THE term ‘inspirational’ is bandied about a bit too much these days – as is ‘legend’ and ‘classic’.
But to follow Ralph Henderson around his beloved school is to witness a teacher who is as keen, disciplined, committed and inspirational as the day he stepped off the train from Wales in 1970.
An outstanding rugby union player, remarkably he still holds the world record for the number of drop-kicks in a season (39).
But it’s his ability to get young people to believe in themselves that’s the true mark of the man and why he was acknowledged with an MBE.
They came in their waves in the early seventies from the valleys. And as a result many a teenage student in that era found their sporting and academic careers turned around by the inspirational celts from over the Severn Bridge.
Seven minutes simply isn’t enough to pay tribute to Mr Henderson.
But in a week when leadership has been questioned at the Civic offices in Thurrock, let’s just remind ourselves that at least the future of education is in the good hands of such people as Ralph Henderson!