Devastated school pupils have paid moving tributes to an ‘inspirational’ teacher who lost his battle with cancer.
Ian Burton had taught PE, as well as leading the Duke of Edinburgh scheme, at Brinsworth Comprehensive in Rotherham for 36 years.
He was believed to have been the longest-serving member of staff at the school , the head of outdoor education and had taught many generations of families before he retired in the summer.
News of the dad’s death was broken to pupils on Friday, and they have covered the school gates with floral tributes and cards.
A Facebook memorial page called ‘remembering Mr Burton’ has also had memories posted on it.
Sixth form student Alex Roebuck, aged 17, told The Star: “Mr Burton was an inspiration, a great guy.
“He wouldn’t take no for an answer or let you say ‘I can’t do it’.
“I didn’t like heights and when we went rock climbing he would always encourage me to the top - he pushed you to your best.
One online tribute from Maddie Dutton read: “I will always remember the look you gave my orienteering group in year nine when, on the stage we came last, we explained it was because a vicious swan blocked the path.
“You taught my dad, my uncle, three of my cousins and my sister; you aren’t going to be forgotten by my family and many others anytime soon.”
The school has closed for Christmas. But in its summer newsletter headteacher Richard Fone praised Mr Burton as he retired.
He said: “Successive generations of Brinsworth students have benefitted from Mr Burton’s teaching and guidance and he is a well-regarded figure in the community.”