A former teacher who worked in schools across West Yorkshire for almost 40 years has died aged 61.

Eddie Gardner retired in 2008 after teaching at a host of schools including St Mary’s School, Menston, where he started his career in 1970 after moving from his hometown of Blackpool.

He went onto posts at Thornbury Middle and Wyke Middle in Bradford and then Fenby and Highfield before becoming the head at John Smeaton Middle and Tinshill Primary School in Leeds.

For the final ten years of his career, he worked as a consultant head teacher in a host of Bradford Schools including Drummond, Iqra, Laycock and Ashlands Primary in Ilkley, before retiring due to a heart condition.

Mr Gardner, who lived in Yeadon, met his wife Margaret at the Trinity and All Saints Teacher Training College in Horsforth in 1967.

A keen sportsman, Mr Gardner played both codes of rugby for the college.

During the 1970s and 80s he played rugby league for Wyke and rugby union for Otley, where he was heavily committed to the Zebras youth team for more than a decade.

In his later playing days he was a stalwart with the Otley Viscounts.

He leaves his wife, children Rachel, Sam and Ellie and a grandson Rapha.