3:40pm Thursday 25th April 2013
A TALENTED all-round sportsman, teacher, professional footballer, soldier and father has died at the age of 99.
Ronald Corbin died at the Old Vicarage residential home in Tibberton Road, Malvern, after complications following Alzheimer’s and old age, just two months ahead of his 100th birthday.
Mr Corbin was among the first batch of students to join the new teacher training college in Worcester’s Henwick Grove in 1946.
He started something of a family tradition with seven members of the same family attending over the last 65 years.
His wife of 73 years, Olive – who was known as Jess – died at the age of 98 last December. The couple met when Mr Corbin played for Milford United when they won the Welsh League and the Welsh Cup in 1936.
Mr Corbin, an accomplished cricketer and gymnast, had been a professional footballer with Swansea, Wolves and Notts County before he played at semi-professional level in Wales.
He was originally from the Rhondda Valley and was a Welsh amateur international soccer trialist.
At the start of the Second World War, he became a sergeant physical training instructor serving in North Africa and Italy with the East Surrey Regiment.
He survived a torpedo attack on his ship as it sailed from Liverpool to Algiers which killed 20 people.
After the war he started a new life in Worcester, enrolling at the teachers’ college in Henwick Grove, St John’s.
After graduating in 1947 Mr Corbin joined Christopher Whitehead Boys School where he taught for 30 years.
He was head of physical education and later head of history before he retired in April 1977.
Mr and Mrs Corbin lived in Powick, near Worcester, for more than 50 years after marrying at the first opportunity during his first leave from the Army in 1940.
During his career, Mr Corbin was heavily involved with the city boys’ football and cricket teams.
He received an honorary degree for his teaching work from the University of Worcester on September 1, 2012.
His eldest son Tim, who followed in his father’s footsteps and became a teacher in Nottingham, said: “He was an outgoing person, being a Welshman, and he talked to everyone.”
Mr Corbin’s funeral will be held tomorrow at 11.30am at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Canada Way, Lower Wick, Worcester.
Following the funeral, his body will be interred at St Peter’s Church, Powick.
Mr Corbin leaves five children, 16 grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren.
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