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West Ham United’s Mark Noble honours memory of popular teacher at opening of Redbridge school’s new building

PUBLISHED: 17:34 18 January 2016 | UPDATED: 18:18 18 January 2016

Deputy mayor Cllr Thavathuray Jayaranjan, Mark Noble (West Ham FC) and Melanie Foster at the opening of the school's new building, named in memory of Craig Foster. Photo Ellie Hoskins

Deputy mayor Cllr Thavathuray Jayaranjan, Mark Noble (West Ham FC) and Melanie Foster at the opening of the school's new building, named in memory of Craig Foster. Photo Ellie Hoskins

Archant

West Ham United’s captain, Mark Noble, helped open a new sixth form building, last Thursday, named in memory of his former teacher who died two years ago.

Ben Foster making a speech at the opening of a Oaks Park High School's new building named in memory of his father.Ben Foster making a speech at the opening of a Oaks Park High School's new building named in memory of his father.

Craig Foster who had taught at Oaks Park High School in Oaks Lane, Newbury Park for 13 years, died within two weeks of being diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Noble was captain of the school football team for five years when Mr Foster had taught at the Royal Docks School in Newham.

Ben Foster, son of the “integral staff member” said: “The response and general support from everyone at Oaks Park has been overwhelming.

“We are incredibly proud that his name will be associated with educating future generations at such a fantastic school,”

The opening of Oaks Park High School's new building named after valued ex-member of staff, Craig Foster, who passed away in Auguat 2014. Deputy Mayor Cllr Thavathuray Jayaranjan, Mark Noble (West Ham FC) and Mrs Melanie Foster with students Meharin Khan, 13, Harvey Webster, 12, Adib Sheikh, 12 and Aberna EaswarithevanThe opening of Oaks Park High School's new building named after valued ex-member of staff, Craig Foster, who passed away in Auguat 2014. Deputy Mayor Cllr Thavathuray Jayaranjan, Mark Noble (West Ham FC) and Mrs Melanie Foster with students Meharin Khan, 13, Harvey Webster, 12, Adib Sheikh, 12 and Aberna Easwarithevan

The popular teacher’s widow, Melanie cut the tape to open the new building and was assisted by Cllr Thavathuray Jeyaranjan, deputy mayor and the footballer.

The father-of-two had joined the school in May 2002 as a head of year, before being appointed as inclusion co-ordinator - to help settle in new pupils - in September 2011.

Steve Wilks, headteacher, opened the event by speaking about the contribution Mr Foster had made at Oaks Park.

The new building was required when the school expanded to accommodate ten entry forms and a rapidly increasing sixth form of more than 400 students, Guests were given a guided tour of the site which includes 24 classrooms, four science labs, two drama studios, two media classrooms, 14 classrooms and the sixth form centre and a 4G sports pitch.

A spokeswoman for the school said everybody was impressed with the “fantastic facilities” which will provide “wonderful opportunities” for students now and in the future.

In honour of her father’s memory, Hayley Foster set up a JustGiving page to raise funds for the MacMillan cancer charity, who her father had supported in the past.

The charity had also helped the family during the well-liked teacher’s illness and before he died Mr Foster had asked, instead of flowers that people donated to it’s cause.

Since August 2014, a staggering £10,686,74 from 283 donations has been raised. To donate, visit justgiving.com/Hayley-Foster5


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