A MAN who has taught three generations of students at Bradford’s biggest school is retiring after nearly 40 years.

Derek Radcliffe, 59, will leave Grange Technology College tomorrow after joining as a PE teacher in October 1979, when the school was known as The Grange.

During his time at the school, Mr Radcliffe has taught subjects including PE, maths and art and design and was head of the sixth form for eight years.

He has also taught future sports stars including former Bradford City striker Ian Ormondroyd and boxer Harris Akbar, who this year claimed victory at the England Boxing elite national championships.

His other roles saw him coach the Bradford Boys’ under 19s and the West Yorkshire Schools under 19s football teams, which featured former City midfielder Des Hamilton.

Mr Radcliffe has also undertaken a vast number of additional roles throughout his career, most recently as an achievement leader for the sixth form, where he has developed a successful and growing student leadership programme. This includes a range of charity initiatives and regular support of the Lord Mayor’s Appeal.

His dedication to the role has also seen him recognised with award nominations.

In 2013, he was nominated for the Telegraph & Argus Schools Awards in the secondary teacher category, but missed out on the prize. Last year he was shortlisted for the community hearts awards in the inspirational teacher category.

Mr Radcliffe, of Bingley, plans to spend his retirement developing his interest in art and design, travel and keeping active in the outdoors.

He said: “I have met a lot of amazing youngsters and people through education. What is pleasing is seeing them coming out as rounded young people, ready for life out there.

“My life at Grange has been a journey I have been privileged to have been on.”

Headteacher Alison Mander paid tribute to the dedicated teacher.

She said: “Derek is a true Granger who is widely known and respected in our community.

“His contribution to the school, the teaching profession and most importantly the thousands of young people he has taught, is phenomenal. We all wish him the very best in his retirement.”