THE FAMILY of a physics teacher, who passed away suddenly in Derbyshire, has paid loving tributes to a ‘beautiful and talented’ man.
Matthew Isard, son of Bassetlaw councillor Keith Isard, died on 2nd April 2011, aged 32.
A keen sportsman, Matthew grew up in Tuxford and was educated nearby until he attended the University of Hull, graduating with honours.
While at university he began rowing, developing a close circle of friends and dedicated himself to training at every available opportunity.
His dad Keith, on behalf of the family, said Matthew was ‘very special’.
“It was at Hull that he started rowing and the sport became his sporting passion,” he said.
“Some winter mornings he and his crewmates would be sat in their boat on the River Hull at daybreak waitng for enough light to safely row by.”
“After a rowing injury Matthew took up cycling and competed in a number of races and enjoyed off-roading with his great friend and rowing partner Rob.”
“They were always up for some challenge and often carried the marks of misjudged jumps or just overconfidence.”
Following his passion for physics, Matthew went into teaching and had two years at a school in Hucknall before four years at Derby Grammar School where he taught at A-Level, became a sixth form tutor and housemaster.
One ambition was to teach overseas and this was realised with a short but memorable period at The Briish Internaional School of Paris.
The interview gave him and his dad an opportunity for a weekend in Paris.
As a former cub scout, Matthew was a competent walker and navigator, and put his early experiences to good use at both his Derby and Paris Schools by supervising Duke of Edinburgh group expeditions.
He competed in the Boston Marathon on five occasions, a 31-mile boat race along the River Witham from Lincoln to Boston, breaking the course record on his last appearance in the quad in 2008.
“So many will miss his fantastic smile, wicked sense of humour and his fearlessness in the face of competition,” said Keith. “One of his t-shirts proclaimed: ‘If you are not living on the edge you are taking up too much room’.”
“Matt lived by that slogan and inspired so many others to achieve so much by making them believe in themselves both academically and in their sporting lives.”
“We were humbled by the numbers at Matt’s funeral and we send our heartfelt thanks to all that came to pay their respects to him.”
“We know that we shall remember him for all that was good and he will never be out of our thoughts and hearts.”
“Our beautiful and talented son and brother was very special not only to us but also to his many friends, students, work colleagues and fellow sportsmen and women alike.”