NUNNERY Wood High teacher Bee Bannister has been awarded honorary life membership of the England Rugby Schools’ Football Union.

At a function in London the accolade acknowledged Bannister’s service to schools’ rugby for more than 30 years.

He said: “I knew something was being planned as over the past couple of years I have been regularly approached to attend several England internationals as a VIP guest but due to other commitments I have been unable to attend.

“Then earlier this year I was contacted by someone at Twickenham asking if I was attending the England Schools’ AGM and was told that if I was my accommodation would be paid for by the RFU.

“When I said I would be attending they told me that I would be receiving this award.”

Bannister first started coaching rugby at Nunnery Wood when he moved to Worcester from Manchester in 1988.

He regularly prepared the year 11 team before the annual Floodlit Rugby Tournament at Sixways where they would play other local high schools.

In 1992 when the school decided to extend the PE department from four teachers to five Bannister was appointed.

Bannister, who up until recently was on the advisory board at Worcester Warriors, has coached, selected and managed schools' teams at regional, county, divisional and national level.

He added: “I have enjoyed spotting local talent and remember seeing the likes of Matt Mullan, Joe Shaw, George Robson, Graham Kitchener and Jordan Crane all come through the system.

“They have all gone on to greater things proving the system works.

“There are several players at the Rugby World Cup this year who I coached at England Schools and Joe Marler, Jamie George and Kyle Sinckler playing together will be a sort of World Cup front-row hat-trick!

“Each one of them comes with a great story that I share with friends over a beer and although it makes me feel old it’s a nice way to finish my teaching career and I am very honoured to receive the award.”