Chadwell Heath football match pays tribute to popular maths teacher
09:00 06 April 2012
Students have remembered their beloved maths teacher with a charity football match a year after he died of a heart attack at their school in Chadwell Heath.
The school also opened a memorial garden in honour of former head of maths John Simmons, who collapsed at Warren Comprehensive, Whalebone Lane North. He was 52.
His teaching assistant wife, Georgina, attended the celebrations while their son Jack, 17, took part in the football match paying tribute to his dad, a keen Middlesbrough fan.
Georgina, 51, of Oulton Crescent, Barking, said: “It was incredible really. It helped brought him alive again for a week.
“I can’t believe how thoughtful people can be. He was very, very well liked. I don’t think he realised that.
“He had a big heart. It’s tragic it happened.”
Warren School raised £300 for the British Heart Foundation through the game, held on March 23 – a year to the day since his death.
It is also planning a coffee morning fundraiser in aid of the charity after the Easter break.
Warren lost 3-1 against pupils from Dagenham Road’s Eastbrook School. Jack scored the only goal for his dad’s school.
Louise Durkin, a media studies teacher, said: “It was a great event and everybody really enjoyed it.
“Georgina said she is sure John was looking down at us all playing and laughing and would have felt extremely proud.”
John, who was born in Saltburn-by-the-Sea, near Middlesbrough, met his wife in the 1980s.
They both worked at Selfridges after he had finished his maths studies at Westfield College, University of London.
Georgina added: “He was very organised. All the teachers said kids would listen to him.”
John also leaves a 21-year-old daughter, Selina.