FULL STORY: School in shock at death of teacher

David Pinder had been a PE teacher at Highfield for more than 20 years and  was tremendously well-liked and respected, said the school's headteacher.

David Pinder had been a PE teacher at Highfield for more than 20 years and was tremendously well-liked and respected, said the school's headteacher.

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A school community has been left stunned after a popular teacher died suddenly after collapsing in a corridor.

Devastated colleagues today paid tribute to Dave Pinder, 47, who taught PE at Highfield Humanities College, in South Shore.

Father-of-one Mr Pinder, who lived in Marton and taught at the school for more than 20 years, was found by a colleague in a corridor at the school at around 11.30am yesterday.

Paramedics were called and he was taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital, but he later died.

The cause of his death is not yet known.

Headteacher Ian Evans said: “I know that I speak for the school’s pupils, parents, governors and staff when I say just how deeply saddened we all are by this tragic event.

“David was tremendously well liked and respected, as well as being an important member of our Highfield family.

The cause of his death is not yet known.

Today colleagues, who described sports-mad Mr Pinder as a “fit and healthy” man who cycled to and from school every day, told of their deep sadness.

Headteacher Ian Evans said: “I know that I speak for the school’s pupils, parents, governors and staff when I say just how deeply saddened we all are by this tragic event.

“David was tremendously well liked and respected, as well as being an important member of our Highfield 
family.

“For more than 20 years, David was an extremely hard worker who was dedicated to making sure pupils received the best possible education and support throughout their time in school, and he will be sorely missed.

“He had a real passion for sport, both in Highfield and across Blackpool, and always cared tremendously for how well all of his school sports teams were doing in local 
competitions.

“Staff and pupils affected by David’s death are receiving support from within the school and the council.

“I am sure that people who are at the school, as well as those who have been taught by David, will have some very happy memories and we will be thinking about the most appropriate way to remember him.”

Another colleague of Mr Pinder’s, who asked not to be named but said he had worked with him for more than 20 years, said staff were told around 1.15pm yesterday that he had died.

Pupils were gathered in their form classes at around 2.40pm to be told of the news before being sent home at 3pm.

He said: “His immediate colleagues in the PE department were very, very shaken up. I knew him very well, he cycled to and from work.

“I saw him on Monday night as I was getting in my car he was about to cycle home.

“He was fit and healthy. He was 47 but he was always at work, he was not one to take time off.”

One student at the school, Jamie Thomas, 16, had been taught by Mr Pinder yesterday morning.

Jamie, from Prestbury Avenue, South Shore, plays football for the Bolton Wanderers youth team and said Mr Pinder had always encouraged him to pursue the sport.

He said: “He was everyone’s favourite teacher and he got along with everyone.

“He helped me a lot with PE and told me to keep going with my football. He only wanted the best for the students.”

He added: “In the morning he seemed fine and he was teaching us in PE.

“He just seemed like his normal, happy self.

“Then an ambulance was just rushed to the school before lunch and there were teachers outside holding their hands on their heads.

“When we found out he’d passed away the school was in silence. You couldn’t hear anything, everyone was just shocked.”

A keen sportsman, in his youth Mr Pinder had represented Lancashire at both triple jump and high jump and remained heavily involved in athletics in Blackpool.

He also played rugby for Thornton Cleveleys when he was younger.

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