Tributes have poured in to an inspiring Sheffield teacher who has died after a battle with cancer.
John Errington lived in Burngreave and taught for many years at Aston Comprehensive School, where his lust for adventure and determination to address social injustices rubbed off on students.
The father-of-four was made an MBE in 2004 for his work forging links between the school, now Aston Academy, and the seaside village of Makunduchi on the island of Zanzibar, off Africa’s east coast.
Former students and Star readers have taken to Facebook to pay tribute to Mr Errington, who died aged 65 on December 21.
Mel Ash posted: “I’m so fortunate to have had the lovely Mr Errington as my teacher and to have visited Zanzibar with him 20 years ago.”
Becky Batham described him as a “good teacher and a great person.”
Kristen Craig said: “Remember Mr Errington from my school days at Aston Comprehensive School. Fond memories. RIP.”
Sabina Fox posted: “He will be very sadly missed.”
John Whitton, a close friend and former colleague, said: “John was an unorthodox teacher but his methods paid off and he was incredibly well-respected by pupils and staff. He had a knack for inspiring people, especially his students, and the work he did setting up the Makunduchi link changed lives both over there and here.”
Family and friends are set to fulfill his dying wish by organising a party rather than a funeral, at which uplifting banners he designed himself are due to be unfurled.
The content of the banners remains a closely-guarded secret, but those in the know say anyone hoping for a final dose of his trademark wit and eccentricity will not be disappointed.
John is survived by his children Lily, Crewe, Daisy and Farne, and his granddaughter Phoebe. The private party in his memory will take place in Sheffield in March.