HEARTFELT tributes have been paid to a former headteacher and church organist who has died from cancer.

Malcolm Doig, from Kirkby Stephen, died at the age of 83 on Saturday, January 27.

Working as a headteacher at Kirkby Stephen Primary School for 27 years, Mr Doig was also a PE teacher and taught music to many children in the school.

His wife Judith Doig said he knew every child in the school and made them all feel very comfortable.

"He was an old-fashioned head - believed in children rather than their records," she said.

"He knew all of the staff really well and had a good relationship with all of them."

Mr Doig's involvement with Kirkby Stephen Parish Church started when he moved from East Lancashire to the area in 1973 to be a headteacher. 

"There was a man there who asked if he would like to take some organ lessons, and he said yes, so that was when he started to play the organ," said Mrs Doig.

"He did all the jobs in the church and even played at Christmas this year just before he died.

"He was a very supportive man in the church."

His wife said Mr Doig was a well-known figure in town and that everybody knew who he was.

When asked how she remembered her husband, Mrs Doig said: "He was a very loving husband and loving father to our daughters and grandchildren. We had a very happy life together."

Reverend Canon Brendan Giblin, Priest in Charge of Kirkby Stephen Parish Church, said: “Mr Malcolm Doig was a wonderful organist at Kirkby Stephen Parish Church. Malcolm’s faithful service to the church spanned three decades - a remarkable achievement.

"Malcolm, who was very much part of all aspects of church life, will be deeply missed by all at Kirkby Stephen.”