Telford News

Tributes paid to much-loved local teaching ‘legend’

Tributes paid to much-loved local teaching ‘legend’

Tributes have been paid to a long-serving and much-loved Shropshire teacher and sportsman, who has died after a battle with cancer.

Peter Lance was a teacher at Abraham Darby School in Telford for 33 years, beginning his career in the PE department before becoming an English teacher.

He was also a familiar face on the Shropshire sporting scene, playing rugby for Telford Hornets and cricket for Madeley in 1970s and 1980s.

Peter was also involved with a local basketball team, and a keen supporter of Telford Athletics Club.

His funeral is being held at Telford Crematorium on Thursday May 19 at 11.45am, followed by a reception at Telford Hornets Rugby Club, and all are welcome to pay their respects.

The family say wearing black is not required, and are encouraging donations to three charities instead of flowers – Parkinson’s UK, Macmillan Cancer, and the RSPB.

Wife Margaret said: “All are welcome at any stage throughout the day to pay their respects and celebrate Pete’s life.”

Peter was born in Berlin and spent his early childhood in Wales, before studying sport at Loughborough University and eventually settling in Telford.

In his youth he represented both Great Britain and Wales in the High Jump, something his children said he was always so rightfully proud of.

His former pupils at Abraham Darby have left numerous messages of condolence as well as sharing their memories, saying Pete will be greatly missed and referring to him as a ‘legend’, ‘a great teacher’, ‘one of the best’ and a ‘giant of a man’.

Daughter Becky said: “The outpouring of tributes on social media has been overwhelming, with over messages 800 received.

“As a teacher, my father was a well-known, charismatic and popular member of staff. He possessed a unique sense of humour that left an impression on so many, often stopping for a chat with ex pupils long after he retired.

“He was a huge presence, encouraging countless students to reach their sporting potential. As a keen singer and performer, he was involved in many of the infamous school productions including Big Al in Al Capone, Tinman in Wizard of Oz, Rooster in Annie, and sang regularly with the Abraham Darby jazz band in the 1990s too.
“He was also a member of some of the local theatre groups performing in productions of Shakespeare on the Church Green in Much Wenlock, and more recently in Calamity Jane at The Place in Oakengates.”

Peter, who leaves two children, met his wife Margaret in Ironbridge in the late 1970s, and they would have been celebrating their 42nd anniversary at the end of this month.

He died peacefully at home, aged 73, surrounded by his immediate family.

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