Inspiring Norwich man with cerebral palsy celebrates 70th birthday

John Sutton celebrating his 70th birthday with friends at Bishop Herbert House.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

John Sutton celebrating his 70th birthday with friends at Bishop Herbert House.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Friends gathered to celebrate a local historian's 70th birthday.

John Sutton celebrating his 70th birthday.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

John Sutton celebrating his 70th birthday.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

But more than that, the day represented 70 years of perseverance and determination.

John Sutton, has cerebral palsy, a condition that is diagnosed during early childhood and affects muscle control and movement.

A huge sports fan, lover of classical music and avid local historian, the one sentiment conveyed by all of the guests at his birthday party at Bishop Herbert House, was admiration.

Sally Bennett, manager of Bishop Herbert House, where Mr Sutton has lived for 29 years, said: 'I admire John, he never allows his physical disabilities to stop him doing what he wants to do, that is what I love about him and he is a great example of that. He is fiercely independent.'

Heading out in a taxi alone to Buckingham Cricket Club - where he received a verbal recognition of his lifelong support of the team - or visiting Peter Mancroft church, he is a recognised face across the city.

'He goes everywhere - you can't get away from John,' Ms Bennett joked.

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Supporting both Norwich and West Ham football clubs, the local champion also has a soft spot for Fakenham football team.

Andrew Crate, deputy manager at Bishop Herbert House, has worked with Mrs Sutton for 21 years.

Mr Crate, said, 'John has a phenomenal memory and does lots of research, he was born in Swaffham and has lots of memories of the area.'

The son of an American airman, he was home schooled in Swaffham and lived in the area until he moved to Norwich.

Mr Crate added: 'If things had been different he would have liked to have been a solicitor. He is an incredibly intelligent man and we wrote his life story for Swaffham museum, which is still there for people to see.'

- If you have a news story about an inspiring local person, email jemma.walker@archant.co.uk

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