Norwich City superfan’s legacy lives on with donation to beloved charity
PUBLISHED: 14:52 20 January 2020 | UPDATED: 15:13 20 January 2020
The legacy of a Norwich City superfan will be kept alive with a donation to the charity closest to his heart.
Julian King, known to many in the Dereham area as 'Kingo', died on December 8 at the age of 57.
Having spent much of his life going out of his way to help others, Mr King's death triggered an outpouring of emotion from the Dereham and Norwich City communities.
Almost 500 people turned out for his funeral at St Nicholas Church on Friday, January 3, proof of the immense impact he had on so many lives.
There was an opportunity to grant Mr King's dying wish as donations to the Dereham branch of The Salvation Army were accepted.
"About 30 years ago, when Julian was a single dad living on Sandy Lane, The Salvation Army turned up at Christmas time," said Mr King's wife, Sam.
"They gave him Christmas dinner, enough food to last for a week and even presents for his daughter.
"Because of that they always stayed in his memory. He always wanted donations from his funeral to go somewhere local and he never ever forgot them."
Mr King, who suffered with MS for decades and used his chin to operate a motorised wheelchair, was committed to improving the lives of those experiencing similar hardships.
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.
Kidney failure and the resulting need for regular dialysis proved restrictive later in life, but Mr King retained a positive mindset and his typically friendly demeanour.
"About 480 people came to the funeral - the vicar had never done one that big," added Mrs King. "The town really did him proud and I'd like to say a massive thank you to everyone who came.
"It's incredible really because Julian was just a normal, everyday guy. For a normal person to get that kind of turnout is absolutely amazing."
Donations to Dereham Salvation Army can still be made via WC Littleproud and Son funeral directors on South Green, Dereham. The final sum will be handed over in the coming weeks.