Norwich City hero Chris Sutton reveals father’s dementia torment

Chris Sutton pictured at Carrow Road in 2009.

Chris Sutton pictured at Carrow Road in 2009. - Credit: Archant © 2009

Norwich City legend Chris Sutton has spoken candidly of his father's struggle with dementia in an interview with a Scottish newspaper.

Mike Sutton pictured in 1959 as part of the Norwich City B team.

Mike Sutton pictured in 1959 as part of the Norwich City B team. - Credit: EDP / Archant 2003

He said: 'My dad was a big influence and was always driving me on when I was a young person – he was a huge inspiration.

'I know he was very proud of me, but he can't really remember anything about my career now.'

Mike Sutton, now 71, represented Norwich City between 1963 and 1966 before teaching PE. Chris Sutton told the Sunday Mail: 'This is something I just never expected because he always took pride in keeping extremely fit and healthy – he was not a drinker at all and it just shows you that there doesn't seem to be any formula to this disease and why somebody gets it.'

Mr Sutton has watched his father's conditions worsen over a period of years, having first noticed signs around five years ago.

He said: 'At first, I was just thinking he was just a bit forgetful and repeated himself [but] he knew there was a problem.

'He can remember things from way back but then not remember what's happened 10 minutes ago. He still exercises, but has to have people to help him to do that – he's still a physically strong man and these things sort of keep him still stimulated.

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'But things like reading and watching television are just impossible for him now, because he can't remember what's happened two minutes ago. The hardest thing is he needs effectively 24-hour care, so it's been tough on my mum. She's very good with it but the situation is that you can't leave him at all on his own. She cares for him and looks after him all the time but it's a huge responsibility.'

'I think there has been a link with ex-footballers and dementia from heading balls. I don't know if that is right or not but it just shows why it's essential we try to raise more money for research into it.'

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