Tom Maynard sport teacher shock over 'talent' loss

Tom Maynard Maynard was in the same school year as Gareth Bale and Sam Warburton

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The school sports head who nurtured Tom Maynard's sporting talent in the same year as footballer Gareth Bale and rugby's Sam Warburton, has paid tribute to his "tremendous" ability.

Surrey and former Glamorgan cricketer Maynard, 23, died after being struck by a train early on Monday.

Gwyn Morris, from Whitchurch High School, said he was "devastated".

Mr Morris coached sporting greats in cricket, rugby and football from a single school year.

Maynard's death was confirmed on Monday, a few hours after he was believed to have been killed by a London Underground train at Wimbledon Park station.

Start Quote

It is very sad when any young person is tragically taken, but one of such tremendous talent, both academic and sporting, is a tremendous loss”

End Quote Huw Jones-Williams Whitchurch High School head

Police said that a man matching Maynard's description ran away after a car being driven "erratically" was stopped shortly before.

The police watchdog IPCC has said it may review the incident.

Recalling his former pupil, Mr Morris told the BBC Wales news website: "We were very proud of everything that he achieved and has achieved since then."

Maynard spent seven months in the school's sixth form in 2007 before joining Glamorgan cricket club.

"He was already involved with Glamorgan and he was obviously a talented cricketer," he said.

"He did not do much cricket with us. He played rugby with the boys and was part of the team that won the Welsh schools cup."

"Words are very difficult to find at a time like this," he added.

While at Whitchurch High, Maynard played alongside Wales skipper Sam Warburton in the school rugby team that won a Welsh schools' cup.

They were both in the same year as acclaimed Tottenham Hotspur footballer Gareth Bale.

In a statement, Whitchurch High School headteacher Huw Jones-Williams said: "Staff just can't believe that such a young life can be so cruelly taken away."

"It is very sad when any young person is tragically taken, but one of such tremendous talent, both academic and sporting, is a tremendous loss."

He added: "Tom's family are very much in the school's thoughts and prayers at this time."

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