FAM­ILY’S SHOCK AS ‘MUCH-LOVED’ RE­TIRED SCHOOL HEAD DIES ON CRUISE

Ex-head­teacher died on cruise around Med

The Sentinel - - FRONT PAGE - Matt Jack­son matthew.jack­son@reach­plc.com

GRIEV­ING fam­ily and friends have paid trib­ute to a re­tired head­teacher who died sud­denly on a Mediter­ranean cruise.

Dave Ed­wards, of Bad­de­ley Green, had been on the two-week cruise with his part­ner Rita Pen­ning­ton when he died off the Span­ish coast on Wed­nes­day morn­ing.

The 71-year-old was head­teacher at Has­sell Com­mu­nity Pri­mary School, in New­cas­tle, for 19 years un­til 2010, and had be­come a well-known fig­ure in the Stafford­shire run­ning com­mu­nity.

Brother Jef­frey Ed­wards, of Mil­ton, led trib­utes to the fa­ther-of-three.

The 69-year-old said: “He was my best mate as well as my brother – we did ev­ery­thing to­gether.

“I looked up to him and if I ever had a prob­lem he would look af­ter me, even when we were kids.

“I was in ut­ter dis­be­lief when I was told what had hap­pened.

“I was only tex­ting him the night be­fore be­cause it was the first time he had been on a cruise and he said it was fab­u­lous.

“He was plan­ning on do­ing an­other be­cause he was lov­ing it. He said he was on karaoke every night pre­tend­ing he was Neil Di­a­mond.

“His pas­sion was al­ways the school and it was his life when he took it over.

“When he was there he built it up to a good school and he was well thought of by every­one.

“Every­one who knew Dave will be shocked. He was ex­tremely well thought of and still played foot­ball, went to the gym, and en­joyed run­ning.”

Has­sell Com­mu­nity Pri­mary School head­teacher Kirsty Broome worked as Dave’s deputy un­til he re­tired eight years ago.

She said: “We were all shocked when we got the news be­cause he was a well liked and re­spected head­teacher.

“He was much loved by the staff and his pupils.

“I knew him re­ally well and he was a lovely man with a great sense of hu­mour. He would al­ways come in to see us around Christ­mas.”

The keen run­ner helped to or­gan­ise events such as the Mil­ton 10k and Al­sager 5 – and was even a cor­re­spon­dent for The Sen­tinel.

Pot­ters’ Arf or­gan­iser Ken Rush­ton said: “Dave and I go back 35 years and we have been or­gan­is­ing events to­gether since 1984. “He al­ways had a smile on his face. “In 1989 he helped to bring the Am­a­teur Ath­letic As­so­ci­a­tion 10k to Mil­ton, which was a bit like bring­ing the FA Cup fi­nal to Port Vale.

“He was a very spe­cial per­son and he will be sorely missed.

“He had a mas­sive im­pact on the lo­cal run­ning com­mu­nity and it would have been poorer with­out his in­flu­ence.

“Dave was head­teacher at Has­sell for al­most 20 years and prided him­self on avoid­ing any school clo­sures.”

Dave leaves part­ner Rita; chil­dren Jonathan, Faye, and Will; nephew Andy and sis­ter-in-law Mar­garet.

His body will be repa­tri­ated when the cruise liner re­turns to Southamp­ton.

TRIB­UTE: Dave Ed­wards was head­teacher at Has­sell Com­mu­nity Pri­mary School.

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