
Wasps Pilkington Cup Final team 1995 - Norm is in the centre of the back row...
Updated 18:23 - 16 Apr 2016 by Dom Benson