Ipswich family celebrate their funny and likeable son with football match

Sprock Fulcher (centre) was a funny and likeable Ipswich man, who died last year. 

Sprock Fulcher (centre) was a funny and likeable Ipswich man, who died last year. Pictured L-R: nephews and nieces Ollie, Freya, Henry and Izzie; sisters Marie and Shelly, brothers-in-law Gary and Martin, brother Shane, mum Lynn, nephews Ashton and Carson, sister-in-law Anna and brother, Mick. - Credit: Shane Fulcher

A family in Ipswich will be celebrating their funny, positive, football-loving son, brother and uncle this Sunday. 

‘Sprock’ Fulcher was a ‘real character,’ who never had a negative word to say about anyone. He was born on March 4, 1983, one of several brothers and sisters. 

“His real name was Andrew, but no one ever called him that,” said Sprock’s brother, Shane, 40. 

Sprock's nickname has stuck since childhood

Sprock's nickname has stuck since childhood, when he was fascinated by the rear sprocket on the back wheel of his 'upside-down bike' in the back garden. - Credit: Shane Fulcher

Brothers Sprock, left, Shane, centre, and Mick, right, with their mum, Lynne.

Brothers Sprock, left, Shane, centre, and Mick, right, with their mum, Lynne. - Credit: Shane Fulcher

Sprock was well-known in Ipswich, and well-liked.

Sprock was well-known in Ipswich, and well-liked. - Credit: Shane Fulcher

“The nickname Sprock came about when he was toddler-aged. In the back garden, he had an upside-down bike, and he was fascinated by the rear sprocket on the back wheel. 

“It was a throwaway name that was always given to him. We called him Sprocket, and it stuck. Then that got shortened to Sprock. 

“He was known as Sprock from that day onwards. I’m sure there are people that knew him who never even realised that his real name was Andrew.” 

Sprock was born in Castle Hill, but the family moved to Whitehouse when he was around the age of seven.  

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“He and Mick, our other brother, would often have been seen going about in their chairs. They were well known to the locals, both of them in their electric wheelchairs, driving about on the estate and going on little adventures.” 

Sprock and Mick, 36, were both born with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a progressive muscle-weakening disorder, which usually affects boys in early childhood. 

Sprock, right, and his brother Mick, have had a lot of support from GeeWizz.

Sprock, right, and his brother Mick, have had a lot of support from GeeWizz. - Credit: Shane Fulcher

Shane said that Shane was very positive person, and never had a bad word to say about anyone.

Shane said that Shane was very positive person, and never had a bad word to say about anyone. - Credit: Shane Fulcher

“They were able to walk and use their hands up until the age of about nine or ten,” said Shane. “After that, they became wheelchair-bound.” 

Shane said that everyone who knew Sprock had a good word to say about him. 

“He had such a positive outlook on life,” he said. “He was strong, and funny, a really likeable person with such personality. 

“Sprock was a massive football fan. He loved to watch his nephews, my sons, play football. He was a massive Arsenal fan – he would watch every game on TV, and England games. 

“If he was able-bodied, he would 100% have been a footballer. He would have probably been one of those mean, centre-back back defenders. 

“He was kind and caring. He had time for people, he’d chat to them and never had anything negative to say about anyone.” 

Sprock died on September 14, 2021, aged 38. 

After his brother's death, Shane and the rest of the family were determined to do what they could to raise money for the GeeWizz charity, which has supported Mick and Sprock over the years. 

Sprock Fulcher was born with Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Sprock Fulcher was born with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. - Credit: Shane Fulcher

Sprock has been supported over the years by the GeeWizz charity.

Sprock has been supported over the years by the GeeWizz charity. - Credit: Shane Fulcher

The charity has provided the brothers with specialist technology and equipment, to help make their lives easier. 

“They have no use of their hands, so they have what is called an ‘eyegaze’ which would let them control a screen with their eyes, so they could type out a text after they,” explained Shane. 

“So, we just wanted to give a little back.” 

Shane has organised for family and friends to gather at Whitton Sports Centre on Sunday, May 29, for a football game, before moving on to the Greyhound pub in Claydon, which is providing food. 

“Mick is the home team manager, and he is taking it very seriously,” said Shane. “The home team is Sporting Sprocket ‘83 - Sprock's childhood nickname and the year he was born.  

There will be a raffle draw, and Shane is hopeful that he will be auctioning off some sports memorabilia to the highest bidder.  

“We’ve got a lot of prizes. I’m blown away by the generosity of our friends and family, and local businesses. 

“Especially in this day and age, with living costs a little more than what they normally are. People have extra expenses, but they are still prepared to give whatever they can to a good cause. 

“It just goes to show how well-liked Sprock was, and what a character he was, that people are willing to just say – yes, 100%, I’m in.”

For more information about the match on Sunday, visit: www.facebook.com/events/1606031209779268