Edinburgh born right half Norman Mackay began his football career as a forward with Edinburgh Royal in 1917 and played for Leith Amateurs in 1918 and Gala Fairydean in 1919 before joining Scottish League Hibernian in 1920. He moved to St Bernard’s in 1921, joining Lochgelly United in 1922 and then Broxburn United in 1923 before a move to First Division Aston Villa, making his Football League debut at Sheffield United that December. He played once more for Villa the following month at Huddersfield Town before moving to join non league Lovell’s Athletic at the end of the season.
He returned to Scotland with Clydebank in 1925 and spent a season with Yoker Athletic from 1926 before returning to English football, joining Second Division Plymouth Argyle for £200 in 1927, scoring a hat-trick on his debut in a 4-0 win over Coventry City in January 1928. After 6 goals in his maiden season at Home Park, he moved into the right half berth from September 1928 and made the position his own, and was a regular as Plymouth Argyle won the Third Division (South) Championship in 1929-30. He was then an ever present in their first season in the Second Division and missed only one game as they finished in fourth place in 1931-32. He continued as a regular starter for The Pilgrims for a further two seasons, and having scored 14 goals in 241 appearances for them, he joined Southend United in the summer of 1934.
He made 34 appearances for Southend during his single season at Southend Stadium before rejoining Clydebank in 1935, where he played until his eventual retirement.