WARM tributes have been paid to a popular former teacher and founder member of a Hartlepool rugby club who has died at the age of 101.
Samuel Lindley, known as Sam, taught thousands of pupils during a 28-year teaching career.
The retired electrical engineer, was also a founder member of the Technical Day School for Old Boys (TDSOB) rugby club, who currently play at John Howard Park.
Sam’s family described him as a loving dad and hard worker who never lost his sense of humour.
His daughter Ruth Lindley said: “Dad loved us all unconditionally and supported us in all that we did.”
Sam was born in the Lancashire village of Little Lever, near Bolton, in 1913.
On leaving school he worked for numerous companies as an electrical engineer and brought electricity to hundreds of homes for the first time.
He also worked on the wiring in war plane cockpits in the lead up to the Second World War.
Sam married Emma, nee Fox, on September 11, 1937 after the couple met through local church activities.
During the war, Sam became a member of the Auxiliary Fire Service as well as doing his busy day job, which was a reserved occupation.
In 1949, he took a teacher training course in Bolton and in 1950 he and Emma moved to Hartlepool which became home for more than 60 years.
Sam taught at the Technical Day School, in Lauder Street, and also taught night classes.
Ruth added: “Sam thoroughly enjoyed teaching at the Boys Tech where the staff had a great sense of fun and support of one another led by ‘Boss’ John Howard.”
Sam used to take his hair clippers into work and gave some of the staff hair cuts.
When Sam and Emma moved to Hartlepool they joined The Town Wall Gospel Hall and later attended Bethesda Church for more than 50 years.
Sam was treasurer for over 20 years and started the church magazine.
He and Emma often invited people who were new to the area or new members of staff to dinner at their home.
Ruth said: “I still meet people who knew him and Emma and tell me what he meant to them in their lives.”
Sam later moved to High Tunstall Comprehensive School where he was head of engineering before he retired in 1978.
Emma passed away aged 96, in February 2006. They had been married for more than 68 years.
The couple also had a son Philip and grandchildren Jonathan, Jennifer and Peter.
In his spare time Sam enjoyed sea fishing, family holidays and played tennis as a younger man.
Nothing was too much trouble and he helped people in countless ways from giving lifts to rewiring people’s homes.
He celebrated his 100th birthday at the Staincliffe Hotel, in Seaton Carew, in February 2013, surrounded by 30 family and friends some who had travelled from all over the country to be there.
He put the secret of his longevity down to his faith, wife and calm demeanour.
Sam passed away at Stichell House care home in Greatham on January 27.
His funeral takes place at St John the Baptist Church, in Greatham, on Wednesday, February 18.