20 Father’s Day messages from our readers

Gary Southwell and his son Connor. PHOTO: Connor Southwell

Gary Southwell and his son Connor. PHOTO: Connor Southwell


We asked our staff and readers to tell as a little bit about what makes their dads special.

Roy Elliott of Fakenham. PHOTO Lisa ElliottRoy Elliott of Fakenham. PHOTO Lisa Elliott

Dads come in all shapes and sizes but the ones here all have something in common – their children think they’re great. Often playing the parts of “Dad’s taxis”, “the bank of Dad”, and “Mr. Fixit”, these dads have been there for their sons and daughters through the good times and the bad. As the popular phrase goes: “Anyone can be a father but it takes someone special to be a dad”.

Georgeia Mcgregor’s dad Chris Lown (47) from Harleston

“My step dad Chris Lown is great. Not only is he a super handy man and fab fun cub leader in Harleston, he has also been so supportive through my marriage break up these last few weeks and an even better granddad to my son. We are both so lucky.”

Darren Nicholson and his daughter Roma. PHOTO: Roma NicholsonDarren Nicholson and his daughter Roma. PHOTO: Roma Nicholson

Connor, Daneyka, Bethan and Anya’s dad, Gary Southwell (48) from Norwich

“A wonderful sense of humour, a strong love for tea and a wonderful role model who’s kindness has helped guide us 
all to every success with support and love. Happy Father’s Day, Dad.”

Chris Lown with grandson Andrew-James. PHOTO: Georgeia McgregorChris Lown with grandson Andrew-James. PHOTO: Georgeia Mcgregor

Emily Gasparro’s dad Tony Gasparro (55) from Swanton Abbott

“He has stuck by me throughout a very difficult time of my life no matter what. I have been going through a tough illness for over 10 years now, and it has meant I have had to stay very far away from home for long periods of time from the age of 10. My dad has never failed to be there for me, remaining just a phone call away at difficult times. He has travelled thousands of miles to visit me and I could never thank him enough.”

Roma Nicholson’s dad Darren Nicholson (42) from Ipswich

Andrew Miller with daughter Hayley. PHOTO: Ron Phillips Wedding PhotographyAndrew Miller with daughter Hayley. PHOTO: Ron Phillips Wedding Photography

My dad Darren Nicholson is a customer service advisor for VW in Bury and lives in Ipswich. He’s a cool dad....fronts a rock cover band called Hoaxx and plays keys in a function band called 24 karrat. He’s shared his love of music and inspires me to write songs and I love working with him in our home studio. Without his wisdom, skills, love and guidance I wouldn’t be able to fundraise for local charities through performing. Love him to bits. He’s my hero and I hope he has a great Father’s Day.”

Tom Elliott’s dad Roy Elliott (68) from Fakenham

“My dad is a great dad because he drives me everywhere and we are great mates. He even buys me a bacon sandwich before football every Saturday. Thanks Dad.”

The Whitlam family. PHOTO: Diane Smith.The Whitlam family. PHOTO: Diane Smith.

Jennifer Buck’s dad David Stone (57) from Bowthorpe, Norwich

“I am lucky and grateful to have David Stone as my father. Having been through so much in his life he can always crack a joke or two. No one can ask for a better dad. Love you so much.”

Kevin McGrath and family. PHOTO: Natasha McGrathKevin McGrath and family. PHOTO: Natasha McGrath

Aaliyah and Longan’s dad Scott Whitlam (31) from Long Stratton

“Our dad is the best! He’s always buying us nice things and can fix anything. We live in Long Stratton - our mum and dad recently got married after being together for 11 years. He is the best and we are so lucky to be one big happy family.”

Lisa Elliott’s dad Ron Gilbey (79) from Snettisham

David Stone with his daughter Jennifer. PHOTO: Opticapture PhotographyDavid Stone with his daughter Jennifer. PHOTO: Opticapture Photography

“Dad has always been there for me when I needed him, and for my kids when they were tiny and not so tiny (they are still a big part of each other’s lives now they are grown up). Most of all I love it that Dad has passed on to me his love of family, food and wine when we all get together, music and gardening of course. Thanks so much, Dad”.

