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Britain's tallest man drops in on Shropshire schoolchildren - with video

By Rory Smith | Market Drayton | News | Published:

Britain’s tallest man has come to a school in Shropshire, played basketball with pupils and given them an insight into life at 7ft 7ins.

The former Harlem Globetrotters basketball player, known as Paul “Tiny” Sturgess, visited pupils at Market Drayton Junior School to push his motivational message of embracing people’s differences and overcoming challenges, which have led him to jobs in acting and a successful career in basketball.

With size 18 feet and a hand-span of 32cm, he grew up in England before spending a significant period in America playing basketball, and has now returned to travel around primary schools giving motivational talks.

Britain's tallest man visits Shropshire

“I visit lots of primary schools all around the country doing inspirational days, teaching the kids to be proud to be different and embrace their uniqueness – obviously we play some basketball as well,” he said.

“I love travelling the country visiting all the students. I get a lot of gratification from passing on positive messages and the schools’ feedback is always really positive so it’s nice to know the work I’m doing is appreciated.”

In Market Drayton, Paul was met with a gasp as students’ mouths dropped in awe as he stood on the stage in the school hall to start his presentation.

“I get that reaction everywhere I go,” he added.

Photographer Tim Sturgess meet Britain's tallest man Paul Sturgess (no relation)

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“When I stand up and make a big entrance everyone is in amazement and I’ve got them captivated from the start, so it’s nice to be able to use that to deliver a positive message.

“There’s no hiding it from it, my height is probably something they’ve never seen before so they’re always going to be curious to meet someone so different.”

Lisa Wright, school administrator, said: “He was a wonderful character and a genuinely entertaining person.

“He of course brought some basketballs with him and it was a lovely sunny day so he was able to go outside and shoot some hoops with all the students, teaching them new techniques.

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Paul Sturgess with Kadence Gasson and Leo Johnson

“He also held an assembly with all the children. It was a lovely presentation going into his background of being a professional basketball player. He also explained how he buys clothes, shoes and how his everyday life can be quite a challenge.

“After arriving he very cleverly sat down as the children were making their way into the hall, as they reached their seats he stood up and every single student was amazed.

“It was nice to see him provoke emotion, I think the children have a better understanding of individuality and really showed empathy in how he has to live his life.

“I think they’ll certainly remember it and it’ll be a memory that will be held by the children for many years to come.”

Rory Smith

By Rory Smith
Reporter - @rorysmith_star

Senior reporter based at the Shropshire Star's head office in Ketley, Telford.

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