Touching tributes paid to 'great teacher and lovely man'

Touching tributes have been paid to former teacher Richard Day.

Touching tributes have been paid to former teacher Richard Day. Picture: The Day family - Credit: The Day family

Warm tributes have been paid to a popular teacher and keen sportsman, who played in the same Chelsea FC youth team as Jimmy Greaves.

Family, friends and former pupils of Richard Day have hailed a "great" teacher and sportsman, who was "very well respected" in Reydon.

Mr Day, 82, died last Thursday, January 14, at Chevington Lodge in Bungay.

He was born in Reydon, near Southwold, in 1938.

His mother Audrey – nee Jerman – was local, while his father came from Gateshead.

After attending primary school at Reydon and Southwold, he went to Sir John Leman in Beccles.

His wife Diane Day said: "From an early age Richard was known for his sporting prowess and when he was 16 he went and played for Chelsea youth team, playing and training alongside the likes of Jimmy Greaves, as he lodged near the ground."

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Although he didn't make it as a professional, during his national service in Cyprus between 1956 and 1959 Mr Day would become a star player for the combined military team based there. 

Mrs Day said: "Mates who were with him in Cyprus are still in touch and talk about his games as legendary, with Richard mainly playing in midfield."

Southwold Town first team in 1960/61, with Richard Day on the middle row, far left.

Southwold Town first team in 1960/61, with Richard Day on the middle row, far left. Picture: Courtesy of the Day family - Credit: Courtesy of the Day family

He went on to play for Ipswich Reserves, Lowestoft Town and Southwold.

He started his teaching career at Stowmarket Modern until 1966.

Between 1966 and 1969 Mr Day taught in Singapore at the Bourne School, before returning home and teaching at Reydon High School from 1970 until it closed.

Mrs Day said: "Richard’s real vocation was his teaching at Reydon High School and the many messages on the school's Facebook site speak volumes."

Comments such as "one of the best teachers I had" as well as "a great teacher and a lovely man" dominate.

Son Alan Day said thanked everyone for their messages.

After marrying Diane, from Kent, in 1972 - who had come to work at The Dutch Barn in Ferry Road - the couple went on to do B&B for 13 years in Southwold.

Mr Day also played cricket for Southwold and was the golf club captain in 1972. Latterly he enjoyed playing bowls at the Sole Bay Bowls Club until his health failed him.

Mr Day leaves his wife Diane, sons Christopher and Alan, daughter-in-laws Lorraine and Anna and two grandchildren Hadley and Lauryn.