Death of former Burnley primary school teacher, Clarets fan and keen sportsman

Mr Harry Ainsworth, who taught at the same primary school in Burnley all his life, has died.
Mr Harry Ainsworth, who taught at the same primary school in Burnley all his life, has died.

A teacher, who spent his entire career at the same Burnley primary school, has died after a long and courageous battle against cancer.

Mr Harry Ainsworth was diagnosed with cancer eight years ago and underwent 70 rounds of chemotherapy.

He taught a couple of generations after spending 25 years teaching at Ightenhill Primary School, starting his career in 1969 when it was the former Lionel Street Primary.

Teaching mainly top class juniors, Mr Ainsworth loved his job, which was something he trained for after starting his career originally as an accountant.

He didn't like office work and it was the vicar at St Leonard's Church in Padiham, where Mr Ainsworth was a youth leader, who saw his potential as a teacher and and suggested he gave it a try.

Mr Ainsworth, who completed his teacher training at St Martin's College, Lancaster, was a keen sportsman and was the football and cricket coach at the school, one year leading the football team to victory in the prestigious Hartley Cup competition for primary schools.

A former pupil at Padiham County Primary and Clitheroe Royal Grammar schools, Mr Ainsworth followed the Clarets and was a season ticket holder until about 12 years ago.

And he passed on his love of his team to his children, twin sons Christopher and Stephen and daughter Catherine.

Mr Ainsworth, who died the day before his 74th birthday, met his wife Jennifer while they were both working on the Christmas post in Burnley in 1966.

The couple tied the knot in 1969 and were due to celebrate their golden wedding this year. Mrs Ainsworth was also a teacher for many years at the former St Hilda's RC High School for Girls in Burnley.

Mr Ainsworth was very green fingered and his garden at his Burnley home , which was widely admired, was his pride and joy.

He was an expert on cacti plants and over the years his talent won him several prizes at many competitions.

A keen bird watcher and member of the RSPB, the grandfather of four also enjoyed brewing his own beer and wine, another hobby he had won prizes for.

A lover of the outdoors, Mr Ainsworth also enjoyed walking with a series of canine companions he had owned over the years and he was a familiar sight in the Burnley area, always with his pipe in hand.

Another of Mr Ainsworth's passions was brass bands and he encouraged Catherine to learn to play the trombone.

Catherine also followed in her parents' footsteps and is now headteacher at St Oswald's RC Primary School in Accrington.

Mr Ainsworth's funeral will be held next Friday (May 17th) at Burnley Crematorium at 1-40pm.