Tributes are paid to school’s ‘favourite’

Nigel Hird
Nigel Hird

Huge tributes have been paid to a Scarborough father aged 52 who collapsed and died at the school where he helped to inspire pupils.

Nigel Hird will be laid to rest today after his shock death at Scalby School, where he worked as a lab technician.

Pupils have spoken of him in messages as “the best teacher” or their “favourite” and thanking him for what he had done for them.

Today, more than 200 people are expected at Woodlands Crematorium to celebrate his life.

Speaking to The Scarborough News, his brother Andrew Hird said he had touched the lives of many people during his life.

He said: “I had seen some people talking about him on social media so I decided to take a book of condolence to the the school.

One teacher wrote ‘the way you were with [the pupils] was a lesson to us’, that’s the one that will stick with me.”

The middle of five boys, Mr Hird was born in North Ferriby before the family moved to Scarborough in 1968.

The household in Newlands Avenue was always full as friends of Phillip, Stephen, Richard, Nigel and Andrew filled every space.

Andrew said it was “chaotic but filled with laughter”.

Nigel, who attended Northstead and Scalby schools, was in a nightclub one night when he met a woman called Bev, who warned her friend to “keep that Nigel away from me”.

It didn’t work and Nigel and Bev were married in 1991.

They had two children together, Jacob, 21, and Lydia, 17.

After starting out his working life hiring deck chairs on the beach and working on the water chute in North Bay, Nigel, after attending college in Leeds, got a job at McCain.

His first role was to fix pallets but he worked his way through the ranks and would become the chip giant’s quality manager.

For the final seven years of his life he was a popular lab technician at the school where he himself was educated.

If his passion for learning was an inspiration to the students at Scalby there could be no doubt as to his other passions – family and sport.

A passionate Leeds United supporter and Moto GP fan, Nigel was a talented table tennis player, footballer and golfer.

As a committee member at North Cliff Golf Club he was heavily involved in the coaching of youngsters, as he himself strove to get his handicap to single digits.

His family will come together today at Woodlands Crematorium followed by a celebration of his life at North cliff Golf Club this afternoon.

Andrew added: “Most of all I will remember him as a genuine man who never said no.

“A beaming smile, a laugh, the sense of humour. He loved his family, he was hugely popular, what more can I say?

“He was the type of man who when he asked ‘Are you OK?’ he meant it.”