Tributes paid to stabbed church footballer
2006: Tributes have been paid to teenage church footballer John Sewell,
who was fatally stabbed on the Heartsease
estate in Norwich
early on Saturday morning following an argument.
The former Heartsease High School pupil played football for Witard Road Baptist Church in the Norfolk Christian Football League and had been selected to play for Ipswich Town’s youth academy. He also played for four other local football teams.
His parents, Ray and Jane, were too upset to talk publicly about their son's death, but issued a joint statement through the police.
The couple said: “John was tragically taken away from us - he was loved by everyone.
“He was fun-loving with a great sense of humour. He could be mischievous at times but everyone loved him. He will be sadly missed by everyone.”
The Witard Road team still played their league match against King's on Saturday in honour of John and had a minute's silence before the match.
Mike Culwick, manager of the team, said: “The boys decided they wanted to play on Saturday and dedicated it to John. It was very tough for them emotionally. One of the things we all noticed about him was he was a role model for any young person. In all the seven years he played for us he was never cautioned or sent off.
“He was a very special and nice young man, a super guy.”
Rev David Adams, pastor of the Witard Road Church, said prayers for John at his service yesterday.
He added: “We are all horrified that such a thing could happen to such a young man.
“I think the main feeling is a sense of shock in the community that such a thing has happened on our doorstep.”
John suffered a puncture wound after being stabbed with a knife near the Canary pub in Watling Road on the Heartsease Estate at 12.20am on Saturday morning.
He was rushed to the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital but was pronounced dead later that night.
Pictured above is John Sewell playing for Witard Road Baptist Church.
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