Sammi Willett’s dad Colin Willett (67) from Attleborough

“My dad is great because he is the fittest 67-year-old I know! He trained as a personal trainer about four years ago and has been working at a local gym ever since; helping and encouraging the older generation to get fit, and even giving the young ones a run for their money on a spin bike or treadmill! He is the most hardworking, loyal and caring man I know.”

Stanley (89), from his daughter in Ipswich

“My dad took me on when I was a precocious eight-year old. My father, John, had died two years previously at the age of 32, and I hadn’t seen much of him because he was in hospital a lot of the time. When I met Stan, it was when he called for my mum, to take her out on a date. He brought me a copy of a brand new girls’ comic called Diana and, thereafter, it made a weekly appearance. A kind, quiet man, he listened patiently to my childish prattling and never once told me to hush (everyone else did). One day, my mum sat me down and asked if it would be all right if she married Stan. I was very happy to say yes and moreover, he adopted me so I became his daughter for real. Today, my dad is the same gentle, caring man I met in 1963. And I love him.”

Hayley’s dad Andy Miller (60) from Beccles

“Dad brought us up on his own after my mum suddenly died three days after having her third baby. Dad was 32 and widowed with a five and three year old and a newborn. He has the best sense of humour and always sees the funny side of life, and is now a fantastic Grandad to three granddaughters, a grandson, his wife has three granddaughters too and he’s expecting ANOTHER granddaughter in October!”

Daniel Ansell’s dad Stephen Ansell (52) from East Rudham

“My dad is the best father anyone could ever hope for, kind, caring and the funniest man I have ever known! Thank you so much for all the support and generosity through the hard times and the good. I hope you have an amazing day. Happy Father’s Day to the best dad around.”

Jess and Jono Read’s dad Derek Read (71) from Holt

“Our dad’s one of the greatest because whatever the challenge we’ve presented to him over our past thirty years he has risen to it – from rushing us to catch a train 
at the last minute to getting on 
the roof to fix a TV aerial or 
acting as taxi after late night gigs at the UEA LCR even in the snowiest of weather. He’s always gone the extra mile for us.”

Amy Lewins’ dad Neil Lewins (52) from Beachamwell, Swaffham

“I have always been very close with my dad. He is an excellent role model: thoughtful, kind and caring. He has always pushed me to achieve my goals.”

Claire Margerison’s dad Rob Margerison (53) from Fakenham

“Our dad has always been there for us. He made a big career change when my sister and I were little so he could spend more time with us and see us grow up. He’s also just a really humble, passionate, caring person with a great sense of humour and (along with my mum) has been the best example and role model growing up!”

Amanda Pulham’s dad Martin Pulham (66) from Gt Yarmouth

“My dad means the world to me. He has supported me through so much. He is my go to person if things need sorting and puts up with mine and mum’s girl talk and girls days out! Love you Dad.”

Natasha McGrath’s dad Kevin McGrath (61) from Gorleston

“I couldn’t ask for a better dad, he’s there no matter what, and 
he’s a big softie! He has four kids, and two grandsons and he loves 
us all so much! He’s just found 
out he’s getting his first granddaughter in November, and he is so excited.”

Jane Morrow’s dad David Macbeth (64) from Caister-on-Sea

“Thank you Dad for just being you, your strength and determination to overcome anything is an inspiration. You’re an amazing dad. All my love, Jane.”

Lisa, David, Amy, and Emma Musgrove’s dad John Musgrove (65) from Norfolk

“My dad used to be a professional footballer and is well known in the industry. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s of the front temple lobe two years ago, he is the strongest, most caring, loving dad. He is the reason my siblings and I have turned out so well. We all love him dearly.”

Mariah Feria’s granddad Robert Burridge (63), Suffolk

“My granddad is like a dad to me. He is always there when I need him, no matter what, and I know I can always count on him. He is kind and very intelligent, traits which I hope to inherit.”

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