Memorial tributes to popular teacher

Dave Pinder
Dave Pinder
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Colleagues and pupils, past and present, gathered to remember a tragic teacher who died after collapsing at school.

A memorial service was held at St Christopher’s Church, on Hawes Side Lane, for Dave Pinder - a popular PE teacher at Highfield Humanities College who died last month.

Around 100 wellwishers, which also included members of Mr Pinder’s family, gathered at the church on Wednesday evening to pay their respects.

Former colleague Irene Rawcliffe, who previously served as head of PE at Highfield, told those gathered: “He was a kind, thoughtful man who put himself out to help others whatever cost to himself.

“Dave will be remembered as a committed teacher who always had pupils’ best interests at heart.

“Many of his past and present pupils have expressed the impact that he had on their lives, and the love he had for sport. It seems surreal to me that you’ve now left us.

“It’s been a privilege to know you, to work with you and consider you my friend.”

During the service some of the present pupils placed items associated with Mr Pinder on a memory table by the altar, which included a football, a running baton and a training track top.

Father Graham Piper, who conducted the service, told the congregation: “I know that David’s passing has come as a great shock to so many people and it is very difficult to know why these things happen.

“We need to hold on to things like memories.

“Faith, hope and love are important at times like these but our memories are incredibly important.

“He was incredibly well known locally and he was very much a part of the Highfield family.

“He was known as a lovable chap and he touched so many people’s lives.”

The school will now use donations made in Mr Pinder’s memory to offer more provision for sport for children with special educational needs at the school.

Speaking after the service, Highfield headteacher Ian Evans said Mr Pinder’s family had appreciated the service.

He said: “They thought it was a very good service and they were taken aback by the number of pupils that attended as well as the number of staff.”