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Tributes paid to Norwich City superfan 'Kingo'

PUBLISHED: 12:35 27 December 2019 | UPDATED: 13:55 27 December 2019

Julian 'Kingo' King, from Dereham, has died at the age of 57. Mr King was good friends with Norwich City legend Wes Hoolahan. Picture: The King family

Julian 'Kingo' King, from Dereham, has died at the age of 57. Mr King was good friends with Norwich City legend Wes Hoolahan. Picture: The King family

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A much-loved football fan has been saluted for never letting disability prevent him from enjoying life.

Sam King pictured with Julian King, from Dereham, who has died at the age of 57. Picture: The King familySam King pictured with Julian King, from Dereham, who has died at the age of 57. Picture: The King family

Julian King, from Dereham, died on December 8 aged 57, leaving behind his wife, Sam, five children and several grandchildren.

Mr King, known to hundreds as 'Kingo', lived in the Dereham area his entire life, including a period in Shipdham.

After attending the old Northgate boys' school, much of his life revolved around football and his passion was following his beloved Norwich City across the country.

"In his younger days he'd go on a lot of football trips with friends and would always organise them," said Mrs King. "Up until recently he was still going to games as much as possible.

Julian 'Kingo' King, a keen Norwich City fan from Dereham, has died at the age of 57. Picture: The King familyJulian 'Kingo' King, a keen Norwich City fan from Dereham, has died at the age of 57. Picture: The King family

"He even became friends with Wes Hoolahan and he'd come and visit Julian when he was playing for Norwich. He's in Australia now but has sent a huge bouquet of flowers."

For decades Mr King suffered with MS and, three years ago, kidney failure resulted in him having to make three trips to hospital every week for dialysis.

While the need for dialysis later in life proved restrictive, Mr King had always been determined to keep doing what he loved.

"He never let MS stop him from doing anything, like going on holiday or to concerts" said Mrs King.

Julian 'Kingo' King, a keen Norwich City fan from Dereham, has died at the age of 57. Picture: The King familyJulian 'Kingo' King, a keen Norwich City fan from Dereham, has died at the age of 57. Picture: The King family

"He loved cruising and we'd go anywhere we could, whether it be the Mediterranean or around the Cayman Islands.

"Simply Red was a favourite of his. We'd travel for miles to go and see them."

Mr King, who used his chin to operate a motorised wheelchair, was also committed to improving disability provision in Dereham.

For nine years he ran Dereham Access Group and campaigned tirelessly for automatic doors to be installed across the town.

He also served as chairman with the Les Potter Memorial Trust and started Positive People, a place for those with disabilities to meet.

"Julian was just so cheerful," added Mrs King. "He was always that person who would stop and have a chat.

"He was very sociable and loved a get-together. He would always enjoy seeing his children and grandchildren."

Mr King's funeral will take place at 1.15pm at St Nicholas Church in Dereham on Friday, January 3, followed by a celebration of his life at Dereham Memorial Hall. All are welcome.

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