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Simon Thomas has two great Norfolk passions 

SimonThomas450Sky Sports football frontman and ex-Blue Peter presenter Simon Thomas, who grew up in a Norfolk vicarage, acquired two great loves before leaving the county – a life-long passion for Norwich City and a strong Christian faith.

Born in Cromer, where his father Andrew was curate, Simon grew up in Grimston near King's Lynn when his dad became vicar, before the family moved to Surrey.
Simon worked with TV vicar Steve Chalke at the Oasis Trust in London before famously landing his role as a Blue Peter presenter in 1999, where he took over from Richard Bacon who was sacked for taking drugs.
The tabloids made much of the "sinner to saint" comparison and Simon's faith became public knowledge.
"I was publicised as the vicar's son so people knew about my Christian faith right from the start," he said. "I was comfortable with that because I came to faith in Jesus at an early age. It's never been something I've forced on anyone nor has it been something I've tried to hide.
"There are always opportunities to talk about God at work or at leisure. I don't force my faith on others. However, I'll gladly talk about it if asked."
When he was offered the job on Blue Peter, it was actually Simon's third attempt trying to land the high-profile role. On the popular show Simon became known as an action man after he skydived with the RAF, climbed Europe's highest mountain, Mont Blanc and Africa's, Mount Kilimanjaro, and ran the London Marathon twice.
Moving onto Sky TV, Simon presented Sky Sports News for eight years and in 2010 became Sky Sports' lead Football League presenter, which gave the fanatical Norwich City supporter the opportunity to meet some of his sporting heroes.
Simon is a lifelong Canaries fan and is very much involved with the club as an Ambassador for the club's Community Sports Foundation and Vice President of the Norwich City Supporters Trust.
But despite his high profile role and mixing with footballs legends such as Sir Bobby Charlton, Simon doesn't forget his faith. He said: "I know some Christians don't want anything to do with the media because they think it is out to get them. There are times when I think newspapers and television believe Christianity is fair game but they wouldn't be so tough on other faiths and that annoys me.
"The only way we can change this is to be involved. If Jesus was walking on the earth today, he would be meeting with media people. He would praise and challenge them at the same time."
Despite his hectic schedule, which often involves weekend work, Simon makes sure he reads his Bible regularly and has time to attend Greyfriars Church in Reading on Sundays with wife Gemma and son Ethan.
"My faith helps me keep perspective in my work," said Simon. "I am very grateful to God for the opportunity and career he's blessed me with. But it's an industry where, particularly if you're in front of camera, egos and an inflated sense of self-importance can be easy pitfalls;, my faith helps me to see it for what it is. A great job, but just a job."
Pictured above is Sky Sports front-man Simon Thomas.

Article extracts: www.newlife.co.uk 

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