HE was a decorated former headteacher, magistrate, local councillor, prolific volunteer and born leader.

Derek Petty MBE, the highly respected headmaster at North Baddesley Junior School for two decades, has died aged 92.

He was described as inspirational in tributes from former pupils and will be missed by many around West End, where he was a well-known figure with a front garden to be proud of.

Born in The Blacksmiths Arms pub in Shirley, where his mother was the landlady, Derek left school aged 17 to support the family following the death of his docker father.

He met Sheila while working for Guardian Royal Exchange as an insurance clerk before being called up for two years national service in 1948 then resuming education.

Derek and Sheila were married in 1953 and had two sons, Stuart and Ian. The family lived in West End where Derek was chairman of the parish council and various other community organisations.

Derek's first teaching job was at Shirley Warren Junior School where he taught PE and Maths between 1952 and 1960. He was a keen sportsman, having represented Hampshire at athletics.

After a stint as Head of PE at St Monica Junior School, Derek was appointed headmaster of Rownhams Infant School.

In 1968, he became the first head of the new North Baddesley Junior School where he remained until his retirement in 1988. Derek was awarded the MBE in 1984.

He was a magistrate for 23 years and also became a regular fixture on Radio Solent on a Saturday, reading out the sports results.

Following his retirement, Derek realised a lifelong dream to cycle from Land's End to John O'Groats and was still using a static bike until recently. He also completed the Three Peaks Challenge.

Derek leaves his wife and sons, grandchildren Molly, Beth, Tom, Jake, Mary, Kate and Gabe and six great grandchildren.

His funeral took place at his beloved St Christopher's Church in Thornhill last week.