TRIBUTES have been paid by a Wedmore school to an inspiring, enthusiastic teacher with a renowned sense of humour.

Richard Edmonds, who was a member of staff at Hugh Sexey Middle School for more than 30 years, died last Friday at the age of 57.

Richard began his teaching career at the school in 1980 and his presence in school had been greatly missed since he retired due to ill health in 2012.

This week, acting head teacher Liz Stiddard paid tribute to him. She said: “Dick began his teaching career, starting in Year 5 (then known as Year 1) where his warm personality and sense of humour made him an immediate hit with both the pupils and his colleagues.

“He will always be remembered with huge respect and affection by all who had the privilege to work with him or to be taught by him.”

Richard’s career progressed, leading to management roles of leader of humanities and year leader for Years 7 and 8.

Ms Stiddard said: “He always aimed to make learning fun and inspired children to achieve their best, whether in the classroom or on the rugby pitch.

“Sport was Dick’s great love – whether playing, watching or coaching. He gave unstintingly of his time to coach teams for football, rugby and cricket, inspiring them not only to enjoy the game but often leading them to victory.

“He was always willing to support school events, even to the point of playing humorous and memorable dancing roles in the Year 8 pantomimes.”

Richard was admired for his discipline and loved his forthright sense of humour by students and staff, and respected by parents.

Ms Stiddard added: “He wanted everyone to enjoy being at school as much as he did.”

A private funeral will be held next week followed by a celebration of his life in Cheddar.