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Tributes paid to former nurse and ‘Mrs Cricket’ of Swaffham

PUBLISHED: 06:00 13 April 2020 | UPDATED: 09:14 14 April 2020

L-R, Michael and Sharon Payne with their sons Jasper and Alec. Picture: Payne family

L-R, Michael and Sharon Payne with their sons Jasper and Alec. Picture: Payne family

Archant

Poignant tributes have been paid to the ‘Mrs Cricket’ of Swaffham, who lost her battle with cancer, aged 50.

Sharon Payne was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 1998 but, having been told she only had six months to survive, went on to live for 22 more years.

Her husband Michael said: “She had been in and out of hospital over the last few months but, unsurprisingly for Sharon, she was making real improvements before cruelly suffering a stroke the week before she passed away. It was just too much, even for Sharon.

“Sharon was a fighter and would not give up. She was determined to see her boys graduate. She was so proud of them both. Family always came first for Sharon.”

He added: “Sharon embodied incredible bravery and compassion throughout her life; she was a beautiful woman who will be sorely missed by all who had the pleasure to have known her.”

Whilst growing up in North Pickenham, near Swaffham, she started her nursing career on the Terrington ward at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn.

She married Michael at St Peter and St Paul Church in Swaffham in 1991 before moving to Sutton Bridge shortly after.

Following her diagnosis in 1998, the family returned to North Pickenham where their sons would grew up.

She fully immersed herself in Swaffham Cricket Club where her sons Jasper, 23, and Alec, 25, are currently the captains of the Saturday and Sunday first teams respectively.

She took on many roles at the club, including child welfare officer, fixtures secretary and youth co-ordinator, and she was the club’s official scorer for many years.

Tributes have flooded in from across the county from many cricket clubs including Acle, Topcroft, and North Runcton.

Swaffham Cricket Club Chairman Tony Exley said: “Sharon was an extraordinary person; the hole she’s left within our club will never be filled. I can personally say I’ve never met anyone with so much passion and drive for cricket. She was loved and cherished by all generations of the club, gaining respect throughout.”

She died on April 3, and would have been 51 next month.


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