Mourners send their love to Owain

IPSWICH: Hundreds of mourners from all corners of the community gathered to pay their final respects to a popular headteacher.

Josh Warwick

IPSWICH: Hundreds of mourners from all corners of the community gathered to pay their final respects to a popular headteacher.

Cliff Lane Primary School's Owain Richards was remembered as a dedicated teacher and a wonderful father as pupils, parents, staff, friends and family gathered to say their farewells.

Ipswich Borough Council leader Liz Harsant was among the huge congregation at the memorial service, held at St Mary's Church in West Bergholt, Essex.


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Mr Richards, 42, died on February 7. His body was found by police at his home in Saturn Road, Ipswich.

In an emotional service, tributes were paid to the father-of-two by his brother, Andrew, who recalled their happy upbringing in Haywards Heath, West Sussex.

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He remembered their mischievous adventures, which included accidentally electrocuting themselves when a game went wrong.

Many of those present were moved to tears when Mr Richards' children, Oscar, seven, who was clad in a full Chelsea kit - his dad's favourite team - and Charlotte, 12, spoke of their love for their father.

As bright winter sunshine beamed down, his ashes were brought into the chapel by his children and widow, Angela.

Robbie Williams' pop anthem Angels was played as the service began before mourners sang one of Mr Richards' best-loved hymns, All Things Bright and Beautiful.

He became headteacher at Cliff Lane in 2004 after moving to Suffolk from Essex, where he had been a teacher at Great Bentley Primary School.

Mr Richards was a keen amateur footballer, playing for various teams including the Holbrook Swan, where he was assistant manager. A minute's silence was held in his honour prior to the team's match on Sunday.

His current partner, Lisa Duff Godfrey, previously told The Evening Star how he would “live on in her heart forever”.

Do you have a farewell message for Owain? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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