Gordon Ellis: Swaffham sportsman emigrated then returned home

A keen sportsman and footballer, Gordon Ellis, who has died aged 89, emigrated to Australia and then returned to his native Norfolk.

One of five brothers, he was born at Swaffham and became an electrical engineer with West Norfolk Fertilisers.

When he was his late 30s and having married Sheila in 1955, they decided to sail on the SS Himalaya for western Australia.

His wife found work in the office of the P & O Shipping Line, and they stayed with her aunt, Lucy Towler, who had herself emigrated from King's Lynn in 1905.

After five years, they decided to return to Norfolk and his wife became licensee of the Rampant Horse, Gayton, near King's Lynn, in 1964. While he worked as an electrician at Campbells Soups, she ran the pub for several years.


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After quitting the trade, they moved to Dersingham on June 6, 1966. He became the local electrician and also looked after the Sandringham Club for some years in the late 1980s and earlier regularly played cricket.

As a young man, he played football for Swaffham. He was skipper through their successful seasons in 1951 and 1952 when their victories including winning the Swaffham Hospital Cup.

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He is survived by Sheila, who was born in Narborough, and leaves a younger brother, Russell, who was a barber in Swaffham for many years.

A funeral service has been held at St Peter & St Paul Church, Swaffham.

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