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Tributes paid to 'gifted' Newmarket Academy teacher who died while out running with his 12-year-old son

Tributes have been paid to a devoted father and ‘inspirational’ teacher who collapsed and died while out running with his 12-year-old son.

Forty-seven-year-old Martin Davey, who was head of English at Newmarket Academy and had been at the Exning Road school for three and a half years, suffered a cardiac arrest while out on his regular running route close to his home at Norton, near Bury St Edmunds, on Monday, August 19.

His wife Wendy, a former editor of the Newmarket Journal, said her husband was ‘devoted to his family, loved his work and was a gifted teacher’.

Martin Davey with his son Tom and daughter Jess at this year's Race For Life in Bury St Edmunds where they raised £200 for Cancer Research
Martin Davey with his son Tom and daughter Jess at this year's Race For Life in Bury St Edmunds where they raised £200 for Cancer Research

Nick Froy, principal at Newmarket Academy, said that Martin, known to his friends and work colleagues as ‘Davey’, had left the school and the community with a permanent and lasting legacy.

“He was an inspirational teacher bringing the joy of reading to so many students. He had a special and extraordinary ability to bring all aspects of literature to life, and find the pleasure, fascination and enjoyment in story-telling,” he said.

“He created a can-do attitude in his classes underpinned by true commitment and care for his students. His humour, passion and commitment was amazing. He inspired students and their passion for the subject will be an ever-lasting testament to a natural born teacher.”

After university, doing building work and travelling to Australia, Martin trained as a journalist and worked as a trainee reporter at the Bury Free Press, where he first met his future wife. “Although we weren’t together at the time we shared a leaving do,” said Wendy. “Martin went to work for the East Anglian Daily Times and later the Evening Star at Ipswich.”

The couple married in 2003 and four years later Martin decided he wanted to pursue a career in teaching. They have two children, Tom and 15-year-old Jess.

Some years ago Martin started running as part of the whole family’s bid to get fitter.

“He kept it going and was really into his running,” said Wendy. “He was out with Tom when he collapsed. Tom called the emergency services and the paramedics were fantastic but they could not save him. Tom has been very brave and, through him being there, I and the children know Martin did not suffer and he wasn’t alone.

“He was devoted to his family and in the relatively short time we had together we had crammed a lot into our lives.”

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