| 11°C Belfast

Robert Flowerday murder: Man (33) due in court as pupils and colleagues pay tribute to ex-teacher

 

Close

A massive crowd gathered at Crumlin Leisure Centre for a vigil in honour of Robert Flowerday who was found dead at his home in Crumlin, County Antrim. People then walked from the Leisure Centre to his home.

A massive crowd gathered at Crumlin Leisure Centre for a vigil in honour of Robert Flowerday who was found dead at his home in Crumlin, County Antrim. People then walked from the Leisure Centre to his home.

A massive crowd gathered at Crumlin Leisure Centre for a vigil in honour of Robert Flowerday who was found dead at his home in Crumlin, County Antrim. People then walked from the Leisure Centre to his home.

A massive crowd gathered at Crumlin Leisure Centre for a vigil in honour of Robert Flowerday who was found dead at his home in Crumlin, County Antrim. People then walked from the Leisure Centre to his home.

A massive crowd gathered at Crumlin Leisure Centre for a vigil in honour of Robert Flowerday who was found dead at his home in Crumlin, County Antrim. People then walked from the Leisure Centre to his home.

A massive crowd gathered at Crumlin Leisure Centre for a vigil in honour of Robert Flowerday who was found dead at his home in Crumlin, County Antrim. People then walked from the Leisure Centre to his home.

A massive crowd gathered at Crumlin Leisure Centre for a vigil in honour of Robert Flowerday who was found dead at his home in Crumlin, County Antrim. People then walked from the Leisure Centre to his home.

A massive crowd gathered at Crumlin Leisure Centre for a vigil in honour of Robert Flowerday who was found dead at his home in Crumlin, County Antrim. People then walked from the Leisure Centre to his home.

A massive crowd gathered at Crumlin Leisure Centre for a vigil in honour of Robert Flowerday who was found dead at his home in Crumlin, County Antrim. People then walked from the Leisure Centre to his home.

A massive crowd gathered at Crumlin Leisure Centre for a vigil in honour of Robert Flowerday who was found dead at his home in Crumlin, County Antrim. People then walked from the Leisure Centre to his home.

A massive crowd gathered at Crumlin Leisure Centre for a vigil in honour of Robert Flowerday who was found dead at his home in Crumlin, County Antrim. People then walked from the Leisure Centre to his home.

A massive crowd gathered at Crumlin Leisure Centre for a vigil in honour of Robert Flowerday who was found dead at his home in Crumlin, County Antrim. People then walked from the Leisure Centre to his home.

A massive crowd gathered at Crumlin Leisure Centre for a vigil in honour of Robert Flowerday who was found dead at his home in Crumlin, County Antrim. People then walked from the Leisure Centre to his home

A massive crowd gathered at Crumlin Leisure Centre for a vigil in honour of Robert Flowerday who was found dead at his home in Crumlin, County Antrim. People then walked from the Leisure Centre to his home

A massive crowd gathered at Crumlin Leisure Centre for a vigil in honour of Robert Flowerday who was found dead at his home in Crumlin, County Antrim. People then walked from the Leisure Centre to his home.

A massive crowd gathered at Crumlin Leisure Centre for a vigil in honour of Robert Flowerday who was found dead at his home in Crumlin, County Antrim. People then walked from the Leisure Centre to his home.

Press Eye  - Crumlin Vigil -  30th Jan 2018
Photograph by Declan Roughan

A massive crowd gathered at Crumlin Leisure Centre for a vigil in honour of Robert Flowerday who was found dead at his home in Crumlin, County Antrim. People then walked from the Leisure Centre to his home.

The body of Robert Flowerday, who was 64, was found in his house on Mill Road on Sunday evening.

Press Eye - Crumlin Vigil - 30th Jan 2018 Photograph by Declan Roughan A massive crowd gathered at Crumlin Leisure Centre for a vigil in honour of Robert Flowerday who was found dead at his home in Crumlin, County Antrim. People then walked from the Leisure Centre to his home. The body of Robert Flowerday, who was 64, was found in his house on Mill Road on Sunday evening.

Press Eye  - Crumlin Vigil -  30th Jan 2018
Photograph by Declan Roughan

A massive crowd gathered at Crumlin Leisure Centre for a vigil in honour of Robert Flowerday who was found dead at his home in Crumlin, County Antrim. People then walked from the Leisure Centre to his home.

The body of Robert Flowerday, who was 64, was found in his house on Mill Road on Sunday evening.

Press Eye - Crumlin Vigil - 30th Jan 2018 Photograph by Declan Roughan A massive crowd gathered at Crumlin Leisure Centre for a vigil in honour of Robert Flowerday who was found dead at his home in Crumlin, County Antrim. People then walked from the Leisure Centre to his home. The body of Robert Flowerday, who was 64, was found in his house on Mill Road on Sunday evening.

