Family heartbroken after ‘heroic’ teacher dies suddenly

PUBLISHED: 07:11 16 May 2018 | UPDATED: 07:19 16 May 2018

Del Shayler.

Del Shayler.


A Portishead sports teacher has died suddenly leading to an outpouring of tributes from friends and family.

Del Shayler with his kids.Del Shayler with his kids.

Del Shayler’s generosity, big heart and sense of humour have been praised this week by those who knew him best.

He died aged 41 following a bleed on the brain earlier this month.

His girlfriend Hayley Cole said: “Del liked to see the positive in everyone and every situation.

“He was a kind, captivating, thoughtful, loving and happy man who adored his children above anything else.

“His sudden death is something we will never fully come to terms with and his wonderful smile and laughter will never be far from our minds.

“We have been so overwhelmed with support, and the love for this wonderful man is clear for anyone to see.

Del Shayler.Del Shayler.

“His amazing legacy will live on and we will look for him in rainbows as he did his late mother.”

Del’s love of sport was well known as he worked for High Down Junior and Infant schools and was a manager of Portishead Town Football Club’s under-12s.

The football club arranged for a minute’s silence in his memory ahead of a recent round of fixtures.

His ex-wife Jo and their kids said: “Del was the most amazing dad, he was kind, caring and always put a smile on everyone’s face.

“That’s what we loved about him most.

“We enjoyed swimming, bike rides, frisbee and lots of outdoor activities with him.

Del Shayler.Del Shayler.

“He helped anyone, no matter who it was.

“We will miss him dearly but will cherish the fun times and memories that are forever in our hearts and heads.”

“Thank you Del for the 18 years you were in my life and for the two most precious things that you gave me – Oli and Phoebs – I will keep your memory alive forever.”

The exact cause of Del’s death will be determined at an inquest.

His brother Simon feels he was ‘lucky and honoured’ to have Del as a sibling.

He said: “He would welcome everyone into his heart as if they were all his brothers, sisters, son and daughter.

“Thanks to him I have a wonderful family larger and deeper than I could ever have dreamed and I am so very sorry for all our loss.”

His brother Darren described Del as a ‘hero’, a wonderful father-of-four and a kind man who gave up a lot of time for charity.

He also thanked well-wishers, hospital staff and the schools for their support and hopes Del’s organs will bring life to other families.

Lifelong friend Nick Holder said: “Del had an effervescent personality and grin – he exuded self-belief and confidence.

“He was a doer and subsequently got stuff done, he had a passion for sport and education which is proven by the events he was part of whether through teaching or in his own time.

“But above all he was a brilliant father and lifelong friend.

“I am going to dearly miss his buffoonery and the friendship I had come to take for granted.

“As godfather to his children, my wife and I will be there for his beautiful children at any time in the future.”

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the North Somerset Times. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the North Somerset Times