Family pays tribute to local sporting icon and 'an inspiration'

Littleport man becomes Olympic torch bearer

Norman South, born and raised in Littleport, was an Olympic torch bearer ahead of the London 2012 Games as he walked the quarter-mile through King's Lynn. - Credit: Family

A man who was “an inspiration to all who knew him” and a well-known figure in the local sporting scene has died at the age of 85. 

Norman South, born and raised in Littleport, passed away on Christmas Day last year at The Paddocks Care Home in Swaffham after a battle with vascular dementia. 

A keen sportsman at heart, Norman played key parts in different sports, including cricket, football and badminton. 

The Littleport resident played and managed Waterbeach, Ely City Reserves and Littleport Town Football Club, as well as featuring in the FA Cup as a player in 1956.  

Littleport man becomes Olympic torch bearer

Norman South, born and raised in Littleport, was an Olympic torch bearer ahead of the London 2012 Games as he walked the quarter-mile through King's Lynn. - Credit: Family

Norman began his association with Littleport Town Cricket Club in 1947 and, as well as becoming president of long-standing local cricket competition, the Kirkland Cup, he took charge of Littleport’s youth team.  


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Norman, who also coached Ely City Crusaders under 15s, became the first player to score 100 runs at the club’s Highfield ground and notched 10 wickets while on tour with Littleport against the Cheltenham Civil Service in 1958. 

It was not just outdoors that Norman impressed, but indoors too, where he became champion for Cambridgeshire in table tennis and won several awards in badminton. 

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In later life, the ex-Robins player became a fundraiser and raised over £30,000 for the Ely branch of the MS Society through organising carpet bowls tournaments. 

However, perhaps one of his most notable feats for Norman was becoming an Olympic torch bearer ahead of the London 2012 Games. 

Family, friends and supporters travelled to King’s Lynn to see Norman walk the quarter-mile through the town, and featured on the front page of this newspaper.  

At the time, Norman said: “It was a very good day, there were lots of people there from Littleport to watch and it went like a dream.” 

Littleport sportsman becomes Olympic torch bearer

Norman South featured on the front page of the Ely Standard newspaper on July 12, 2012 when he became an Olympic torch bearer ahead of the London Games. - Credit: Archant

As well as this, Norman won two Unsung Hero Awards including in 2008 at the Ely Standard Sports Awards for his dedication to local sport, in a bid to inspire others to contribute to their community. 

Norman’s family said: “He was full of humour, right to the end, and will be greatly missed.” 

Norman, married to the late Hilary, leaves behind three children, seven grandchildren and three siblings. 

Friends are invited to line the route from St George’s Church, Littleport to the Littleport Cemetery on Tuesday, January 19 at 2.45pm, with the funeral starting at 2pm. 

To make a donation, visit: https://www.dementiauk.org/.  

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