THE NORTH Wales sporting community have paid tribute to a former Colwyn Bay teacher and coach who died recently.

Tim Harding, who enjoyed a long association with Eirias High School and was head of physical education before giving up the post, passed away peacefully at St David’s Hospice on Thursday, February 18 after a long brain tumour battle.

Mr Harding leaves behind his wife Sally, together with his two sons Tom and Matthew.

He was an inspirational figure to thousands of schoolchildren during his time in education, which was reflected in the outpouring of grief across social media immediately following the announcement.

A statement from Eirias High School read: “It is with the heaviest of hearts we have to let you know of the passing of our dear friend, former Head of PE and Eirias legend Tim Harding.

“Tim was such an inspiration to his colleagues, pupils and the wider community. Our thoughts are with Sally, Tom and Matt.”

Mr Harding was also a keen sportsman himself, turning out for Eirias Hockey Club and was a regular on the North Wales Evening Cricket League scene over the years.

Eirias Hockey Club sent a message of condolence, which read: “The club are deeply saddened to hear of Tim Harding’s passing. A former player and a keen supporter who will be missed by all at the club.”

This love of sport was passed down to his two sons, with Matt currently pursuing a career in athletics at a university in the United States of America and has achieved a significant amount in a short space of time.

He was responsible for coaching some top rugby players at the school, with many going on to play for RGC 1404.

A tweet from the RGC account, read: “Condolences to Tim's family and friends. Having taught many of our players over the years we send our thoughts.”

A spokesman from Rydal Penrhos, where Mr Harding’s wife Sally is head of senior school, added: “Tim has been a much-loved and highly regarded member of the community.

"He has always been an absolute inspiration to everyone who knows him with his motivation and positivity. The school offers our condolences to Sally and the Harding family.”

Mark Orme, who was taught by Mr Harding before enjoying a prolific football career at a number of clubs in the region, is now looking to inspire the next generation of players in a coaching capacity and also remembered his former coach fondly as “an inspirational teacher and man”.