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Tributes paid to brave young boy who 'lit up rooms'

PUBLISHED: 18:30 14 February 2019

Denver Clinton arrives to meet the crowds at a superheo walk in aid of him 
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2018

Denver Clinton arrives to meet the crowds at a superheo walk in aid of him Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2018

Tributes have been paid to a brave young boy who has died aged four following a battle with cancer.

Denver Clinton at a charity football game last year at Aldiss Park in Dereham. Picture: Alan PalmerDenver Clinton at a charity football game last year at Aldiss Park in Dereham. Picture: Alan Palmer

Denver Clinton, from Mattishall, near Dereham had been diagnosed with stage four, high-risk Neuroblastoma and his courage proved an inspiration to the thousands who have followed his journey from around the globe.

The Denver’s Journey Facebook group has over 6,000 members and fundraising has taken place in the local community which allowed Denver’s family to make special memories with him.

Paul Sandford, landlord of The Railway Tavern in Dereham, kicked off the fundraising last year when he asked for donations during the World Cup showings and has been involved with many other events which raised money for the family.

He said: “I have been hounoured and completely humbled to be involved in helping Denver and his family from the outset of his diagnosis.

“I never saw the little chap with anything but a beaming smile and wicked sense of humour, he lit up rooms and brought thousands of people together from all across the globe.

“His family have shown amazing strength when faced by this terrible disease. The support I received from a network of friends and family has made me determined to help any other families that may find themselves in a similar position fighting Neuroblastoma and so The Denver Clinton foundation is in the process of being set up.

“Denver’s name will live on in his family but also in the community.”

A book of condolences has now been opened in The Railway Tavern for people to share their messages for Denver’s family to read.

Denver Clinton with Norwich City footballers Jamal Lewis (left) and Todd Cantwell (right). Picture: Alan PalmerDenver Clinton with Norwich City footballers Jamal Lewis (left) and Todd Cantwell (right). Picture: Alan Palmer

People have also taken to Facebook to announce they will be lighting a candle this evening in his memory.

Photographer Alan Palmer has documented Denver’s journey including events such as the charity football match at Aldiss Park involving ex-Norwich City players and celebrities and a superhero walk through Dereham town centre.

Mr Palmer said: “A lot of people have said they have shed a few tears today, even people who have never met him. That shows just how strong the feeling is in the town.

“We weren’t sure how many would turn up to the football match but it was absolutely swamped with people. There must have been about 1,000 people there that evening.

Denver Clinton walking through Dereham town centre with superheroes. Picture: Alan PalmerDenver Clinton walking through Dereham town centre with superheroes. Picture: Alan Palmer

“Then it was the superhero walk. I have never seen a town come together like that, it brought Dereham together.”

Norwich City footballer Todd Cantwell, from Dereham, carried Denver out to place the match ball for City’s home game against Nottingham Forest on Boxing Day last year.

In a tweet, he said: “Heartbroken. Rest up in the sky little super hero” which was accompanied with a picture of the two of them together.

Others have also taken to social media to share their messages, including in the Denver’s Journey Facebook group.

A banner made for Denver at the superhero walk through Dereham town centre. Picture: Alan PalmerA banner made for Denver at the superhero walk through Dereham town centre. Picture: Alan Palmer

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