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Matt McInnes

Matthew McInnes, who has died aged 67 from post- operative complications following treatment for a hernia, was a depute headteacher and well-known traditional jazz trombonist.

Schoolteacher and jazz musician; Born September 30, 1940; Died August 21, 2008.

Matthew McInnes, who has died aged 67 from post- operative complications following treatment for a hernia, was a depute headteacher and well-known traditional jazz trombonist.

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Known to friends and family as Matt, he was born and bred in Govan, Glasgow, and was educated at Govan High School, where he was school captain and dux. An admiring junior pupil was Alex Ferguson, the future manager of Manchester United.

McInnes won first prize in a Glasgow schools competitive examination, resulting in a Rhodes Scholarship to Canada, where he spent six weeks with various families. On his return, he attended Glasgow University, graduating BSc in 1962. After a year's teacher training at Jordanhill College in Glasgow, he taught mathematics from August 1963 at the city's King's Park Secondary School. While there, he was promoted to special assistant, recognising his valuable whole-school responsibilities. He also embarked on a demanding four-year course at Strathclyde University, from which he emerged with an honours degree in mathematics.

His career took him to Claremont High School in East Kilbride as a housemaster, then to Allan Glen's in Glasgow, then back to Claremont. He retired in 1996 as depute head and continued to enjoy an active life, including becoming church secretary at Eaglesham Church.

However, McInnes was probably best known as a musician. He started playing trombone when at Govan High, and played in the Glasgow Schools Orchestra. He developed a love of traditional jazz and, in 1959, while still at school, formed his own group, the Bourbon Jazz Band. He went on to play with the West Coast Jazzmen, the Brown Derby Jazz Band, the Alex Dalgleish All Stars and Jeannie Maxwell and the Jazzwegians. He then joined the Kit Carey Band from 1985-2003 and finished his jazz career with the George Penman Jazz Band, with whom he was playing at clubs and jazz festivals until recently. He also played guitar in a big band and was part of a five-trombone group.

He joined the Close Shave Barbershop Chorus in 2000 and used his computer skills to prepare professional-quality copies and CDs of the entire repertoire, so the singers could listen to and memorise their parts. He also led the bass section with enthusiasm and commitment.

McInnes was a family man, generous, considerate, loyal and courteous, and treated everyone with respect. He was a high achiever, a true leader and an inspiration to others.

When he was at Claremont High, the PE principal invited Alex Ferguson to the school to present the senior boys' football team with their Scottish Schools Cup medals. Afterwards, Ferguson had a cup of tea in the staff room. His appearance aroused considerable interest and comment among the staff - but when McInnes appeared, unaware of all the fuss, Ferguson rose from his seat and exclaimed: "Matt McInnes - you were my hero at school!"

He is survived by his wife Marlyn, son Peter and daughter Jill, all of whom were at his bedside when he died, and his dearly loved grandson Philip Matthew.

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