RETIRED teacher, sportsman and community youth worker Robert Sully has passed away aged 81 on Boxing Day at Bryn Ivor Lodge Residential Care Home in St Mellons.

Robert (or Bob, as he was most widely known as) was born on Tregwilym Road in Rogerstone in July 1940.

He attended Rogerstone Junior School and later Bassaleg Grammar School before training to be a teacher at Caerleon College from 1960 to 1963.

Bob was a talented sportsman who held the Welsh 440 yard record while in his late teens.

He represented Wales and one of his prouder moments came when he was asked to carry the Commonwealth Games baton down Forge Lane in Bassaleg prior to the Cardiff games in 1958.

However, Bob's main sporting passion was rugby and he played on the wing for several local clubs including Machen and Bedwas before joining first-class club Abertillery.

His son Richard said that Bob kept his club shirts pressed and hanging pride of place in his wardrobe years after he had hung up his boots.


Bob began his teaching career at High Cross Junior School in 1963 and met and married his wife Avril.

They would be married for over 50 years before Avril died in 2016 and had three sons - Richard, Andrew and Adrian.

In 1965, Bob accepted a job teaching the children of British Forces at Munster in Germany and lived there for four years.

The family eventually moved back to Wales and lived in Caerleon while Bob taught at Rogerstone Junior School.

His love of sport led to him running the school football team both at Rogerstone and Cefn Wood Schools and he was heavily involved in helping to run the Newport and District Football Town Team for many years.

Bob looked back fondly at his time teaching in Rogerstone and Cefn Wood after his retirement in 1996 and would happily reminisce and tell stories about his career and working alongside his colleagues Ernie Everson and John Thomas.

Bob was highly respected not only for his work as teacher in Rogerstone, but for his time helping to run Rogerstone Youth Club twice a week, on Tuesday and Thursday nights, with his colleague Eric Nash.

A popular figure throughout his life in Rogerstone, Bob was referred to as ‘Rogerstone’s own Mr Chips’ and his son Richard asid that somebody once said that ‘no-one ever had a bad word to say about Bob Sully’.

Richard said: "He took a genuine interest in all those he taught and, even in old age, when his memory had started to fail him, he could still list just about every child in every class that had passed through his hands.

"Bob Sully will be remembered as having been a talented local sportsman and athlete, a captivating storyteller, a naturally intuitive musician, and perhaps a frustrated golfer but, above all, a well loved and respected teacher and great family man.

"The likes of Bob Sully don’t come along very often and he will be greatly missed by all who knew him."