THE King’s Ely community has been left saddened by the death of an inspirational housemaster, teacher and sports coach, Anthony Bland.

Tony, who was a member of staff at King’s for more than three decades, died peacefully at his home in Haddenham, Cambridgeshire, on 23rd May, after a period of illness.

He leaves his wife of 58 years, Thelma, their three children and three grandchildren.

Tony was educated at Colchester Royal Grammar School and Woodbridge School, where he was head boy and captain of the school’s rugby and cricket teams. He also played rugby for the Eastern Counties.

Tony spent two years of National Service as a Second Lieutenant in the RAOC, for whom he also played rugby. Tony then read History at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, followed by the Diploma in Education and a term teaching at Felsted before joining the King’s School Ely (as we were called then!).

Tony joined King’s in 1961 as a very young master, straight from teacher training. His remit was to teach history and to run rugby, but he soon took over cricket and athletics and was also Tutor to Hereward Hall – a position he was in for seven years. In 1968, Tony then succeeded Miles Amherst as Housemaster of School House, and he ran the House right the way through to 1982.

Tony was dedicated to his duties as a teacher, housemaster and sports coach, and despite retiring in 1996, he is still to this day remembered of so fondly by the many Old Eleans and other members of the school community who had the pleasure of knowing him.

He was a man with charm, warmth and boundless energy (he ran the London Marathon in 1989 and 1994!), and he will be remembered as being one of the school’s most influential figures.

Our thoughts are with Tony’s family and friends.

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