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Pupils’ last farewell to Reece Darcheville the teacher they all loved

Schoolchildren line streets for funeral of coach remembered for his ‘huge passion for football’

10 November, 2017 — By Emily Finch

Widow Shenna Darcheville with son Shay and Pete Wickham

DOZENS of schoolchildren lined the streets to bid a final farewell to their beloved teacher on Friday.

As reported on the front page of the Tribune last week, the co-founder of Islington’s AC United youth football team, Reece Darcheville, died last month following an infection which spread to his brain.

The former Highbury Grove School student set up the football club based at the Market Road pitches, where players have gone on to appear for Chelsea and England.

“I was so proud to stay strong and get through the funeral,” said Shenna Darcheville, 33, speaking at her husband’s wake at the Great Hall in Leyton, the only venue she could find to fit in all of Reece’s friends and family.

Coach Reece Darcheville

“Everyone had so many nice things to say and even the pastor said he’d never seen so many people at the church as it was so packed.”

Ms Darcheville met Reece 17 years ago at her birthday party. They have two sons, Shay, 10, and Rayne, six – both are keen Liverpool supporters like their dad.

Such was Mr Darcheville’s popularity as a PE teacher at Daubeney Primary School, in Hackney, that all students were given a half-day off as a mark of respect. Dozens attended his funeral service at St Mark’s Church, in Dalston.

“When we drove past his school all the students were there and they clapped. The school choir led the service and sang hymns and the Liverpool song,” said Ms Darcheville.
Cambridge United star Elliot Omozusi, 28, credits Mr Darcheville with helping him improve his football skills.

“I grew up with him and I’ve known him about 10 years. He taught me how to drive,” he said. “He just had such a huge passion for football. He was always playing and he understood the game really well. We used to play together a lot.”

Pete Wickham, chairman of Camden and Islington Youth Football League, said: “It was an amazing service. The family were so strong.”


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