A ‘kind, lovely and hilarious’ secondary school teacher has died in Liverpool.
Maroun Mourani, who taught at St Edwards College Liverpool in West Derby, died this afternoon after being taken to hospital last month with ‘respiratory difficulties’.
Former pupils and friends of Mr Mourani, 55, took to social media to pay tribute to the ‘passionate’ French teacher and basketball coach.
Principal Stephen Morris and Chair of Governors John O’Brien sent an email to pupils with details on how to watch a mass for Mr Mourani, and shared a website where people can post their condolences.
Stephen Morris said: “The death of Maroun Mourani is a deep grief and sadness to the whole school.
“Having taught here for 15 years, he has been known by generations of pupils as a deeply caring and committed teacher, and regarded by the many staff who have worked alongside him as a respected and admired friend.”
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A statement from the school’s website reads: “It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of a much-respected French teacher, Maroun Mourani.
“Mr Mourani was taken to hospital with respiratory difficulties, presumed related to Covid-19, on Saturday 17 October.
“During the weeks which have followed the school community has kept a vigil of prayer and support, alongside other friends and family members, hoping for his recovery.
“Sadly, his condition deteriorated and he passed away today, November 10.”
Mr Mourani is believed to have moved to Liverpool from Beirut, having studied English and French at university in the city.
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A letter containing a more extensive tribute is being sent today to pupils and parents, governors, staff, former staff and alumni.
Liverpool Basketball Club shared a tribute to Mr Mourani on Facebook, saying: “We were devastated to learn today that our Under 16s Coach Maroun Mourani passed away this afternoon. He was just 55 years old and had been in hospital for a few weeks.
“Maroun was a larger than life character who loved his basketball and will be sadly missed.”
Liverpool Basketball Club Executive Tommy Walsh said: “I first met Maroun in early 2015, he came to watch some of Sefton’s games and we got chatting. He told me taught French at St Edwards in West Derby and he was from Beirut. He studied French and English at university in Liverpool.
“He told me he used to play basketball when he was slimmer. We told him about walking basketball and that we had a team that had just won a tournament in Surrey maybe that could be something he would like? He nearly snatched my hands off. He attended every session and you could tell he had played before he thoroughly enjoyed it.
“What a fantastic supporter he became both of Sefton Stars and Liverpool Basketball Club, he really was passionate about basketball.
“He took his coaching qualifications in Manchester and with Tony Walsh at Liverpool. He was trying for so many years to encourage pupils to play at St Edwards and eventually got himself a school team to compete in the Isle of Man.”
Mr Walsh added: “I am sure you will have recognised how much of a supporter he was with him attending junior games and staying right the way through to seniors. On Sundays, being a religious man, he would always attend mass first at 11am and then come to basketball.
“A honest, genuinely humble person who wanted nothing more than to teach and develop his pupils and enjoy his leisure time. He also volunteered for every trip in school as he enjoyed travelling and was single so had the time. He will be sadly missed.”
Former pupils of Mr Mourani took to social media to pay tribute to the teacher, Grace Evelyn James said: “So sad to hear that the humble, kind, lovely and hilarious Mr Mourani has passed away today.
“Thank you for being the biggest influence on my secondary school life, for being the most approachable form teacher for four years and for most of all just being you.
“You left a mark on everyone you taught and you will be so sorely missed by all colleagues and students past and present.”
On Twitter, @heathrisaa said: “Sad to hear that my secondary school French teacher, Mr Mourani, has passed away from covid-19.
“He was a fun-loving character, to say the least. A passionate basketball and ballet fan, he will be missed dearly. God bless”