Tributes paid to popular Worcester headteacher

Worcester News: Malcolm Richards Malcolm Richards

TRIBUTES have been paid to a long-serving Worcester headteacher, who has died aged 74.

Malcolm Richards served as headteacher at St Georges Church of England Primary school for more than 20 years until his retirement in 1997.

He was born in Rudry, South Wales in 1939 and moved to Cheltenham in 1961 to study teacher training before taking a job at the Worcester school, where he became deputy headteacher and later headteacher.

Son Gareth said Mr Richards - also father to Sian and grandfather to Ben, Molly, Evie, Laurie, Ruby and Ted - thoroughly enjoyed his time at the school and was particularly proud of the diverse mix of pupils from different backgrounds he was responsible for throughout the years.

"He always spoke about the challenge of having so many children who didn't speak English as a first language," he said.

"He said he would often have to teach them English before he taught them maths."

Well known among his pupils as a very firm authority figure, naughty children lived in fear of his withering cry of “you boy!” or being sent to his corridor to await a stern talking-to.

School administrator Linda Hemstock remembered him as an extremely devoted headteacher who made sure to fill out the school logbook with details of pupil and staff activity every single day.

“He was really lovely and a great man to work for," she said.

"And he was very firm but fair. When he told a story in assembly you could hear a pin drop."

Gareth said his father was very proud of his Welsh roots but was also very mindful of how much he had achieved during his time in England.

"A lot of Welsh people would support France if they played England in the rugby, but he would always support England," he said.

"On his coffin he had a Welsh dragon as well as the cross of St George."

A keen rugby fan, he was proud to see Gareth captain Malvern Rugby Club as well as grandsons Ben and Lori also play for the squad in his later years.

Gareth said his father had spent his much of final years in France and Cyprus - where he lived for about nine months a year - and when he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at the start of this year made sure to visit the country one last time to spend time with the friends he had made there before returning to his home in Malvern, where he died on Wednesday, March 26 surrounded by his family.

More than than 200 people packed into St George's Church in Barbourne for his funeral on Monday, April 4, where his coffin was carried by two friends from Cyprus, two members of Malvern Rugby Club and two of his neighbours.

A collection was also made in aid of Pancreatic Cancer UK.

Comments (6)

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10:40pm Tue 8 Apr 14

CJH says...

He was my teacher at this school in the 1960s. He was lovely. Full of enthusiasm and energy. Great teacher, I owe him a lot.
He was my teacher at this school in the 1960s. He was lovely. Full of enthusiasm and energy. Great teacher, I owe him a lot. CJH
  • Score: 11

2:00pm Wed 9 Apr 14

doomy66 says...

Great teacher, and a force of nature. I was sure he could breath fire if he had the mind to, but everyone loved him
Great teacher, and a force of nature. I was sure he could breath fire if he had the mind to, but everyone loved him doomy66
  • Score: 7

2:55pm Wed 9 Apr 14

MrV says...

He was my form teacher for 2 years in the mid/late 1960s. I think he was everything a teacher should be. He was firm yet fair. He commanded respect, you would not dare step out of line. Do not even think about it. He would also share a laugh and a joke when appropriate. There were 44 of us in that class, happy days.
He was also in charge of games, I don't think he would give too much for today's footballing prima donnas and celebrity culture. I well remember his words booming out of the changing rooms "its 11 against 11" and so we would take to the field with confidence, reputations counting for little.
I hope the mold from which he was cast has not been lost as we could do with more like him.
God bless.
He was my form teacher for 2 years in the mid/late 1960s. I think he was everything a teacher should be. He was firm yet fair. He commanded respect, you would not dare step out of line. Do not even think about it. He would also share a laugh and a joke when appropriate. There were 44 of us in that class, happy days. He was also in charge of games, I don't think he would give too much for today's footballing prima donnas and celebrity culture. I well remember his words booming out of the changing rooms "its 11 against 11" and so we would take to the field with confidence, reputations counting for little. I hope the mold from which he was cast has not been lost as we could do with more like him. God bless. MrV
  • Score: 9

3:28pm Wed 9 Apr 14

thecigarman says...

He was my head teacher also, rip MR Richards, if only the schools were run by people like him today, a great man.
He was my head teacher also, rip MR Richards, if only the schools were run by people like him today, a great man. thecigarman
  • Score: 8

4:15pm Wed 9 Apr 14

Bernie Gunn says...

I am very sorry to hear of Mr Richards passing. I was a pupil at St George's in the early 80s and have a lot of great memories of the School and of Mr Richards.

I remember him as a firm but fair head teacher who commanded a lot of respect. I was quite often on the receiving end of one of his cries of "YOU BOY!!" and remember the traffic lights on his office door well.

I will always remember one school sports day the teachers competed against one another in a few events egg n spoon, sack race etc and Mr Richards was dressed as a giant leek!

RIP SIR.
I am very sorry to hear of Mr Richards passing. I was a pupil at St George's in the early 80s and have a lot of great memories of the School and of Mr Richards. I remember him as a firm but fair head teacher who commanded a lot of respect. I was quite often on the receiving end of one of his cries of "YOU BOY!!" and remember the traffic lights on his office door well. I will always remember one school sports day the teachers competed against one another in a few events egg n spoon, sack race etc and Mr Richards was dressed as a giant leek! RIP SIR. Bernie Gunn
  • Score: 7

8:33pm Wed 9 Apr 14

goodygoody says...

He was such a lovely teacher and then headmaster. The world is now a lesser place without him.
He was such a lovely teacher and then headmaster. The world is now a lesser place without him. goodygoody
  • Score: 6

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