Mum's the word for new Maroon
HE'S the son of a shift-working servo attendant and single mum, a kid from Logan who idolised Darren Lockyer, who now gets his chance to don the famous Maroons No.6 jersey.
Corey Norman has long been touted for State of Origin, but at 28, those days looked increasingly unlikely.
Now he finds himself thrust on to the greatest stage of all, an Origin decider, the stuff of his dreams way back wearing the white, green and red of the Beenleigh Lions.
When Norman runs out on ANZ Stadium on Wednesday night, he won't be alone. His mum Sandy will be there too.
The woman who raised him, who has been there for every step, every career crossroad and every controversy, who was fittingly his first point of call when he heard of his debut.
"I was actually driving to one of the boy's houses. I was so excited. I had a little 'yes' moment. Then obviously rang Mum who was over the moon," Norman said.
"There were so many emotions running through, I'm just really honoured.
"She had a massive impact. Single parent, it's only ever been me and Mum. I wouldn't be here without her. She worked overtime, took me to all my games. It's a reward for her as well.
"She broke down in tears. It was actually a bit upsetting listening to her cry, but that's all her hard work."
Norman wasn't brought up with a silver spoon in his mouth, he's a product of working-class roots.
The five-eighth famously caught the train from Eagleby to rugby league nursery Keebra Park to and from home each day.
"I don't need to bring it up. It is what it is," he said when asked about his humble upbringings. "We all do what we need to do, it's made me who I am today. Mum made sure I had everything right.
"As a kid (Origin) was all you wanted to do. Locky was the big one. He was just a freak."
Norman might be going into the lion's den but he says his form is good enough.
He's survived controversy, been branded a likable bad boy, and this year overcame a fractured cheekbone which could have derailed his Origin ambitions.
"It's no secret there," he said of the controversy.
"(This year) I've just put my head down and really knuckled down.
"It does mean a lot. I am very privileged and honoured Kevvie (Walters) has faith in me. Now all I can do is prepare my best and come Wednesday, do my best.
"If you're playing good enough footy and the opportunity arises, you get the nod. I always try to play my best football and if something happens it happens.
"We will see (how I go) Wednesday. I am always confident in my own ability. Who doesn't want to play State of Origin?"