Former deputy head dies

TRIBUTES have been paid to a founding father of Chantry High School who achieved national acclaim as a weightlifting coach.Bryan Nelson was one of the original members of staff at the Mallard Way school, starting as head of PE.

TRIBUTES have been paid to a founding father of Chantry High School who achieved national acclaim as a weightlifting coach.

Bryan Nelson was one of the original members of staff at the Mallard Way school, starting as head of PE.

He was promoted during his time at the school, eventually rising to the rank of deputy head.

Mr Nelson, of Woodbridge Road, Ipswich, had suffered ill health before his death at home on October 4, aged 72.

He was "smashed to pieces" by allegations of sexual assault and did not want to live anymore said his star weightlifting pupil.

Leon Griffin, 27, whom Mr Nelson coached to become Commonwealth champion, said the ordeal had "ruined" the founder of the Chantry Weightlifting Club.

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"The accusations smashed him to pieces. If he hadn't had to go through all that, he might still be about now. He would at least have been a hell of a lot happier in his last year," added Mr Griffin.

He said Mr Nelson's health had deteriorated since the death of his wife Joyce two years ago. The couple had no children.

"He had had enough. I don't know how long this thing had been hanging over him before I found out about it," added Mr Griffin.

"He suffered on the physical side with his health and then there was the things going on inside his head. He just didn't want to live anymore."

Mr Griffin, who is still in training and has carried on the club with another weightlifter, said: "He was a great coach and a great teacher. I wouldn't have got where I am today without him."

Chantry headteacher Anne Rickwood paid tribute to the long-serving member of staff.

She said: "Bryan laid the foundations of what has continued to be a very successful area of our school, which is in sports.

"Bryan worked unstintingly to give his time and despite very ill health maintained his interest and encouragement to members of the club."

Mr Nelson's long and distinguished teaching career was sullied after his retirement by allegations of serious sexual abuse.

He was due to face charges of sexual assault and buggery on a boy over a four year period in the 1980s.

But earlier this year, a judge at Bury St Edmunds Crown Court ruled his ill health meant he would be unable to receive a fair trial and he never faced the allegations.

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