Mr Gareth Warren

Mr Gareth Warren

Thousands of  tributes have poured in for popular and devoted teacher Gareth Warren after he lost his battle with cancer.

Gareth, who died on Thursday was a History and PE teacher at Chosen Hill School for 37 years.

Staff said the 61-year-old inspired students on both the rugby and cricket fields and was the best storyteller in the world.

Deputy head teacher Shirley Bridgen.
Gareth was a giant of a man, not only in stature, but also in nature. He was a kind and loving man to all who had the privilege of either working alongside him or being taught by him. There is no doubt that he changed the lives of many students. He genuinely believed that all children deserved a chance, especially those who struggled at times to find their way.  To these students there was an open door, always a way back – this was his philosophy.  He has had a huge impact at Chosen Hill – a man that will not be forgotten. Our thoughts and sympathy go to Gareth’s family.

Originally from Newport, Gareth studied teacher training at the University of Worcester, where he met his wife Jan, now 63.

They moved to Gloucestershire in 1974 when he started teaching at Chosen Hill School in Churchdown.

The couple went on to have son Paul, 33, and daughter Ruth, 31, and later had two grandchildren, four-year-old Freddie, and one-year-old Ella.

Gareth enjoyed playing rugby for many years for Cheltenham Rugby Club, Coney Hill and Chosen Hill Former Pupils club.

He was only ill for the past month after being diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer on May 30. He died less than a week later.

His wife Jan from Highnam said:
His death has left a massive hole in our lives. He loved his family immensely and adored spending time with his two grandchildren. He was hugely passionate about his teaching career and dedicated his life to helping students at Chosen Hill School achieve their potential. The family has been deeply touched by the huge numbers of former Chosen Hill staff, students and friends who have been in contact to express their sympathy and who have paid tribute to the enormous impact he had on so many lives.
We would also like to pay tribute to the carers, nurses and doctors who helped and supported us all during his tragically short illness. They made what was an extremely difficult few days significantly easier than it could otherwise have been.

Messages have since rolled in on social media sites. A Facebook page set up by Paul and Ruth last week has since received more than 2,000 likes.

Former pupil Adam Balzano said: “I’m struggling to find the words to describe how everyone felt about Sir.

“With Mr Warren, you knew where you stood. Everything was black and white no grey zone. Straight talker, great teacher, great man.”

Another former pupil Paul Turner added: “Mr Warren gave me the best ever life message when I was 14 years old, it’s a message that sorted me out then and served me well for my life so far.

“I am now 53 and that exact same message has been passed to my children and every young person I have the privilege to coach since then. Thank you Gareth.”

The family are in the process of organising a thanksgiving service for everyone to attend.

Mr Gareth Warren – 1st June 1953 – 5th June 2014.