Former Norwich City boss Nigel Worthington, Canaries striker Chris Sutton and chef Galton Blackiston back campaign

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Former Norwich City striker Chris Sutton and ex-Canaries boss Nigel Worthington yesterday backed a campaign to raise £750,000 to help give people greater choice on where they want to die.

They were joined by celebrity chef Galton Blackiston in showing their support for the Norfolk Hospice, Tapping House and its Seahorse Appeal during a meeting in aid of the charity at Fakenham racecourse.

The Snettisham-based charity launched the Seahorse Appeal last month as it gears up to move operations to a full-service hospice in Hillington, near King’s Lynn, next year.

Sutton, who scored 35 goals in 103 appearances for the Yellows, said: “It’s been great to see so many people come along to this race meeting to show their support for the Norfolk Hospice.

“I lived in Norfolk for most of my life, my children have been brought up here and for me, this is a really good Norfolk charity to support.”

Former Northern Ireland manager Worthington, who managed Norwich from 2000 to 2006, added: “It’s been a fantastic day which has raised so much money for a very worthwhile charity.

“I have known about the charity for a number of years but really found out more about it today and the highlight was seeing jockey Richard Johnson come into the auction and auction off his jersey.

“The amount of money the charity hopes to raise from this meeting is phenomenal and I wish them every success in their appeal and move into the new hospice.”

Mr Blackiston, from Morston Hall hotel, has been a supporter of the Norfolk Hospice, Tapping House for a few years and was delighted with how the event went.

He said: “I lost my mum to cancer so any cause, charity of appeal which helps people who are terminally ill or has cancer, has my support.

“This charity is massive for residents in West Norfolk and North Norfolk and I have to say, this event has been magnificent.

“I lover horse racing and I am a keen supporter of this charity so it was a no brainer for me.”

Some 300 people also enjoyed a three-course lunch, an auction and a talk from racing presenter Lesley Graham before the racing began at 2pm. In total, it is hoped £150,000 will be raised for the charity from the meeting which will go towards the building of the new hospice.

The racing at yesterday’s meeting kicked off at 2pm and attracted top jockeys such as Tony McCoy, Ruby Walsh and Richard Johnson with the latter’s jersey fetching for £2,000 during the auction.

The pick of the racecard was the three-mile Kettle Chips handicap chase at 3.40pm which was won Romanesco who was ridden by Timmy Murphy.

Speaking after the race, Mr Johnson said: “It has been a fantastic meeting. The people who have organised this have done a fantastic job.

“I was a pleased to help out at the auction because the Norfolk Hospice is a very worthy cause and hopefully this meeting has raised a lot of money for the charity.”

The charity’s chief executive Richard Shaw was also very pleased with how the meeting went.

He said: “I am very grateful to everyone who has come out to enjoy this race meeting and raise money for our charity.

“This has been a great way to raise money but it would not have happened without the brilliant work of Ian Mason and the people who helped him organise this.”

David Hunter, Fakenham Racecourse chief executive, said he was “delighted” to host the meeting for charity. There was £78,500 in prize money up for grabs which is the highest the race course has ever had for a meeting

East Winch-based Adrian Flux and Kettle Chips, based in Norwich, were two of the main sponsors of the meeting.

Dominic Lowe, managing director of Kettle Foods, added: “We are passionate about helping to support our community [so] we are really pleased to be involved in raising funds for the much-needed services provided by Tapping House.”

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