PLAYING the part of Fagin in Oliver Twist has always been a dream for Abercarn head teacher Kevin McAnulty.

That dream came true this week when he took on the famous part just a few days before he retires after 19 years at Abercarn Primary School.

The school organised a special production just so the head teacher, known by everyone as Mr Mac, could play the role.

Mr Mac, 60, from Newport, said he joked at Christmas how he would love to play Fagin and that Alec Guinness was his acting hero.

So deputy head teacher Rachel Horne organised a special production of Oliver!

which was performed for the rest of the school on Tuesday, and for parents of the cast last night, including Mr Mac singing the famous ‘You’ve got to Pick a Pocket or Two’.

Mr Mac said: "It was great Fun, a little bit nerve-racking, but I didn’t forget my lines.'

This was the first time in 40 years that he had took to the stage, as since then he has spent much of his time involved in sport, having played hockey for Newport and being a rugby union referee.

Mr Mac started his career at Ringland Junior School in 1973 where he said it was a privilege to work with highly talented youngsters, some of whom went on to represent their country in sport and one, footballer Sean Wharton, played for Sunderland and went on to become Cwmbran Town manager.

He then went on to become deputy head of Govilon Primary School in 1984 where he said the environment enhanced the pupils'

learning and joined Abercarn Primary School in 1992.

He said highlights at Abercarn include the opening of the nursery, new astroturf and foundation phase block, together with three successful Estyn inspections.

He said: “I’ve made friends in the teaching profession that I genuinely believe will be friends for life. I've had the honour of teaching some outstanding children and it's the children I will really miss.”

Mr Mac was also instrumental in forming the Caerphilly Heads Forum two years ago, is secretary of Caerphilly National Association of Head Teachers and is a champion of first aid being taught in schools.

The Argus reported last year how former Abercarn pupil Elliot Dunn, who was ten at the time, saved his mother’s life with first aid when she choked on a nut.

Mr Mac will spend his last day at the school on July 21 before retiring to spend time with his family, play golf and organise walks.