Norwich City legends play football against dementia
- Credit: Danielle Booden
Norwich City football legends played in a special charity match in Great Yarmouth on Sunday.
Almost 1,000 people attended the Wellesley Recreation Ground to watch legendary Canaries - including Ruel Fox, Darren Huckerby and Chris Sutton - participate in a charity contest titled "Football Against Dementia".
The legends beat a team of local NHS Heroes 5-1 to raise awareness of dementia in honour of Chris' father, Mike Sutton, who died of the disease in December 2020.
Chris Sutton, former striker for Norwich, Celtic and Blackburn Rovers, said: "I've felt quite emotional today.
"I used to spend a lot of time at the Wellesley as a youngster in the late 70s and 80s.
"I have some great memories of coming to watch my dad play under Billy Punton.
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"It was a lovely upbringing for us."
"The number of messages I have received from his former pupils and young sports players makes me proud," Mr Sutton said.
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"I feel honoured to be here and a part of this which is all for raising awareness of dementia and the dangers of heading a football.
"I've been campaigning for a long time now for more sensible measures to be put in place regarding headers and injury.
"It's a really nice thing that the club has done. A big thank you to GYTFC, the organisers and anyone who donated and took part today."
Trevor Saunders, managing director of Mandalay Wellbeing and ex-GYTFC goalkeeper, organised the event.
"It's been a great turnout," he said.
"The amount of legends that have come out to support Mike Sutton's memory and raise awareness against dementia has been brilliant."
Dr Alisa Sheldon, of Nelson Medical Centre, won a football kit and donated it to Mr Saunders in the hope that it could be used for a good cause.
Dr Sheldon said: "It's been really emotional. We've all had a tough year including those working with the NHS.
"After the year we've all had, it's an amazing way to spend time with people outdoors."
Mr Saunders will be committing more of his time to raising awareness of dementia. It is a cause close to his heart as his mother now suffers with the disease.
Dr Rupert Talboys, a GP at East Norfolk Medical Practice, said: "It was a great game and for a great cause.
"It's been fantastic to see so many people come out to support it.
"The game was very intense. I've never played in a match like this.
"There were so many ex-pros and some real legends, so it was tough, but great fun.
"I scored just as soon as I got on the pitch. I was still adjusting, but it just fell in front of me."
Matthew McComas, a domestic assistant at James Paget University Hospital, said: "It was an absolutely brilliant day.
"It was great to have a day out like this after such a long time indoors.
"It would have been amazing to have scored at least one more, but we came to fundraise, increase awareness of dementia and have fun.
"And we did all three."
Players from the legends team:
- Adrian Forbes
- Ruel Fox
- Rob Newman
- Mike Milligan
- Matthew Metcalf
- Farke Knight
- Stephen Blackett
- Darren Huckerby
- Grant Holt
- Tom Casey
- George Sutton
- James Sutton
- Harry Sutton
- Frankie Sutton
- Chris Sutton
- Ollie Sutton
Players for the NHS Heroes team:
- Barry Crane
- James Mitchell
- Adam Clarke
- Ben Flaxman
- Shaun Barnes
- Gary Beresford
- Rickey Beresford
- Liam Beresford
- Matthew McComas
- Carl Logan
- Jordan Buckenham
- Melvyn Hilsdon
- Kevin Miller
- Gary Ingram
- Rupert Talboys
- Lewis Muffett
- Mark Cammock
- Lee Flynn
- Neil Hacon
- Craig Lewis