Inspirational Gosport teacher remembered as talented sportsman and much respected coach

FAMILY and friends of Tony Webb say the long-time Gosport resident will be greatly missed, but remembered fondly by the generations of children he mentored as a school teacher.

Monday, 24th May 2021, 11:17 am
Updated Monday, 24th May 2021, 11:31 am
Tony and Lesley Webb

Tony passed away peacefully on April 28, aged 81.

A well-known teacher and coach, Tony’s memory will live on in the hearts of the many young people he worked with.

Tony’s career spanned 40 years, and he was devoted to teaching children, primarily at Leesland and Grange Primary Schools.

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Tony Webb with the triumphant Gosport and Fareham Schools U15 team from the 1967/8 season, which won the Pickford Shield, the Charlton Cup, the Directors' Cup and the Col Sharpe Shield

He is remembered as an inspirational teacher who was admired and respected by all who knew him.

In addition to his teaching, Tony made a major contribution to local sports.

In 1957 he formed Paragon Football Club, with the help of his father George and uncle Fred. Tony went on to play over 300 times for Paragon and coached its teams to great success winning many trophies including the Portsmouth Junior and Senior League Cups.

Tony also coached the Gosport and Fareham Schools football team to success, winning the Hampshire President’s Cup three times in four years.

His proteges included Southampton FC players Steve Mills and Steve Middleton, who later also played for Portsmouth FC.

Tony’s all-round talent was demonstrated in the 1970s when he switched to coaching swimming.

He took Gosport Dolphins Swimming Club to the top of the Hampshire County medal table, ahead of the much larger Portsmouth and Southampton squads.

Like his footballers, his swimmers went on to county and international representation.

In his retirement Tony moved to Somerset with his wife Lesley, where they quickly became involved in the local community, supporting numerous voluntary organisations to prosper.

He was much respected, was always ready to help anybody with anything, and will be greatly missed.

Tony is survived by his wife Lesley, his two sons, Andrew and Stephen, and grandchildren, Hannah and Ben.

Another ex-pupil said: ‘Tony, I, we, so many of us are where we are today because of you.

‘Please know what a difference you have made to us all in our formative years.

‘We will never forget you and thank you from the bottom of our hearts.’

Due to Covid regulations, a closed funeral service took place at Taunton Crematorium on May 21.