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Last lap for a veteran harrier

John Cairney, a regular contributor to the columns of The TES Scotland, died last weekend following a long illness.

A late entrant to journalism after his retirement as principal teacher of physical education at All Saints Secondary in Glasgow, he devoted the same passion to writing as he did to his commitment to young people's health and fitness in the gym and on the playing fields.

Even in his 60s, John continued to compete in athletics events and recently finished a marathon of writing in researching the history of Shettleston Harriers.

Throughout his teaching career, John was an outspoken and energetic figure on the left of teacher politics in Glasgow and at national level, and he never forgot his trade union base in the Educational Institute of Scotland.

He also served the profession as a member of the General Teaching Council for Scotland.

Among his many talents, John was a creative songsmith and invariably managed to unearth humour in most aspects of education. He liked nothing better than good company over a pint.

In journalism, John recognised a story when he saw one and was committed to reporting its impact on classroom teachers. He will be much missed.

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