Tributes to Richmond School deputy head after tragic accident

Dave Clark.

Tributes have been paid to the deputy headteacher of Richmond School and Sixth Form College who has died after being apparently trampled by cows.

Dave Clark was walking with his dogs on the outskirts of the town, off the town’s Hurgill Road, on Monday evening when the incident happened.

Staff and students at the school were informed this morning by headteacher Jenna Potter.

Mrs Potter later emailed parents to inform them of the tragic accident.

She said: “Dave was killed as a result of an accident as he walked his dogs in the countryside.

“Dave worked at Richmond School for 23 years and was the heart and soul of the school, taking such pride in his very important work.”

Mrs Potter said the school was in shock today.

She said Mr Clark was the “heart and soul” of Richmond School.

She added: “He was an enormous character, a brilliant school leader and simply a lovely man who enriched the life of everyone he came into contact with, just by being himself and doing what he did every day.”

Mr Clark was appointed to Richmond School in 1997 as head of Key Stages 3 and 4 and teacher of PE.

Mrs Potter added: “He was highly regarded by everyone he taught and families appreciated his firm but fair manner and the very high standards he expected of every student in the school.

“He was promoted to the role of deputy headteacher in 2003 and revelled in the challenges the post presented. Dave was always the person we looked to to deal with difficult issues and he was a master at that.

“He never let students get away with being anything other than their very best, never giving up on them, even when at times it felt as though they wanted to give up on themselves.

“All of this, Dave did with a smile and a level of kindness and care that is seldom seen.”

Mrs Potter said that outside school, Dave was a keen sportsman.

“He had grown to love the Dales and would often be seen cycling, walking and spending time on the moor during the beating season.

“Our students and their parents have been lucky to have known and been helped by him.

“We have been privileged as a staff to have worked with him and will continue working in the same way in his memory.

“Above all, Dave was a family man. Our thoughts are with Dave’s wife, his children and wider family at this difficult time

“For now our thoughts are with Dave’s wife, children and wider family and on supporting our students.”

One parent said her son had messaged to say pupils were very upset with many in tears following the announcement.

He added: “He was really popular, one of the good guys.

“It’s just incredibly sad. He’d been there forever — even when pupils had left he remembered their names and would ask how they were doing.”

North Yorkshire Police said in a statement: “Police were called to a report that a man in his 50s had been injured by cows in a field north of Richmond, at 7.30pm yesterday.

“He was treated by paramedics, but sadly he was pronounced dead at the scene.

“Officers from the local Neighbourhood Policing Team will be working to support those affected by his death today.

“The Health and Safety Executive has been informed, and enquiries are ongoing to establish the circumstances.”

It is understood Yorkshire Ambulance Service paramedics and the Great North Air Ambulance helicopter were called to the incident.

A spokesperson for GNAA said: “We attended an incident in Hurgill Road, Richmond, yesterday.

“We were on scene at 6.55pm with a doctor and paramedic on board but we didn’t airlift anyone from the scene.”