A FORMER Swindon Advertiser linotype operator has died.

Sean Norris died on June 26 in Ireland, aged 77.

He leaves behind his wife, Christeen, to whom he was married for 53 years.

Mr Norris was born in Dungarvon in Ireland in 1928.

But he moved to Swindon and worked for 15 years at the Advertiser as a linotype operator.

Alongside his career, Sean harboured a passion for weightlifting.

He won a number of titles in Ireland and Britain during the 50s, 60s and 70s.

They included the eight All-Ireland Championships.

Two of his records remain today.

One of his biggest weight-lifting successes was being asked to represent his country at the Helsinki Olympic Games in 1952.

And in spite of getting older he never gave up.

In 2002 he won the over 70s class at the Munster Masters Championships.

But Sean also had an artistic side to his character and was a member of the Irish Operatic Society.

In fact, his voice was so good he was a highly regarded tenor singer among the operatic society and won many country singing titles.

He loved music so much that he put together a CD called My Favourite Songs.

During his time in Swindon Sean and his family became popular members of the community.

The couple who lived at various times in Courtsknap Court, Birch Street and North Street, were famous for having one of the biggest families in the town.

They had 14 children, 27 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

In 1991 Sean was thrilled when his wife won the Advertiser's Mum In A Million competition.

She won the contest after judges found out that she spent all her time running around after her brood.

But when she found out she had won she said: "I could never have done it all without my husband.

"He worked all day and night to provide for the family."

Tragically 27-year-old Paul was killed in a car accident in America in 1991.

He had gained a first-class honours degree in engineering from the Polytechnic of Wales in Pontypridd.

And just days after his death his grieving parents had to collect his certificate.

Sean captured every detail of his colourful life in Ireland and in Swindon in his autobiography This Is My Life.