Roger and out for school deputy Val

PUBLISHED: 06:11 20 July 2006 | UPDATED: 09:44 31 May 2010

Deputy headteacher Valeria Dunn meets Roger Black - Pic: DICK HARDING

Deputy headteacher Valeria Dunn meets Roger Black - Pic: DICK HARDING

OLYMPIC silver medallist Roger Black gave a stunned Valeria Dunn a retirement present she will never forget at Henham and Ugley Primary School s sports day last Wednesday. The deputy headteacher, who has worked at the school for almost 30 years, has been

OLYMPIC silver medallist Roger Black gave a stunned Valeria Dunn a retirement present she will never forget at Henham and Ugley Primary School's sports day last Wednesday.

The deputy headteacher, who has worked at the school for almost 30 years, has been a massive fan of the 400-metre runner ever since he started his career in 1985.

Mrs Dunn retires at the end of term having started working at the primary school in 1977 as a volunteer classroom assistant, before becoming a full-time member of staff in 1988.

One of the Parent School Association (PSA) members rang up a former parent Sue Mott, who works as a sports reporter for the Daily Telegraph, who arranged the very special visit.

Mrs Dunn said: "It was a lovely surprise when I saw him and it was fantastic to be able to meet my hero.

"He's been my pin-up boy for over 20 years as I love athletics and he was an absolutely wonderful sportsman, as well as being a perfect role model for children.

"I couldn't believe that the Parent School Association, who organised the whole thing, actually remembered I was a fan of his as I haven't mentioned it for ages.

"He was very charming and friendly, and he stayed to speak to everyone for about half an hour.

"It was a wonderful retirement gift and I would like to thank the PSA and all of the children for a lovely and memorable day."

Headteacher Marilyn Greenhalgh said: "We managed to keep Roger Black under wraps until Mrs Dunn was out on the playing field, and her face was a picture when he stepped out of the classroom.

"She was absolutely speechless, which was something of a first!"

Mrs Dunn was also presented with a wrought iron weather vane with the school's dragon motif on it by the former British record holder.

The presentation came at the end of an action packed sports day which was enjoyed by all the pupils from reception class through to Year Six.

"The competitive races, such as the 100 metres and the long jump, were held in the morning, and the afternoon was filled with more light hearted activities, such as a bean bag race and a balancing competition," said Mrs Greenhalgh.

"The children had great fun and Jupiter House were crowned the worthy winners of the morning's events, and Saturn House triumphed in the afternoon."

Roger Black was awarded an MBE in 1995 and a year later claimed the silver medal in the 400 metre final at the Atlanta Olympics, finishing behind world record holder

Michael Johnson.

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