Hundreds pay respect to popular Wolverhampton teacher

Hundreds of people gathered to pay their respects to a much-loved father, brother, son and teacher.

Tributes – Tony McGinn
Tributes – Tony McGinn

More than 250 people were present to follow the funeral procession for Tony McGinn, who died on May 11 aged 52 having battled bowel cancer for three years.

Among those attending were pupils and teachers from St Michael's Roman Catholic School in Wolverhampton, where Mr McGinn taught PE and Maths, as well as friends and family including his three sons Mickey, Shay and Brodey.

There were also teachers present at the funeral at St Michael's Roman Catholic church, with pupils from the school forming part of the choir in his honour.

His sister Sue Southall-Owen said there had also been many people at their mother Elizabeth's home in Castlecroft to pay their respects.

The procession is led through Merry Hill towards St Michael's Roman Catholic Church on Coalway Road in Wolverhampton

She said: "We got there early and weren't sure how many people were going to turn up to see the procession of the coffin.

"I thought it might be around 50 people, but there were probably more than 250 people there, which was lovely to see, and all from different walks of life that were touched by Tony.

"We were all brought up Catholic and he taught at a Catholic school, so the service was definitely a fitting tribute to him.

"The whole family is in a bit of a low at the moment, but we will always be cheered by the memories of Tony and a funeral that would make him really proud."

Mourners wait outside the church for the funeral procession to arrive
The coffin of Tony McGinn is taken from the hearse, ready for the service

Louise Bradley, principal of St Michael's Roman Catholic church, was among those present at the funeral and paid her own tributes to Mr McGinn.

She said: "He had been at our school for many years in different capacities and he put so much passion, enthusiasm and energy into everything that he did.

"I think the children will remember him best for his encouragement and his high standards, but also for teaching them that it's okay to fail because that is the first step towards getting it right.

"I don't think he will ever be forgotten by anyone at the school because he was exceptional as a teacher, as a colleague and as a human being and was the sort of person you wanted to be around.

"I thought the funeral was moving and a fitting tribute to him as it allowed people from different parts of his life to remember him and celebrate him."

Mrs Bradley also said a trophy would be named in his honour for the most sportsman-like behaviour from a sporting pupil, a testimony to Mr McGinn's sporting nature.

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