THE husband of a teacher stabbed to death in her classroom paid a moving tribute at her funeral service as he talked of her "passion" for her job.

Hundreds of mourners gathered at the mass to remember Ann Maguire, 61, who died after she was attacked at Corpus Christi Catholic College, in Leeds, last month.

Her husband Don, 62, who had arrived at the service with their two daughters and the nephews she treated as her own sons following the death of her sister, gave a eulogy in which he spoke of his late wife's dedication.

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"Ann loved teaching," he said. "A dream as a very young child, an ambition in teenage years, a fulfilling reality for 40 years.

"Spanish was her subject, the pace and rhythm of modern language teaching suited her so well.

"Being head of fifth form, a great passion [...] where the full range of her personal qualities and abilities were fully exercised."

The service at the Catholic Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary began with a procession of gifts symbolising the much-loved teacher's life while Wind Beneath My Wings played on the piano.

A number of photos of Mrs Maguire as a child and young woman decorated the order of service.

Mr Maguire, his daughters Emma and Kerry and nephews Daniel and Andrew, had arrived in two black cars at the red-brick church to be met by clergy.

A stream of mourners had arrived ahead of them, including Corpus Christi head Steve Mort who was accompanied by three pupils from the school in uniform.

Mrs Maguire's coffin was received at the church on Thursday evening when family members attended a private mass.

It was carried out of the church following the hour and 45 minute service, white carnations on either side of it spelled out "mummy" and "sister".

Mr Maguire and his family hugged some of the 300 mourners as they followed the pallbearers out of the church, which is next door to the school where Mrs Maguire was attacked on April 28, and later died from multiple stab wounds.

She had taught at the school for more than 40 years and was due to retire in September.

A 15-year-old pupil has appeared from custody in court charged with Mrs Maguire's murder.