Norman Robson was born in Ryton-on-Tyne in 1908. He played for non-league West Stanley before joining Preston North End in the summer of 1926. He played for most of the 1926-27 season in the reserves.
In the first-team Alex James had developed a good partnership with centre-forward, Tommy Roberts, who had returned to the club after spending a couple of seasons at Burnley. Preston finished in 6th position in the 1926-27 season, with Roberts scoring 30 goals.
Tommy Roberts was involved in a serious car accident and was forced into retirement. Norman Robson was now promoted into the first team and in the 1927-28 season scored 19 goals in 22 appearances. That included a hat-trick against Notts County and a spell when he scored in five consecutive games. That year Preston North End finished in 4th position.
The following season he lost his place to Alex Hair. The arrival of George Harrison from Everton also limited his opportunities. His record at Preston was very good as he scored 30 goals in 41 games. After two years in the reserves he left to join Derby County. Robson found it difficult to be a regular in the first team and in 1932 he moved to Bradford City. He scored 9 goals in 20 games before joining his last club, non-league Wigan Athletic.