A High Wycombe grammar school has paid tribute to “inspirational” former student Sir Terry Pratchett and announced plans to honour his life by raising money to fund research into Alzheimer’s disease.

The Beaconsfield-born author was educated at John Hampden Grammar School from 1959 to 1965 and teachers have now hailed the impact his career has had on current and former pupils.

Assistant headteacher Andy Wright said the 66-year-old former Bucks Free Press reporter’s legacy will continue to be long-lasting and added that they are currently looking into re-naming their school library after him.

Mr Wright said: “He’s one of the most inspirational characters to come from this area and his work has influenced a number of others. Many who knew him or met him in the past have been sharing their stories and memories in the last day.

“Over the years he was very supportive of the school and has on a number of occasions been back here to look around and talk to students.

“He’s been described a lot as a nondescript student, but I think to say this truly downplays his time at the school where he was a key figure in our debating society and also wrote stories for our school magazine.

“Our school debating society was even named after him and when we asked for his permission to do this he found it ironic because during his time here, debating was not a subject the headmaster wanted students to take part in.”

He added: “We are hoping to do what we can to honour his life in the right way and are looking at possibly republishing some of his old work and put profits towards research into Alzheimer’s disease.

“We would also like to speak to his estate about renaming our library after him – we have a big section already dedicated to him and his books remain the most borrowed.”

Sir Terry wrote more than 70 books during his lifetime and despite being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2007, he continued writing and completed his final book last summer.

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