Tributes pour in for "outstanding" Gloucester teacher Tony Chesson
TRIBUTES are pouring in for a teacher whose hard work, talent and commitment shaped thousands of young lives.
Tony Chesson gave his whole career to St Peter's RC High School, Tuffley, where he got science students off to a flying start for university.
And he will be deeply missed at Old Cryptians RFC, where he made a record 688 appearances and scored 4,160 points until he hung up his boots at the age of 50.
He was 61-years-old when he collapsed outside his Cheltenham home on Monday morning, said St Peter's headteacher Larry Montagu.
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"He was an absolutely outstanding teacher and a close friend," said Mr Montagu. "So many former pupils who were taught biology and went on to study medicine or sciences at university told us how easy they found their work because of his teaching.
"He was a total professional with immense ability. He was third in charge of the school for many years and last year he wanted to finish off by stepping down to part-time teaching his beloved year 12s and 13s. We were delighted he was staying and so were the kids."
After attending The Crypt School, he trained as a teacher then worked at St Peter's. He vied for school team kicking duties with Gloucester legend Peter Butler and represented Old Cryptians for 34 years, mostly in the first XV.
"He was a great guy and really committed to Old Cryptians," said Mr Butler. "He steered many talented St Peter's boys to the club."
Old Cryptians chairman Alan Roberts said: "He was very committed to the rugby club and to the old boys club. He was never negative and always had a smile."
ASTAM architects managing director Roger Boucher watched Gloucester beat Mont de Marsan with Mr Chesson on Saturday.
"We watched Gloucester together for many years, but he would only come on an away trip if it didn't interfere with his school work," he said. "He was a very good friend."
Mr Chesson leaves his wife Pam, two daughters, step children and grandchildren.
Mr Montagu broke the news to pupils on Monday.
Sixth former Isobella Price, 17 said: "He saw potential in every student and highlighted everyone's strengths. He made time for anyone who needed help, and always encouraged everyone to fulfil their potential. He wasn't just seen as a teacher, more as an inspiration to everyone."
Georgia Councell, 17, said: "He was so lovely, he had his own little sense of humour. My thoughts are with the family."