Press Eye  - Crumlin Vigil -  30th Jan 2018
Photograph by Declan Roughan

A massive crowd gathered at Crumlin Leisure Centre for a vigil in honour of Robert Flowerday who was found dead at his home in Crumlin, County Antrim. People then walked from the Leisure Centre to his home.

The body of Robert Flowerday, who was 64, was found in his house on Mill Road on Sunday evening.

Press Eye - Crumlin Vigil - 30th Jan 2018 Photograph by Declan Roughan A massive crowd gathered at Crumlin Leisure Centre for a vigil in honour of Robert Flowerday who was found dead at his home in Crumlin, County Antrim. People then walked from the Leisure Centre to his home. The body of Robert Flowerday, who was 64, was found in his house on Mill Road on Sunday evening.

Press Eye  - Crumlin Vigil -  30th Jan 2018
Photograph by Declan Roughan

A massive crowd gathered at Crumlin Leisure Centre for a vigil in honour of Robert Flowerday who was found dead at his home in Crumlin, County Antrim. People then walked from the Leisure Centre to his home.

The body of Robert Flowerday, who was 64, was found in his house on Mill Road on Sunday evening.

Press Eye - Crumlin Vigil - 30th Jan 2018 Photograph by Declan Roughan A massive crowd gathered at Crumlin Leisure Centre for a vigil in honour of Robert Flowerday who was found dead at his home in Crumlin, County Antrim. People then walked from the Leisure Centre to his home. The body of Robert Flowerday, who was 64, was found in his house on Mill Road on Sunday evening.

Press Eye  - Crumlin Vigil -  30th Jan 2018
Photograph by Declan Roughan

Andrew Masters. speaking at the vigil.

A massive crowd gathered at Crumlin Leisure Centre for a vigil in honour of Robert Flowerday who was found dead at his home in Crumlin, County Antrim. People then walked from the Leisure Centre to his home.

The body of Robert Flowerday, who was 64, was found in his house on Mill Road on Sunday evening.

Press Eye - Crumlin Vigil - 30th Jan 2018 Photograph by Declan Roughan Andrew Masters. speaking at the vigil. A massive crowd gathered at Crumlin Leisure Centre for a vigil in honour of Robert Flowerday who was found dead at his home in Crumlin, County Antrim. People then walked from the Leisure Centre to his home. The body of Robert Flowerday, who was 64, was found in his house on Mill Road on Sunday evening.

Press Eye  - Crumlin Vigil -  30th Jan 2018
Photograph by Declan Roughan

Flowers at Mr Flowerday's home.

A massive crowd gathered at Crumlin Leisure Centre for a vigil in honour of Robert Flowerday who was found dead at his home in Crumlin, County Antrim. People then walked from the Leisure Centre to his home.

The body of Robert Flowerday, who was 64, was found in his house on Mill Road on Sunday evening.

Press Eye - Crumlin Vigil - 30th Jan 2018 Photograph by Declan Roughan Flowers at Mr Flowerday's home. A massive crowd gathered at Crumlin Leisure Centre for a vigil in honour of Robert Flowerday who was found dead at his home in Crumlin, County Antrim. People then walked from the Leisure Centre to his home. The body of Robert Flowerday, who was 64, was found in his house on Mill Road on Sunday evening.

Press Eye  - Crumlin Vigil -  30th Jan 2018
Photograph by Declan Roughan

A massive crowd gathered at Crumlin Leisure Centre for a vigil in honour of Robert Flowerday who was found dead at his home in Crumlin, County Antrim. People then walked from the Leisure Centre to his home.

The body of Robert Flowerday, who was 64, was found in his house on Mill Road on Sunday evening.

Press Eye - Crumlin Vigil - 30th Jan 2018 Photograph by Declan Roughan A massive crowd gathered at Crumlin Leisure Centre for a vigil in honour of Robert Flowerday who was found dead at his home in Crumlin, County Antrim. People then walked from the Leisure Centre to his home. The body of Robert Flowerday, who was 64, was found in his house on Mill Road on Sunday evening.

Press Eye  - Crumlin Vigil -  30th Jan 2018
Photograph by Declan Roughan

John Rutter speaking at the vigil with (L-R) Colm McBride and Andrew Masters.

A massive crowd gathered at Crumlin Leisure Centre for a vigil in honour of Robert Flowerday who was found dead at his home in Crumlin, County Antrim. People then walked from the Leisure Centre to his home.

The body of Robert Flowerday, who was 64, was found in his house on Mill Road on Sunday evening.

Press Eye - Crumlin Vigil - 30th Jan 2018 Photograph by Declan Roughan John Rutter speaking at the vigil with (L-R) Colm McBride and Andrew Masters. A massive crowd gathered at Crumlin Leisure Centre for a vigil in honour of Robert Flowerday who was found dead at his home in Crumlin, County Antrim. People then walked from the Leisure Centre to his home. The body of Robert Flowerday, who was 64, was found in his house on Mill Road on Sunday evening.

