Category Archives: Don Norton

Remembering the Chargers Don Norton

I got an email the other day from the family of former Chargers receiver, Don Norton. Don’s brother, Dennis, mentioned how he reads all of the Tales postings and went on to discuss some things that had been done around their hometown of Anamosa, Iowa, to remember Don.

Just wanted you to know that my brother Steve and I wanted to keep our brother Don’s spirit alive and well in the town he grew up in, Anamosa, Iowa. The results were from a scoreboard that was moved to an elementary gymnasium to a monument built at the football field where Don starting playing his high school football career. Remembering “Don Norton’s Football and Athletic Career” was our goal. Nearly 100 individuals helped and / or donated to this memorial. If you include spouses or significant others that number increased dramatically. This included folks from Kentucky, California, Nebraska, North Carolina, Virginia, Florida, Minnesota, New Mexico and even from a friend who lives in Manila, the capital of the Philippines. In Iowa, we received contributions from individuals living in sixteen cities; fromDes Moines, Iowa to Guttenberg, Iowa to Fairfield, Iowa. The help from individuals building this memorial was nothing but awesome; they dug holes, shoveled and racked rock, helped with the landscaping and much much more! Those individuals even included many members of the 2017 Anamosa ‘Blue Raider’ Football Team! 
I hope you don’t mind this email which shows you a different way a family “preserves the legacy of the AFL” and the earliest days of a player who was “An Original Charger”.
Remembering Don Norton now stands for all the young players who will walk by his memorial at a Small Town USA Football Field, look at Don’s image and read about his athletic accomplishments.
Finally, a note that Don would have turned 80 years old yesterday (March 13); miss him deeply! Thanks for your efforts in keeping the AFL Spirit alive and well. read more

>Happy Birthday, Don Norton – An Original Charger!


This week marks what would have been Don Norton’s 73rdbirthday.  Sadly, Norton passed away in 1997, of complications from open-heart surgery.

Don Norton was an original Charger, a member of the 1960 team that began in Los Angeles.  A two-time Rose Bowl champion and all-america end out of the University of Iowa, Norton was drafted in the first round of the 1960 AFL draft by the Oakland Raiders, but soon traded to the Chargers for defensive lineman, Charlie Powell.  Norton was a workhorse, missing only seven games in his seven-season career with the Chargers.  In 91 career games, Don Norton had 228 receptions for 3,486 yards (15.3 avg.) and scored 27 touchdowns.  He was an AFL All-Star in 1962 and 1963.  He played in five AFL championship games with the Chargers (1960, ’61, ’63, ’64 & ’65), and was an integral member of the 1963 AFL Champion Chargers team, despite playing the season with a back injury that he suffered while lifting weights in training camp that season. The following is a collection of photographs and memorabilia from Don Norton’s time in the American Football League.
Autographed 1961 Fleer Card
Autographed 1962 Fleer Card
Autographed 1964 Topps Card
Autographed 1965 Topps Card
Autographed 1966 Topps Card
1962 Union Oil Card
1960s Chargers White Border Card
November 27, 1960 vs. Oakland Raiders
November 27, 1960 vs. Oakland Raiders
December 4, 1960 vs. Oakland Raiders
December 4, 1960 vs. Oakland Raiders
December 4, 1960 vs. Oakland Raiders
1961 Team Issued Photo
November 19, 1961 vs. Dallas Texans
December 17, 1961 vs. Boston Patriots
Chargers in the 1962 AFL All-Star Game
July 1, 1962 Pool Party at Sid Gillman’s House
August 11, 1962 vs. Dallas Texans
September 16, 1962 vs. New York Titans
September 30, 1962 vs. Oakland Raiders
October 7, 1962 vs. Dallas Texans
November 4, 1962 vs. Denver Broncos
December 9, 1962 vs. Boston Patriots
Chargers in the 1963 AFL All-Star Game
1963 Training Camp
October 20, 1963 vs. Kansas City
September 14, 1964 vs. Oakland Raiders
September 12, 1964 vs. Houston Oilers
October 18, 1964 vs. Denver Broncos
November 1, 1964 vs. Oakland Raiders
December 6, 1964 vs. New York Jets
Original Chargers at 1965 Training Camp
September 19, 1965 postgame interview with George Ratterman
December 26, 1965 vs. Buffalo Bills