Gale played for Swansea against South Africa in November 1960, but then returned to Stradey Park, where brother Byron played. He had to wait until the England game of 1963 before winning a second cap, but then made the hooker position his own. In 1964 Wales shared the Championship with Scotland and then won it outright in 1965 and 1966 with Gale saving the game at Murrayfield in 1965 as in the closing minutes he dived over in the corner to give Wales a 12-10 win over Scotland.
When New Zealand toured in 1967 he was picked as captain of Wales and astonishingly took a second- half penalty attempt and goaled it! However, Wales lost 13-6 and his captaincy was restricted to one more game - a 11-all draw with England at Twickenham in 1968. Having also played for Wales against New Zealand in 1963, South Africa in 1964 and Australia in 1968, he ended his international career with the tour to the Southern Hemisphere in 1969. In the first test against New Zealand he replaced Jeff Young after the latter's jaw was fractured. He played in the second test and then against Australia at Sydney, made his 25th and last appearance as Wales won 19-16.
After retiring as a player he joined the Llanelli coaching staff, assisting Carwyn James in the club's historic win over the All Blacks in 1972 and being forwards coach of several Welsh Cup victories for the Scarlets. Norman's son, Sean, propped for Llanelli, Tenby and Bridgend and has joined the club's premier division side as an assistant coach this season.
Ray Gravell, who played at centre for Llanelli, Wales and the Lions, said: "Norman was a big man in every sense of the word and played a huge part in the success of Llanelli RFC both as a player and as an administrator and chairman.
"He was both a hard man and a passionate man who loved and understood his rugby. As the right hand man to Carwyn James at Stradey Park he played a major role in our defeat of the All Blacks in 1972 and Llanelli's dominance of the Welsh Cup in the 70s. He will be sadly missed."
At the time of his death, Gale was president of the Llanelli Past Players Association. He had worked firstly as a fitter and then as landlord of the hite Horse Inn in Llanelli before his retirement. Norman Reginald Gale was born on July 24, 1939 and died on January 31, 2000. He is survived by his wife Ann and son Sean.