A woman leaves flowers at the scene

A woman leaves flowers at the scene

Victim Robert Flowerday

Victim Robert Flowerday

Some of the tributes

Some of the tributes

Some of the tributes

Some of the tributes

Some of the tributes

Some of the tributes

A massive crowd gathered at Crumlin Leisure Centre for a vigil in honour of Robert Flowerday who was found dead at his home in Crumlin, County Antrim. People then walked from the Leisure Centre to his home.

A man is due in court today charged with the murder of a retired school teacher in his Co Antrim home.

Police said the 33-year-old suspect would appear at Ballymena Magistrates Court after Robert Flowerday was found dead at his home in Mill Road, Crumlin, on Sunday evening.

The unmarried 64-year-old has been described as a "true gentlemen" by the community in Crumlin, which has been left stunned by his murder.

Mr Flowerday, who lived alone and had no children, was last seen alive when he left Dundrod Presbyterian Church on Sunday at 12.45pm on his bicycle.

Initial reports suggested the death was the result of a burglary gone wrong.

Flowers left outside Mr Flowerday's home testified to the high esteem in which he was held.

One poignant tribute, carefully illustrated with a child's hand-drawn pictures of school maths supplies, read: "Thank you for helping my brother improve his maths. Mum really enjoyed baking with the apples you brought from your garden.

"I am really sad that you won't be here to help me with my transfer test. We will really miss you Mr Flowerday. You were an A* teacher."

One parent described Mr Flowerday as "part of our family." They said: "You helped me to help my son. You became part of our family, and will be irreplaceable. Rest in peace."

Another former pupil wrote: "Thanks so much for all you did, for not just me but all the other pupils you have helped.

"I promise to continue to work hard at my maths. You truly were an inspiration."

Reverend David Steele of Dundrod Presbyterian Church said Mr Flowerday had attended on Sunday morning, but was a member of the congregation at Lagan Valley Vineyard Church in Lisburn.

"Robert taught young people for AQE exams, GCSE and A-Level," he added. "He had a huge impact on a lot of young people.

"He was retired from teaching, but he also tutored a lot. I understand the alert was raised by a family when he did not appear for one of his tutoring appointments. So many young people will be devastated.

"He provided enormous support and encouragement to so many families. He had such thought for their welfare.

"There is just such a shock and devastation around the community. We can't believe that something like this would happen to such a gentleman, especially someone coming home from worshipping God."

Close

A woman leaves flowers at the scene

A woman leaves flowers at the scene

Victim Robert Flowerday

Victim Robert Flowerday

Some of the tributes

Some of the tributes

Some of the tributes

Some of the tributes

Some of the tributes

Some of the tributes

A woman leaves flowers at the scene

Andrew Masters, pastor at Lagan Valley Vineyard Church, said his congregation was devastated.

"Everyone is just shocked," he said. "Robert had been part of our church family for around three years. He was very committed and well-known within the church.

"The thing we are all struggling with is Robert was the most kind and gentle human being you could ever meet.

"When the police released his name, my inbox and phone was overwhelmed with people from our community. They talked about how kind and generous he was in his own quiet way."

Mr Masters said Mr Flowerday was very intelligent and would often email him questions and thoughts after sermons.

He added: "He was a deeply caring man and he had a huge heart for other people. He did everything he possibly could to help and care for others."

Antrim Grammar School principal Jenny Lendrum said the entire school community was mourning the loss of Mr Flowerday, who "touched so many lives" during more than a quarter-of-a-century there.

Paying a heartfelt tribute to the popular teacher, Mrs Lendrum said that he had "always worked tirelessly to ensure that every pupil achieved their full potential".

She added: "Mr Flowerday was a teacher in Antrim Grammar School from 1978 to 2004 and during that time he touched so many lives in his role as teacher, colleague and friend.

"He was a talented mathematician and was dedicated to every pupil that he taught.

"He believed in them and always worked tirelessly to ensure that every pupil achieved their full potential. To that end he was successful.

"He left Antrim Grammar School in 2004 to pursue personal tuition for pupils in mathematics, physics and chemistry as well as preparing pupils for transfer.

"As a result he continued to have a positive impact on the lives of many and ensured they enjoyed success."

Mrs Lendrum said Mr Flowerday had "loved Antrim Grammar School" and, despite leaving 14 years ago, had kept in touch with staff members and tutored pupils, some as recently as last week.

"There has been an outpouring of emotion from current and past teachers and pupils at the school, through phone calls and through social media," she said.

"A special assembly took place today in memory of him and all within the school community took time to acknowledge all that he had given to Antrim Grammar and the wider community throughout his teaching career.

"Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time, and his Antrim Grammar School family will continue to remember the wonderful, genuine, gentle and caring man that was Mr Flowerday."

Belfast Telegraph