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Tributes to popular man killed in crash with camper van

PUBLISHED: 08:43 05 September 2019 | UPDATED: 11:52 05 September 2019

Cliffy James pictured in the Green Dragon pub. Picture: Marc Betts

Cliffy James pictured in the Green Dragon pub. Picture: Marc Betts

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A fund-raising campaign has been launched for a man who was killed in a crash with a VW camper van in Thetford.

The junction of Mundford Road and Croxton Road in Thetford where the fatal incident happened. Photo: Emily ThomsonThe junction of Mundford Road and Croxton Road in Thetford where the fatal incident happened. Photo: Emily Thomson

Cliffy James, 72, died after the collision at around 8.30pm on Thursday August 22 on the A1066 Mundford Road, close to the Croxton Road junction.

He was a well loved character in the town, having been a face in the football world and the local community.

Now, a fundraising campaign has been launched in one of his frequented pubs, The Green Dragon, where a collection box will be for The Mighty Bull Dogs football club and Cats Protection, two charities close to his heart.

The pub has recently been re-opened after an extensive refurbishment.

The Green Dragon pub has re-opened in Thetford. Picture: Marc BettsThe Green Dragon pub has re-opened in Thetford. Picture: Marc Betts

Julie Faben said: "Cliffy James was loved by many.

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"He taught some to play pool, loved cats and always fed the strays as well as loving his football. He was always lovely and friendly.

"Friends and people who knew him would have different memories of such a legend and lovely man."

The junction of Mundford Road and Croxton Road in Thetford where Cliffy James was killed. Photo: Emily ThomsonThe junction of Mundford Road and Croxton Road in Thetford where Cliffy James was killed. Photo: Emily Thomson

Hundreds of people have taken to social media to pay their respects to Mr James with many reminiscing about times they have spent with him, as a neighbour, friend or just in the pub.

A former football teammate, Frank Whisken said: "Cliff was a great guy, we played football together for years, sad to see such a nice guy leave us. Condolences to family and friends at this sad time."

Another commenter, Chris Bedford said: "Cliffy was a lovely man, always gave me a card and a bar of chocolate on my birthday."

Police are currently looking to trace the driver of a white Fiat 500 which was spotted close to the scene, and it is believed that the driver may have been a key witness to the collision and the events leading up to it.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Sgt Peter Howlett or Andrew Hughes on 101 quoting incident number 474 of Thursday 22 August.

An inquest into Mr James' death was opened on Thursday, September 5 with the cause of death being found as multiple injuries sustain by a road traffic collision.

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