A significant proportion of what I learnt in sport came directly from Geoff during my years at KHVIII, on the rugby and cricket field in particular. I don't just mean the technical and the tactical.......but the mental, sportsmanship, attitude, teamwork, gamesmanship, perspective, banter, respect, hard work, winning well, losing well and of course the social side. Thank you Geoff for all the great memories and learnings, including the harsh ones! All such learnings from sport have been invaluable in general life, and I regret not having made the opportunity to thank you in person over recent years. Total respect.
My fondest memory of Geoff is of watching him tell his story of the Welsh miner drafted into the Kent coalfield in World War II, complete with accent, blissfully unaware that Rhidian James was standing behind him.
Shelley Brown (previously Ashton, nee Simpson)
Geoff was a great colleague and friend from the start of my teaching career in the PE department at King Henry VIII in 1978 until his retirement many years later. I have many happy memories of our teaching together over 20 plus years. We shared many laughs and good times not only during the teaching day but also on ski trips (his yodelling getting good voice here) and at staff social events. I was pleased to be able to keep in contact on some of my return visits from Canada in later years and in exchanged Christmas letters every year.
When we were both heads of our respective departments, with offices opposite each other, it was amusing to listen to his admonishment of various pupils using his rhetoric and superb use of English. He was probably more amused by my attempts to teach girls to play cricket and rugby!!
He was always the gentleman and his good humour will surely be missed by many.
It was a privilege to know him and memories of those good times will be cherished.
I first met Geoff in, I think, 1977/78. He was in charge of the Coventry Schools' rugby team I was a member of, when we went on tour to the North-east. I remember playing in the shadow of the Humber Bridge. i was talking to Geoff about this only a few weeks ago. I owe much of my life in rugby football to the example set by Geoff. He was a tremendous man with an epic sense of duty. All who worked with him and knew him will know how much he contributed to our and others' lives. RIP my friend.
Left by Paul Harrison:
God bless Mr Courtois. Thank you for saving my friend Robin and I from the 5th form bullies, when we were in the 1st year. Thank you also for taking the time to teach me to bat and bowl a leg spin. I really appreciate the focus and perseverance you gave and feel honoured to have been taken under your wing. My bowl did go on to take a fair few wickets and was rather affectionately known by fellow team mates as the ‘cuppa tea’. It was so slow, at no fault of yours, that there was enough time to get a brew on, whilst waiting for the ball to bounce!
See you in the nets Mr Courtois, RIP.
Geoff was an inspiration to me as a pupil at KHVIII 1986-1993. I still hold dear his words of wisdom to this day. I was delighted to see him again at the Bablake vs KHVIII rugby match last year. God bless you Geoff, rest in peace
Left by Simon Enstone:
Was sorry to hear this. Geoff was my form tutor for many years. A fantastic supporter of the School.
Neil Heydon-Dumbleton :
I met Geoff at the end of term lunches. We found that we had both attended Loughborough College where we trained as teachers. A warm and friendly man, much loved by all at Henry's.
Bill Timson Senior DT Technician, King Henry VIII Senior School.