England rugby’s Ben and Tom Youngs thank Gresham’s “legendary” coach ahead of his retirement

From left, Richard Brearley pupil Harry Simmons and Sam Curtis. Mr Curtis is a maths teacher at Gre

From left, Richard Brearley pupil Harry Simmons and Sam Curtis. Mr Curtis is a maths teacher at Gresham's and Harry's former rugby coach. They are pictured at an awards ceremony last month where Harry was named Aviva Premiership clubs Players Young Player of the Year at Leicester Tigers. Picture: GRESHAM'S - Credit: Gresham's School.

Two of England's star rugby players have thanked the Norfolk coach who inspired their careers in the sport.

England's Ben Youngs and his brother Tom have thanked Gresham's sports coach Richard Brearley for his dedication to the school, ahead of Mr Brearley's retirement.

Ben Youngs said: 'Everyone always has a couple of teachers that make a lifelong impression on them and Mr Brearley is one of them for me. His ability to bring the best out of you in the classroom or on the sports field shows how talented he is. He was a brilliant motivator on the rugby pitch and I know he played a big part in helping me achieve my potential.'

His brother Tom, added: 'Mr Brearley was the first coach who showed me the passion and winning attitude, you should have to play rugby and sport. This has stuck with me over the years.

'I have some wonderful memories of my school days on the rugby field, playing under his guidance. A fantastic teacher and coach but, above all, a wonderful man who, to this day, I have a lot of time for. Thank you, Mr Brearley, you are nothing short of a true legend.'

As well as being a much-loved coach, Mr Brearley was Deputy Headmaster of Gresham's prep school, and has worked at the Holt school for 34 years.

Steve Adams, sports development director at Gresham's, said: 'A huge hole will be left by Richard's departure. We could not ask for a better School Master or rugby coach. Richard has made rugby a formidable and successful sport at the school and his passion has meant that our pupils have gone on to achieve outstanding professional careers in sport, both in the UK and internationally.'

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Mr Brearley said: 'Rugby is an inclusive sport that caters for all shapes and sizes, and that's what I love about it. The sport has inspired many of my former pupils, including those who are not typically sporty, who have gone on to achieve wonderful things.

'My time at Gresham's has been extremely rewarding; it is a fantastic school with great sports facilities and I hope future Greshamians continue to be motivated and passionate about sport.'