Family’s devastation at Sprowston couple’s death within hours of each other

PUBLISHED: 10:10 30 January 2013 | UPDATED: 10:10 30 January 2013

Martin Corcoran, left, with Ann and John Corcoran, who died within hours of each other.

Martin Corcoran, left, with Ann and John Corcoran, who died within hours of each other.


Relatives of a much-loved couple told today of their devastation after the pair died at their Sprowston home within hours of each other.

The family of a much-loved couple have told of their devastation after the pair died at their Sprowston home within hours of each other.

John and Ann Corcoran could not be revived after being found at their home, in Lindsay Road, on January 11 after relatives became concerned for their health.

Their family have said the deaths, after 38 years of marriage, would leave a hole in their lives and paid warm tributes to the couple, who had been deeply involved in community activities around Sprowston.

Mr Corcoran’s brother, Martin, said the family had been left stunned at their sudden deaths, which a post-mortem examination suggested was from pneumonia.

“We are very much in shock still,” he said. “All of us are devastated by what has happened.”

He found his brother, 64, and sister-in-law, 58, unresponsive after investigating when Mr Corcoran had failed to pick up his grandson.

“When we went round, we found Ann downstairs and nearly comatose, and John was upstairs and had already passed away. They [the paramedics] worked on Ann for about 40 minutes but she didn’t recover and died a few hours later,” said Martin, 57.

The couple leave two children, Joanne, 35, and William, 28, and two grandchildren.

Martin said his brother was “an absolute gentleman”, willing to help anyone and everyone.

A devoted Norwich City fan, Mr Corcoran – Corky to friends – also played cricket for Hellesdon Cricket Club, worked as a Norwich City steward, and ran a youth football team with his brother as well as former MP Ian Gibson.

The son of Paddy ‘the paperman’ Corcoran, owner of a newsagent on Reepham Road, he also sold the Evening News at Carrow Road for over 20 years.

“He was also a Scout from a very young age, and never really left,” said Martin. “He became a group Scout leader and a district scout leader for Norwich central, and after retiring became a member of the executive council.”

Raised in Hellesdon, Mr Corcoran spent most of his working life as a credit controller at AIG, before eight years as a driver for a tyre company.

For the last two years he worked part-time as a volunteer driver for the hospital.

Mrs Corcoran worked as a cook at the old Norwich Union, a shorthand typist, and a dinner lady at St John’s Catholic Infant School in Hellesdon.

She also had before stints as a carer at St Clement’s House and John Grooms Court care homes.

“She was known as ‘Nutty Ann’ to all the people there: she used to mess about with them and having fun,” said Martin.

“She treated the old folk like they were her own mum and dad – how they should have been treated.”

Ian Gibson, former MP for Norwich North, said he had warm memories of the couple and their deep involvement in their community.

“They were great Sprowston people, and will be sorely missed in that area,” he said.

“John was a good guy, and a real football man. He was a great storyteller, about football and other things, and was always great with kids.

“Ann was quieter but was very into the school in Sprowston as well. She was a good Norfolk woman: she didn’t say much, but when she said something she meant it. She was very easy to get on with as well.

“I never heard a cross word said against either of them.”

Mr and Mrs Corcoran’s funerals will be held at St George’s Roman Catholic Church on Sprowston Road at 10am on Friday. People who knew the couple are welcome to attend.

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