TRIBUTES have been paid to a Bradford teacher and well known musical director of many amateur societies.

David Root, who was a music teacher at Tong School for many years and church organist in Haworth for two decades, has died, aged 72, following a short illness.

Originally from Allerton, Mr Root started playing piano as a child, leading to a lifelong love of music. He went to Belle Vue Boys School and trained as a teacher at Margaret McMillan College in Bradford. While there, he played for the Leeds Symphony Orchestra.

Mr Root played piano, organ, trumpet and cornet, and went on to play in orchestras at Bradford's Alhambra theatre and venues in Halifax and Huddersfield, as well as for dance bands NoteAbility, NightFlyers and Gerry and the Hat Tricks and the Dorothy Stevens Dance Academy. He was also the pianist for Bradford choir Chordiality.

He was well known as a musical director for many societies, including West Yorkshire Savoyards, Halifax Gilbert and Sullivan Society, Brighouse Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society, Idle and Thackley Theatre Group, Halifax Light Opera Society, Cleckheaton and Spenborough Amateurs and Haworth Band.

Mr Root taught at Horsforth School and Benjamin Gott High School in Leeds, but mostly at Tong School.

As well as music, he enjoyed camping, hiking and cycling. He met his wife, Margaret, on a Camping and Caravanning Club trip when they were teenagers.

"He loved being outdoors. He took his students on cycling and orienteering trips, as well as to concerts, and he also did motor mechanics with them," said Margaret. "He was very well known as a teacher and also for his work with music societies. He never did the minimum; he was always happy to do any extra rehearsals. He would do anything for anyone. The word 'No' wasn't in his vocabulary."

The couple married at Holy Trinity Church in Huddersfield in 1970, and lived in Queensbury. Last year they celebrated their Golden Wedding anniversary. "Because it was lockdown, we had to cut our celebration cake with family outside on the driveway," said Margaret.

Mr Root's father was a bass baritone singer and his grandfather was a piano teacher. The family love of music has been passed to David and Margaret's daughter Jayne who, with son-in-law Gary and grandson Alex all play in local dance band NightFlyers.

The funeral is tomorrow at St Michael and All Angels Church in Haworth, where Mr Root played the organ for 20 years.

Edward Stott, a retired funeral director with Joseph A Hey & Son, was a lifelong friend. "I knew David for 69 years, we met in playing fields," said Mr Stott. "He was a fabulous musician, he could turn his hand to anything. I remember as a child he was always doing piano practice when I wanted to go out and play. He was very dedicated, and was very well respected among music societies. He often played the organ at funeral services for Heys."

Added Mr Stott: "David was the kindest man you could ever wish to meet. When we were children, if I was ever ill he would always bring me a Matchbox car. He was a wonderful man. We were friends most of our lives, and we were the Best Man at each of our weddings. He is very much missed."