Popular Sprowston fish and chip shop owner dies after battle with cancer
PUBLISHED: 18:39 14 August 2018 | UPDATED: 08:41 15 August 2018
A popular fish and chip shop owner in Sprowston who was at the heart of his community has died aged 66.
Billy Wong opened Billy’s Chip Shop, on School Lane in Sprowston, 35 years ago.
Since then, it has become a popular spot for fish and chips, thanks in large part to Mr Wong’s infectious laugh and warm personality.
Three years ago, he was diagnosed with cancer, and his family said he lost his battle with the illness on Monday. The shop will close temporarily while they come to terms with the loss.
His son Holen Wong said: “He was a very cheerful and happy man with an infectious laugh.
“He sang a lot, and was very generous and full of banter. He loved being in the community and seeing his customers, many generations of them in some cases.”
He said after the family arrived in Norfolk some decades ago, Mr Wong worked in catering, before managing to save up enough money to open the shop.
“It’s been really popular all these years,” he said.
Mr Wong has become a well-known face in the local community, getting involved with local churches and even visiting 10 Downing Street with Norwich North MP Chloe Smith earlier this year.
He leaves behind wife Lin, sons Holen and Garlen and daughters Kitsum, Kitman and Kityeng.
Reviews posted on website TripAdvisor show the strength of feeling for the business owner, with one person - who has visited the shop for 30 years - describing him as a “joyous person”, and another calling him a “top fellow, always friendly, polite all-round nice bloke”.
Another said the family are “always happy and welcoming”, and someone else called him a “lovely bloke”.
And on Norwich - A Fine City, a public Facebook group celebrating the area, tributes were also posted to Mr Wong.
Jan Moore said: “Such sad news - such a nice man who always had a joke and smile for us. Thinking of his family.”
Kevin Clarke said: “Oh no that’s sad, he was a lovely bloke been there for years rest in peace Billy.”