Family pay tribute to retired Wirral teacher killed in Morocco earthquake

The family of Wirral man, David Barden, who died in the Moroccan earthquake, have spoken of their devastation at the loss of a “wonderfully warm and special man”.

David, who lived in Oxton, was a retired educator and was visiting Morocco as part of a mammoth cycling charity fundraiser.

A keen cyclist all his life, the 71-year-old had cycled all over the world, raising thousands of pounds for charity and documenting his adventures in public talks, feature articles and his blog

His latest trip was to cycle 1600 miles from Agadir in Morocco to Santander in Spain as part of efforts to raise money for the Red Cross.

He had posted a final blog entry about plans to cycle from Agadir to Taroudaant when the earthquake struck.

In his working life, Dave was a teacher who worked with pupils who had additional needs. He had a specialism in art education and his career included time as vice principal at West Kirby Residential School, Wirral, and headteacher at Cumberland School in Bolton.

He was a huge fan of Liverpool Football Club and was also known on the Wirral for his active membership of the Labour Party and for taking pride in civic matters, including roles in the Oxton Society and Secret Gardens of Oxton organisation.

Family and friends described Dave as a warm-hearted man who cared deeply about others. He was moved by the plight of people who had suffered in disasters and was grateful for all the kindness he received when travelling around the world, especially in remote and sometimes dangerous regions.

He had a tremendous sense of compassion and a wonderful sense of humour and was always looking for ways to help others and raise awareness of issues regarding education and social justice.

Dave’s entire family is appreciative of the love and attention they have received during this time, and are grateful for the respect that has been shown by friends and family while they come to terms with their loss.

Image: David Barden

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