Belfast Telegraph

Tributes to former Ballyclare High teacher Tommy Young

Tommy Young was a popular teacher at Ballyclare High School
Tommy Young was a popular teacher at Ballyclare High School
Allan Preston

By Allan Preston

Tributes have been paid to a popular former head PE teacher at Ballyclare High School.

Tommy Young from Drains Bay in Larne taught at the school from 1972 to 2006 and passed away in Antrim Area Hospital on Tuesday after a long illness.

His former school led the tributes yesterday and many former pupils also shared messages of condolence.

"The school community extends our deepest sympathies to (his wife and son) Sandra and Stephen and the wider family circle on the passing of our esteemed colleague Tommy Young," the statement read.

"His influence in Ballyclare High spans over many decades as a sportsman, a teacher, a coach, a mentor, a positive influence and a friend; his legacy is ever-present.

"Tommy gave so much and pupils and staff alike benefited from his wisdom, his energy and his gentlemanly ways. His example influenced so many. Thoughts and prayers from us all."

Ulster Unionist councillor Vera McWilliams' children were taught by Mr Young at Ballyclare High School.

"He was very supportive of the children and he did everything in a very quiet and unassuming manner," she said.

"He really did have a very nice approach and was able to encourage the children.

"He was very well respected by the pupils, the staff, the PTA and the governors and he was one of those nice, gentle people.

"It's just so sad to hear the news, it's always the nice people that seem to be taken."

A message on the Ballyclare High School Rugby Facebook page said: "Such sad news but so many wonderful memories created from a lovely energetic man."

A former pupil said he was "one of the absolute stand out teachers" at Ballyclare: "Full of enthusiasm, encouragement, empathy and kindness."

His friend Roy Logan added on Twitter: "Saddened to learn of the passing of former Larne Grammar Head Boy Tommy Young. Also an excellent rugby player in his day."

A private cremation will be followed by a Service of Celebration for his life in First Larne Presbyterian Church this Saturday at 2pm.

Donations in lieu, if desired, to Laurel House, Antrim Area Hospital, c/o and ch eques made payable to Fleming & Cuthbert Funeral Directors.

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