King’s is mourning one of its longest servants and best loved teachers with the death of Peter Mathews.
Peter spent 35 years at King’s variously as Head of Rugby, Head of Personal and Social Education and as a Biology and Physical Education teacher and expert. A charismatic, athletic and handsome man, he was a role model to thousands of King’s pupils and was a familiar figure in Macclesfield and on the peaks and plains surrounding the town where he had lived in for over 40 years.
Born in Penrith in Cumbria, Peter moved to Birmingham studying at St. Edward’s Birmingham where his father was a physics teacher. He read Physical Education and Biology at Loughborough University, coming to King’s as his first job in 1967.
Appointed Head of Rugby, Peter alongside other great King’s names such as Dai Jones and Tis Bevan, did as much as any single individual to elevate King’s into one of England’s great rugby schools and a seedbed for top club and national talent. His team of 1976 / 1977, captained by Clive Kershaw won the Oxford Sevens and was runner-up in the Roslyn Park Sevens.
At King’s, Peter introduced and developed the PSE curriculum, later taking a lead role in coaching junior cricket and overseeing three foreign tours to Kenya, Pakistan and South Africa when school tours were still something of a rarity.
As he got older he continued his devotion to extra-curricular activities by singing Bass in the King’s School's award winning Foundation Choir, subsequently becoming a popular member of the Macclesfield Male Voice Choir, performing all over the country.
After retiring from King's he spent a year at Beech Hall helping the preparatory school by teaching Biology, and was likewise much admired for his depth of knowledge and compassionate approach.
Married to Anne for 33 years with three children and five grandchildren, the couple moved to Hordern Farm Pottery on the New Buxton Road, where he enjoyed tending eight and half acres, pursuing his boyhood hobby of ornithology also taking up dry stonewalling and bee keeping. He could often been seen with his dog, typically a Heinz 57, Pebbles at his side.
Dr. Stephen Coyne Head of the King’s Foundation, paid this tribute: “Peter Mathews was that rare school master, the all rounder with first class honours who was universally admired by his colleagues and pupils. He worked tirelessly on the pupils' behalf and still umpired cricket at the school, even when he had retired. This is a very sad time for King's. Peter will be much missed by all; we will not see his like again.”