Fond farewell to Norwich City fan Maurice Sills, 101, beneath the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral
- Credit: Graham Lacdao/Chapter of St Paul's Cathedral
The majestic setting of St Paul's Cathedral in London served as the backdrop for the funeral service of one of Norwich City Football Club's oldest fans.
Maurice Sills, who followed the Canaries for more than 40 years, died at his north London care home last month, just weeks before what would have been his 102nd birthday.
And on Tuesday, fellow Norwich City fans were among those who attended his funeral service under the Dome of the famous cathedral.
Former teacher Mr Sills had volunteered at the Cathedral since the 1970s and well past his century he remained one of the most active people there, including reading to pupils at the Cathedral School.
The Very Reverend David Ison, Dean of St Paul's said: 'Of all the treasures of St Paul's, none has been more valued than Maurice Sills.
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'It was a privilege to know him, and he will be greatly missed by his friends of all ages, in all parts of this country and around the world.'
Mr Sills was presented with the St Mellitus medal by the Bishop of London in 2014, awarded in recognition of substantial contribution to the Christian life of London.
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He began following the Canaries in 1975, when he and wife Ellen bought a holiday home near Fakenham after they retired as teachers.
In recognition to his dedication to the club, last year he was invited to the directors' box at Carrow Road as Norwich beat Barnet 5-0 in the Checkatrade Trophy.
Mr Sills – who sat behind the away team bench – had travelled all over the country to watch the club and said his favourite players were Chris Sutton, Martin Peters and Jeremy Goss.
Speaking last October, he said: 'Norfolk, and Norwich in particular, has given me a lot. Friendships, memories. I've enjoyed that we won some and we lost some, but that it was all good fun.'
Former Carrow Road chief executive David McNally tweeted: 'I was so sorry to hear about his passing. We enjoyed his company immensely. So sad. RIP Maurice.'
The oldest of six boys, Mr Sills was born in 1915 and grew up in South London. In the Second World War he joined the Royal Navy, serving as a Petty Officer in the North Atlantic and off Africa.