Touching tributes paid to Featherstone teacher

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Touching tributes have been paid to a “vibrant and caring” Featherstone teacher and mum-of-two who has collapsed and died, aged 37.

Sally Brooks – who gave birth to her second son only eight weeks ago – was taken ill while out with her family at Yorkshire Sculpture Park on Easter Sunday.

The St Wilfrid’s Catholic High School English teacher was rushed to Barnsley Hospital, but died two days later.

Her mother, Margaret Stewart, said: “She was such a vibrant and caring person, I can’t believe she’s gone, it has been such a shock to all of us.

“We had taken her two boys William, two, and baby Louis out for a walk when she suddenly collapsed. There had been no signs that there was anything wrong.”

Mrs Brooks, a former pupil at Airedale High School, started her teacher training at the same school in 2001.

She moved to King’s School in Pontefract in 2003 and then to St Wilfrid’s in 2009.

She married husband Carl, a teacher at Pontefract NEW College, in Thailand in 2007 and they spent two years travelling around the world.

Mr Brooks, of Water Lane, Middlestown, Wakefield, said: “A lot of people have said she was like a light when she walked in the room.

“She was vibrant, professional in her work and an absolutely fantastic mum. William and Louis were everything to her.”

Colleagues at St Wilfrid’s also paid tribute to Mrs Brooks this week.

Laura Macaulay, an English teacher at the school, said: “Sally was devoted to her pupils’ success and achievements and to the English department itself. Her smile was infectious and she always considered others before herself.

“She leaves a massive hole behind her at St Wilfrid’s and will be desperately missed by so many.”

Mrs Stewart said she was grateful for all the support the family had received from Mrs Brooks’ friends and colleagues.

She added: “I also want to thank Alan Ruddock, a complete stranger who was at the sculpture park on the day, and took me and the children to hospital. He even stayed at the hospital and looked after the children for a while.”

Mrs Brooks’ funeral will take place at Wakefield Cathedral on April 24 when a choir from St Wilfrid’s will perform.

An inquest into her death was opened and adjourned at Barnsley Coroners’ Court earlier this month.