Tributes have been paid to a much-loved PE teacher who has passed away after a battle with cancer.
Neil Robinson, who taught at Blackwood Comprehensive School for more than 30 years, died in the early hours of Tuesday morning (April 28), two days before his 61st birthday.
In a post on Facebook, the school’s PE department described Mr Robinson as a “huge member of our team” and a “character who influenced many of us and always made us smile”.
The post continued: “Our hearts are broken. RIP Mr Robinson.”
Mr Robinson retired in 2017 and was diagnosed with bowel cancer a year later.
He leaves behind three sons.
Commenting on the Facebook post, Tony James said: “Such sad news, Neil was a very close friend we worked together for some 20 years at Blackwood. I can truly say some of the happiest days of my life.
“Neil was an inspirational man, a true professional with an immense sense of humour. He was a very important part of my life and was very influential in the development of many youngsters, enabling them to achieve their true potential.
“A big man with a big heart, a true gentleman. I shed a tear this morning. RIP Neil.”
Sarah Dyer commented: “Such a lovely kind man. My thoughts are with his children who I’m sure have been very blessed to have such a wonderful man as a parent and role model.”
Chelle Morgan commented: “So sad to hear this, Neil was an amazing teacher, mentor and colleague who will be hugely missed. Condolences to all family and friends.”
Earlier in his life, Mr Robinson played as a flanker for UWIC and Ebbw Vale rugby clubs.
Ebbw Vale, who Mr Robinson played for and captained in the 1980s, posted a tribute on their website.
The club described him as “an outstanding player and a wonderful man” who “quickly made his mark in a club renowned for the quality of its back-row forwards”.
The statement added: “In 1984 he was named Player of the Year and his superb fitness and skills led him to captaincy of the club in four seasons, 1984/85, 1985/86, 1987/88 and 1988/89. It was a busy time for a captain of a club like ours playing an average of 45 games a season, but Neil filled the role superbly.”
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