Tributes have been paid to a former teacher, coach and semi-professional footballer who sadly passed away on Saturday morning.

Tony Roberts was a well-known character around Cornwall and many have said how he will be sorely missed.

In recent years Tony had been diagnosed with Lewy Body dementia and vascular dementia. He was 74 when he passed away.

Having been born in Misterton, near Gainsborough, he moved to Ashby at the age of two and would later became an amateur on the books of Scunthorpe United while attending Frederick Gough School.

Such was his footballing prowess that Tony was called up to train with the England Youth squad in October 1962 at the age of 15. Tony went on to represent his country in the 63/64 Youth Amateur International Championships.

After leaving Scunthorpe to pursue a career in teaching, Tony played semi-professionally at clubs such as Kingstonian, St Albans City, Hayes and Woking.
Tony went go on to teach at schools in London and back in Scunthorpe before moving to Cornwall to teach PE and French at Mullion School.

It was during this time he also got involved with the Cornwall County FA.

Tony’s coaching skills were renowned in the area and he ran FA Coaching Courses at the Cornwall Centre of Excellence.

Tony also became player-manager for Truro City and Mullion and would garner much praise from those who knew him then, as well as those that were coached by him.

Falmouth Packet:

Tony playing against Illogan RBL at Clifton Park, Mullion

Helen Mathias, assistant head teacher at Mullion School, said: "He was the original PE teacher when Mullion School opened in 1978.

"He was here for 29 years so had a long service to Mullion School.

"A committed football player, he also loved to teach French and was well renowned for running school trips to Brittany which were much loved by all.

"He and his wife were involved in a charity work for youngsters, particularly disadvantaged youngsters, for better opportunities in the community."

In a Facebook post commemorating Tony, friend Tommy Matthews said: "If you were lucky enough to be in his company, you’ll know what a special man he was and his incredible football knowledge was passed on to us all through his teaching, managing and latterly coaching.

"RIP Tony, you will be sadly missed by us all especially by Maggie who we all send our heartfelt condolences."

Tony retired from teaching at Mullion School in 2007 but continued with football coaching both in England and abroad in the USA.

In the past year Tony has been cared for at Trengrouse care home in Helston, where his wife Maggie said he had been very well looked after.

A particular joy for him had been that many of his carers had been former pupils from Mullion School, and he enjoyed seeing so many familiar faces.

"The care he’s had has been wonderful," added Mrs Roberts.