Tributes to former Norwich City head gateman who was awarded British Empire Medal
PUBLISHED: 11:11 04 June 2020 | UPDATED: 15:31 05 June 2020
Tributes have been paid to a “compassionate and kind” former head gateman at Carrow Road, who was awarded a British Empire Medal.
David Smith, from Sprowston, spent his working career at Norfolk County Council, mainly as a local government officer in a purchasing role and latterly as chief purchasing officer for the highways department.
In recognition of his dedication and long service, Mr Smith was presented with the British Empire Medal for services to local government in 1992.
It was an enormously proud moment for all the family and the best-kept secret for months between receiving the notification letter and the official announcement.
Outside his career Mr Smith was a passionate Norwich City supporter, attending most home games including the famous 1959 FA Cup run, as well as all three cup finals at Wembley.
From the late 1970s to early 1990s, Mr Smith was employed as head gateman at Carrow Road and held a season ticket in the River End until 2013.
For many years, he also worked as a gateman at the Royal Norfolk Show.
Mr Smith was born in September 1936 on the Larkman Estate in Norwich. He was part of a large family, with four sisters, a brother and a half-brother who was killed during the Second World War.
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He attended the City of Norwich School and met his future wife, Pamela, at St Mary’s Church on Low Road in Hellesdon, when he was around 13 years old.
Mr Smith was then conscripted to National Service and spent two years at RAF West Kirby on Merseyside and studying radar systems at RAF Neatishead.
On returning to Norwich, he and Mrs Smith married in September 1959 at St Mary’s Church in Hellesdon, and lived at their home in Elizabeth Close, Sprowston for over 60 years, where their two sons were also born.
Mrs Smith said: “David will be remembered as a compassionate, kind, thoughtful, caring man, who loved to be with his family. He was so proud of his sons, grandchildren and will be missed by everyone who knew him.”
Mr Smith died at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital on Tuesday May, 12 at the age of 83 after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.