Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Obituary - David Tomlinson, 1940-2012: News

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Obituary - David Tomlinson, 1940-2012: News

Article excerpt

As a key figure in school athletics, David Tomlinson was one of the first people to spot the potential of future Olympic champion Sebastian Coe. But despite the medals and glory that Lord Coe went on to achieve, Mr Tomlinson always remained convinced that teamwork was as important as winning.

David was born and grew up in Sheffield. His father was an insurance clerk and his mother was a housewife. He passed his 11-plus exam and attended King Edward VII Grammar, then regarded as the best in the city.

It was while David was at school that his love of sport blossomed. He competed in cross-country competitions, and continued to do so while studying economics at the University of Manchester. An accomplished athlete, he usually finished just behind the great marathon runner Ron Hill, who dominated the muddy tracks.

Mr Tomlinson had long held the ambition to become a teacher and studied for his teaching diploma at Sheffield College. He had met Gill, a nurse, at a church dance when he was 17 and they married seven years later. They had one son, Richard.

Mr Tomlinson's first job as an economics teacher was at Hinde House School in Sheffield. By this time, the grammar schools in the city had closed and comprehensive education had begun. After 10 years at Hinde House, Mr Tomlinson moved to Waltheof School, now replaced by Sheffield Park Academy. For a time he was acting deputy head, and colleagues remember him as steadfast and reliable.

Mr Tomlinson's love of athletics led him to organise teams and activities at both schools. …

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