'Very loving' Derbyshire headteacher dies after brave cancer fight

The late Alan Senior. Picture submitted by family.
The late Alan Senior. Picture submitted by family.

Tributes have been paid to a former Derbyshire headteacher who has died after a brave battle with cancer - with his widow describing him as 'very loving and committed'.

Alan Senior sadly passed away at Rotherham Hospice on July 12. He was 62.

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Born in Chesterfield and a resident of Whitwell for around 30 years, Mr Senior's career began in 1978 as a maths teacher in secondary schools.

He taught at Wales High School in Rotherham, All Saint's Catholic Academy in Mansfield and Netherthorpe School in Staveley, where he became headteacher in 2008.

He retired as headteacher in 2016 and spent a year setting up and establishing a multi-academy trust, comprising Netherthorpe and local primary schools, before taking final retirement in 2017.

Mr Senior's wife Maggie told the Derbyshire Times this week: "Alan was a very loving and committed husband and father.

"He was kind, caring, sensitive and very modest - he was a people person who had time for everyone and saw the good in everyone

"He had boundless energy and was always on the go."

Mrs Senior added: "Alan was highly regarded by staff and students at every school he worked in.

"He showed care and consideration for children of all abilities.

"He was very hands-on - he continued to teach maths while he was headteacher at Netherthorpe.

"He was known as a strong disciplinarian who kept order and was always seen around school.

"Alan will be very sadly missed."

Chris Townsend, who was deputy headteacher at Netherthorpe School, also paid tribute to Mr Senior and described him as 'the most wonderful person to work with'.

On Facebook, Netherthorpe School Old Students' Association said: "Alan loved Netherthorpe School and he was rightly proud of both it and its pupils' achievements during his headship."

Mrs Senior said her husband had many and varied interests.

His lifelong love and passion for music started from an early age influenced by his musical parents.

He was an accomplished musician and sang tenor with many choirs.

He later formed a small choral group called Anything Goes, a school choir while at Netherthorpe and most recently the Worksop Youth Choir.

Mr Senior enjoyed playing most sports and was a very talented badminton player from school days, until very recently competing in Sheffield, Chesterfield and Doncaster leagues as well as for the Derbyshire county veterans.

He was also a keen cyclist and a member of several local cycling clubs.

Mrs Senior also said they both loved the outdoors and travelling in the UK and Europe, which included skiing.

Her husband had a real fondness for the Lakes and mountains and they had spent many happy weekends in the Lake District over the years.

Mr Senior leaves his wife, son Michael and daughters Helen and Hannah.

The funeral service will take place at St Mary and St Martin's Church, Blyth, at 2pm on Wednesday, followed by committal at Babworth Crematorium, Retford.

Donations made in memory of Mr Senior will go to Rotherham Hospice and Weston Park Cancer Charity.

These can be sent to the funeral directors, Turner and Wilson of Whitwell, or via the family.