School plans poignant tribute to former teacher Mike Sutton

Mike Sutton, at Hellesdon High School on the day of his retirement

Mike Sutton, at Hellesdon High School on the day of his retirement - Credit: Wensum Trust

The school where former Norwich City player Mike Sutton taught PE will hold a poignant tribute to him on the day of his funeral.

Mr Sutton, the father of fellow ex-Canary Chris Sutton, taught PE at Hellesdon High School for more than 30 years, retiring in 2007.

He died on Boxing Day following a lengthy fight with Alzheimer's, with widespread tributes to him pouring in from across the sporting world.

And on Monday, January 18, former colleagues and two ex-pupils who followed in his footsteps will pay their respects to him on the day of his funeral.

Norwich City player Chris Sutton and his father Mike Sutton. Photo: Archant Library

Norwich City player Chris Sutton and his father Mike Sutton. Photo: Archant Library - Credit: Archant Library

On the day of his funeral, three Norwich City flags will be flown at half-mast outside the school and as his funeral procession passes the school, members of staff will line the streets at a safe social distance and give him a guard of honour.


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Tom Rolfe and Mike Earl, principals of the school, who both worked alongside him, said: "Mike was the perfect gentleman, an outstanding teacher and a great sportsperson.

"There is no doubt that he was an inspiration to all of the students and staff that he encountered during the thirty-one years that he was associated with the school and he will be sadly missed by us all."

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Two of the school's existing PE department, James Reeve and Katie Ruthen were both taught by Mr Sutton before going on to follow in his footsteps.

Former city midfielder Mike Sutton.
Photo Simon Finlay
copy Chris Wise
for EDP sport
.

Former city midfielder Mike Sutton. Photo Simon Finlay copy Chris Wise for EDP sport . - Credit: EDP / Archant 2003

Mr Reeve said: "As a teacher, Mr Sutton was truly inspirational and well-respected by every student he taught. In particular, I admired his passion for A-Level PE which not only facilitated my enjoyment of the subject but also significantly influenced my own path towards becoming a PE teacher

"His competitive yet fair nature always shone through as well, whether that be in table tennis matches against him or during the annual staff versus pupils cricket match. Mr Sutton was someone you wanted to impress and do well for."

Sally Benton, another of his former colleagues, added: "He was hard as nails and gentle as a lamb."

Members of the community are also invited to pay their respects, respecting social distancing measures, outside of the school gates on Middletons Lane at 1.30pm on January 18.


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