Tributes paid after death of 'legend' who taught at Wigan school for more than four decades

A popular teacher hailed as a “legend”, who worked at a Wigan school for more than 40 years, has died.

Byrchall High School announced the death of Kenneth Ball, known as Kenny, in a moving post on social media.

He taught thousands of children during his four decades at the Ashton school and he was remembered with “great fondness”.

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The post said: “The school community are saddened to hear that Mr Kenneth Ball has passed away.

“Kenny Ball, known affectionately as KGB, was loved by staff and pupils alike. He taught at the school for over 40 years, and he was a legend. He always had a smile and a kind word; his sense of humour was appreciated by all. Over the years thousands of pupils have benefited from his teaching, his care, his support and somebody they could talk to when in need. Many former pupils remember him with great fondness, and tell stories of how he supported and inspired them.

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“We send our deepest sympathy to his wife, daughters and all family and friends.”

Hundreds of people responded to the post to pay tribute to Mr Ball.

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Byrchall High School teacher Kenneth Ball, known as Kenny

Kelly Taylor said: “The man, the myth, the legend. Privileged to have had Mr Ball as my maths teacher and Head of Year… I’m sure we all put him through the eye of a needle at times but he was passionate about his job, the school and all the kids no matter what. He always tried his best to put everyone on a level playing field. He was hilarious, caring but my god he had a voice on him. Amazing memories and honoured to have been a student during his 40yrs of teaching. By far the best teacher Byrchall High School had. RIP Sir xx”

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Sara Wilcox said: “RIP Mr B! What an absolute legend he was. One of the best and funniest teachers I ever had. Used to let me turn my chair round in Maths so I wasn't sitting on my own, it was a time I was being bullied so that meant a lot. Sending prayers to his family.”

Colin Smethurst said: “A great man whose opinion I valued and respected. He treated everyone with respect whoever they were. Whenever I think of KG I'll remember someone with real pride in being a part of the school community (and the Ashton community) and it's such a shame he won't get to see the new school building. My thoughts are with his family. RIP Ken.”

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JoBo Anderson said: “Such a genuine guy. One of the worlds best. Not only did he convey and support ALL his students with understanding maths - an often challenging subject. But he understood teens! He never seemed to have lost touch with how sad/bad and beautiful that time is in your life! He made it all more tolerable and people looked forward to his lessons. He always had a smile for you. Much more about life to be learnt from this fabulous teacher/person. RIP and cheers.”