The funeral of popular Bradford teacher Chris Crowther tragically killed in a car crash will be a colourful affair at the wish of his devastated family.
And friends and colleagues have paid loving tribute to the 33-year-old, who taught science at Grange Technology College, Little Horton, and died when his car collided with a van on a backroad above Bingley.
A Bradford City season ticket holder, Mr Crowther was a keen athlete and had conquered the Three Peaks Challenge, Tough Mudder and Yorkshire Warrior assault challenges.
“Chris’s family have asked people to wear bright colours at his funeral as a mark to the man we are celebrating,” said lifelong friend Graham Poucher about his old mate from days at Queensbury School.
Nick Bell, head teacher at Grange Technology College, led tributes to Mr Crowther who had worked there for two years.
He said: “Chris was a much valued and respected teacher often giving his own time to give additional help. He was also greatly valued by his form group who he supported with all aspects of their education.
“Students and staff have been greatly saddened by his loss and he will be very much missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this time.”
Speaking of his friend, Mr Poucher 34, of Morley, said: “Chris was one of the good guys and no-one can really believe he’s gone. He inspired people and never thought there was anything that couldn’t be done.
“We taught ourselves to play guitar together, even formed a band, and had no doubt we’d be famous musicians some day.
“It’s a tragedy he’s gone.”
Another friend Adam Hepton, 33, of Queensbury, said: “Chris, his brother Martin and I watched Bradford City together from marching towards the Premiership to later sitting as we tumbled all the way back down the leagues.
“I remember the games it would pain Chris to miss like our demolition of Chelsea.
“There are no more hugs, no more moments.”
David Rhodes, 33, of Queensbury, said: “I have spent time with Chris pretty much every week for the past 20 years. We have been to school together, worked together and partied together.
“It’s been a privilege to have known him.”
Emma Spafford, 34, also of Queensbury said: “Chris had time for everyone, he was tenacious, not afraid of a challenge, cheeky, kind-hearted, humorous and had a devastating smile that was completely infectious.
“We are all the lucky ones for having known him.”
Lydia Kohlman, 26, of Oakworth, said: “Chris always made time in his day for those who needed him and was always there with a smile. He was game for a laugh and always went over the top with fancy dress.
“A true friend who will always be missed, but will never leave the hearts of those he touched.”
Anthony Smith, 33, of Queensbury, said: “We attended the two Wembley finals together, which I’ll always remember. He was also becoming a keen pool player, representing the Ring ‘O’ Bells in Queensbury, plus he was really into his martial arts.
“I’m devastated. I’m going to miss our silly conversations and jokes.”
Gary Mitchell, 31, of Horton Bank Top, said: “Chris and I have been mates for more than ten years.
“If I had to describe him in two words it’d be ‘fashionably late’ – always last to arrive, but last to leave.
“I can’t believe he’s gone.”
Mr Crowther’s parents John and Barbara and his brothers James and Martin have for donations in his memory to be sent to the Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group.
His funeral takes place at at Holy Trinity Parish Church, Queensbury, on Tuesday, May 6, at 10.45am, followed by cremation at Park Wood Crematorium, Elland.
An inquest has been opened and adjourned into Mr Crowther’s death.