A “first-class” teacher who inspired generations of young men at a High Wycombe school has sadly died.

Tributes have poured in for Alan Yeates, who was the longest-serving member of the teaching staff at Royal Grammar School, after he lost his fight against cancer on January 4.

Mr Yeates joined RGS in September 1982 and was a “dedicated and caring” form tutor throughout his time at the school, head of modern foreign languages and German and chairman of the common room.

A grammar school boy himself, Mr Yeates grew up in Portsmouth - a steadfast Pompey supporter - attending Portsmouth Grammar School, progressing to the University of London [Queen Mary’s College] for his degree and to the University of Oxford [Pembroke] for his teaching certificate.

Having spent a year abroad as part of his degree and with a love of sport, music and outdoor pursuits, Mr Yeates was an attractive candidate for RGS when he submitted his application to Rowland Brown, the headmaster of the day.

Since joining the school in Amersham Road, he held posts such as subject leader for German and modern foreign languages, a boarding tutor, examinations officer and a support to games and sports.

When he was not busy teaching, running a department or supporting the sports programme Mr Yeates found the time to attend school concerts and play the organ at St Margaret’s in Tylers Green.

Paying tribute, RGS headmaster Philip Wayne said: “The many messages through emails, letters and social media have said it all. Alan Yeates’ death is both sad and untimely. An inspiration to generations of boys at RGS since 1982.

“Thirty-five years in one place of work is, indeed, unusual today - less so in schools perhaps but a real indication of the fact that Alan simply loved RGS. As a teacher, Alan was exceptionally highly regarded.

“I know that his wife Deborah, greatly saddened, has been overwhelmed by the expressions of sympathy and kind remarks about Alan.

“We also think of Jonathan and William, his sons who are both students at RGS. They will have a hard road ahead but can be assured of the support of the RGS family spirit which Alan did so much to nourish with his kind and caring demeanour.

“We will all miss Alan terribly - a genuine, super chap and a first-class teacher.”

Mr Yeates’ funeral will take place on Wednesday, January 24 at St Margaret’s Church in Tylers Green.