The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)

Tributes flood in for ‘kind and fun’ teacher


The parents of teacher James Furlong have paid tribute to him after he was named as one of the three victims of the Reading terror attack.

Mr Furlong, 36, was head of history, government and politics at The Holt School in Wokingham, and died during the incident, which took place at 7pm on Saturday in Forbury Gardens.

His parents Gary and Janet released a statement through Thames Valley Police which said: “James was a wonderful man. He was beautiful, intelligen­t, honest and fun.

“He was the best son, brother, uncle and partner you could wish for. We are thankful for the memories he gave us all. We will never forget him and he will live in our hearts forever.”

They asked for their privacy to be respected and said they will not comment further at this time.

Co-head teachers Anne Kennedy and Katie Pearce also paid tribute to Mr Furlong, and described him as a “kind and gentle man”.

In a statement, they said:.“As a Holt community, we all now need to absorb this sad news. Counsellor­s will be available for students and staff. He was a cherished colleague and he will be sadly missed.”

Lessons for Monday have been cancelled for all year groups.

The local church will also be opened from 9am for people to go and light a candle in his memory.

Former pupils have praised the “inspiratio­nal” teacher, describing him as “the best”.

Jade Sirmon, a pupil at The Holt from 2012-2017, told PA: “He really was an incredible teacher.

“He was funny and kind and always made history fun and entertaini­ng.”

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