THE family of a caretaker who died suddenly at a South Derbyshire school have spoken of their shock.
Tony Lamberton suffered a heart attack at Stanton Primary School, in Woodland Road, where he was working in his role as a mobile caretaker.
He was found by two teachers arriving for the morning around 45 minutes later, but they were unable to save him despite frantic efforts.
Mr Lamberton, from Coton in the Elms, would have turned 60 today and was due to celebrate his 40th wedding anniversary in April.
His funeral will be held tomorrow at Bretby Crematorium.
He was described as a huge family man and was said to be ‘inseparable’ from wife Sue, with the pair meeting as teenagers.
His son Adam said: “He had been at Stanton Primary School for a few weeks as their caretaker was off. He left in the morning, at about 6.30am, and I got a call from the head teacher at about 8am to say he had been found collapsed in one of the classrooms.”
The teachers sounded the alarm and administered CPR while waiting for paramedics to arrive on January 24, but Mr Lamberton was declared dead shortly after.
He was said to have had no real health complaints, so his family were left shell-shocked when they were told the tragic news.
Adam said: “He had no health issues, he used to overdo it now and again – he was ridiculously active – but nothing major. It was massively unexpected. It’s still sinking in. He was a big family man and will be sadly missed.”
Mr Lamberton, who also leaves behind daughter Claire and seven grandchildren, originated from Margate, in Kent, before moving to South Derbyshire around 30 years ago.
His son Adam had planned to take him back to the South East for his 60th for a fishing trip, and is now considering spreading his ashes in the coastal town.
His wife Sue said: “He was very family orientated, always thinking of others. He helped everybody. He was a bit of a character, everybody said that. I love him. I always have and I always will.”