Norris' admiration for his Argyle boss

FORMER Pilgrim David Norris has spoken of his respect and admiration for former boss Paul Sturrock.

Derek Davis

FORMER Pilgrim David Norris has spoken of his respect and admiration for former boss Paul Sturrock.

Norris revealed that he, and his former team-mates at Plymouth, had no idea Sturrock was suffering from Parkinson's disease, before he made it public at the beginning of the season.

The Scot was initially diagnosed eight year's ago, but kept it quiet until he felt the symptoms were becoming obvious and wanted to stave off any awkwardness.

Norris said: “I never realised at all. It was a bit of a shock even to me when he came out with it

“He never showed any signs of it while I was there. He just got on with the job and it never affected him at all.

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“There may be a couple of tell-tale signs now which is why he has come out with it so people didn't jump to conclusions and it is the right thing for him to do.

“He is clearly strong enough to do the job and he is doing a great job still.”

Sturrock signed the Peterborough-born Norris and was extremely reluctant to sell him when Ipswich came calling and eventually prised him away from around £2m.

Norris said: “I owe a lot to Paul Sturrock who gave me my chance after taking me from Bolton reserves.

“It was great move for me to Plymouth and he looked after me down there so I have a huge amount of respect for him.”

The 27-year-old is not surprised that Argyle have moved up to eighth place in the table after a terrible start, in which Sturrock publicly slammed his players, but has subsequently praised them from the rafters.

Norris said: “He gets the best out of players. That is his style. They went through a tough time at the beginning of the season, were in the bottom three at one point, but it is the way they have turned it around.

“They have won one, drawn one and lost one and shot up the table.

“That is how this league is and how quickly it can turn around.

After being rested for the 1-1 draw at Nottingham Forest Norris will start against his old club today and he can't wait.

He said: “It will be emotional but I'm looking forward to it.”