Leigh Park deputy head is remembered with new outdoor area

TRIBUTE Fifteen balloons are released ' one for each of Simon Harrold's years as deputy head. Picture: Paul Jacobs  (123381-9)
TRIBUTE Fifteen balloons are released ' one for each of Simon Harrold's years as deputy head. Picture: Paul Jacobs (123381-9)

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BALLOONS were released into the sky at a Leigh Park school in memory of a teacher who lost his battle with cancer earlier this year.

Simon Harrold died in July aged 51 after suffering from colon cancer.

He had been the much-loved deputy headteacher of Riders Junior School for 15 years.

To remember him, hundreds of pupils past and present, parents, members of staff and friends and family gathered on the school field for a ceremony in his honour.

An outdoor area has been renamed Harrold’s Hollow in his honour and was dedicated to him by his widow Diane.

The area was chosen as a fitting tribute as Mr Harrold loved outdoor learning with the children.

Mrs Harrold, 48, said: ‘It was a fantastic day. It’s lovely to see so many people.

‘Simon would have loved having everyone coming together for him.

‘He would have loved the togetherness and the positivity.

‘He was remarkably positive.

‘What we hope for now is that the children who did know him will keep these memories and remember the stories that are told.

‘When he was ill he did really miss the school.

‘He missed the children and the parents.’

People also read out their favourite memories of Mr Harrold.

As the balloons were released, Take That’s hit Rule the World was played out over the speakers and many people shed a tear.

John Dean, headteacher at the school, said: ‘You can see how much he was held in high esteem.

‘We wanted to make the time he was here a celebration.

‘He was a great one for taking the children into the outdoors to learn. So that’s the whole idea of today.

‘The children have been learning about the outdoors and then it’s been a celebration and memories.

‘We have dedicated the outdoor area in his memory. He would have been so overjoyed with this.

‘There were hundreds of people here. We had ex-pupils and teachers from all over Leigh Park.

‘He was inspirational. His zest for life and extreme optimism was infectious.

‘I think his legacy will live on. He was fun and full of life.’

Money is being raised at the school in memory of Mr Harrold, to help children whose families may not be able to otherwise afford it to go on residential school trips.