Ex-Norwich City player and Hellesdon High teacher Mike Sutton dies
- Credit: Archant Library
Tributes have been pouring in following the death Norfolk born footballer Mike Sutton who has died aged 76 after battling dementia.
The former Norwich City midfielder's death was announced this morning by his son Chris, who played for the Canaries between 1991 and 1994.
Writing on Twitter on Sunday morning, he said: "My dad Mike sadly passed away yesterday. He was a great sportsman, teacher, husband, dad and grandad. He was my hero and I will miss him so much."
Mike began his career with his local team Norwich City in 1962 before going on to play for Chester City and Carlisle United before he was forced to retire in 1972 due to injury.
Following his retirement, Mike became a teacher at Hellesdon High School and returned to football in 1976, playing for Great Yarmouth Town and coaching Norwich City's youth players.
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Mike was also heavily involved with Drayton Cricket Club and was club chairman from 2003 to 2005.
His other son John also played professional football for St Mirren, Motherwell and Wycombe Wanderers.
Prior to his father's death, Chris had spearheaded a campaign to force football bosses to take dementia in former players more seriously.
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He criticised a “lack of support” from footballing chiefs, with campaigners at the Jeff Astle Foundation claiming that Mike was one of 500 former professionals to have been diagnosed with the disease.
Norfolk-born TV presenter Jake Humphrey said: "So sad to hear that Chris Sutton’s dad, Mike, has died.
"Mike was Chris’ hero and he inspired his son's fight for us take the link between football and dementia seriously. That is Mike Sutton’s legacy."
Andrew Jenkins, chairman at one of Mike's former clubs, Carlisle United said in a statement: "Mike was a quiet, humble and extremely likeable man who did his job in an efficient and professional manner.
"He really looked after himself and he had a very forward looking attitude. In fact, he was one of the first to insist on a vegetarian style pre-match meal when the other lads would be having the traditional choice of a steak.
"He was respected by his fellow professionals for his approach and was a man others would look to for advice, and it was no surprise when he went into teaching and lecturing as his second career.
"This is very sad news and the thoughts of everyone at the club are with his family and friends at this sad time."