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Ann Maguire: Funeral held for teacher stabbed to death in Leeds

The service was held at the Catholic Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
  • @kashmiragander

The husband of a teacher, who was stabbed to death in her classroom last month, spoke of his wife's “passion” for her job in a eulogy delivered to loved ones gathered at her funeral service in a Leeds Church on Thursday.

61-year-old Ann Maguire died last month after a pupil attacked her during a Spanish lesson at Corpus Christi Catholic College in the city. She died later that day in hospital.

Mrs Maguire had taught at the school for more than 40 years and had planned to retire in September. The boy charged with her murder is remanded in custody and will go on trial later in the year.

After she died, thousands of tributes to the well-respected teacher filled the pavement outside the school.

Messages of condolence from current and former pupils, as well as strangers who wanted to show their respect, were pinned to hundreds of bunches of flowers and other mementos including teddies, school books, football shirts, school ties and guitars.

"Ann loved teaching,” her husband, 62-year-old Don Maguire told attendees at the service.

"A dream as a very young child, an ambition in teenage years, a fulfilling reality for 40 years. Spanish was her subject, the pace and rhythm of modern language teaching suited her so well.

"Being head of fifth form, a great passion, because this is where the full range of her personal qualities and abilities were fully exercised. But, in true humility, she always stressed that she learned so much from others," he added in the tribute to his wife.

Read more: Hundreds of teachers pay silent tribute to Mrs Maguire

Gifts symbolising the teacher’s passions were presented to begin the service at the Catholic Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, as Wind Beneath My Wings was played on the piano.

Photographs of Mrs Maguire when she was a child, and a young woman, decorated the order of service.

A message printed on the back of the booklet read: “Ann's family would like to express their deep gratitude for everyone's expressions of love, sympathy and support.”

Mr Maguire arrived earlier in the morning at the church with the couple’s daughters, Emma and Kerry, in two black cars, where they were met by members of clergy.

Emma Maguire, second left, and her father Don, right, hug well-wishers following the funeral of Ann Maguire (Getty Images)

Nephews Daniel and Andrew, whom the teacher treated as her own sons following the death of her sister, were also at the service, in the Moortown church which is next door to the school where Mrs Maguire was attacked on 28 April.

Some 300 mourners arrived before the family, including Corpus Christi head teacher Steve Mort, who was accompanied by three children from the school who were dressed in uniform.

Her coffin, adorned with white carnations arranged to spelll “mummy” and “sister”, was carried out of the church following service which lasted for almost two hours.

The Hearse carrying the coffin of Ann Maguire (EPA)

Mr Maguire and his family embraced other mourners as they filed out of the church behind the pallbearers.

Following the Spanish teacher’s death, the Ann Maguire Educational Fund has been set up “to provide bursaries and funding for the enhancement and personal development of young people under 18 years old through music, drama, language and dance”.

Additional reporting by PA