A HUGELY popular Hampshire school worker who took his life was suffering with depression, an inquest heard.

Calvin Rodgers was found dead at Mayfield Park in Southampton last year by a dog walker.

The 38-year-old was a Year 11 pastoral leader at Oasis Academy Mayfield in Southampton.

His death on November 24 last year shocked pupils and staff alike, and tributes poured in from far and wide.

Winchester Coroner’s Court heard that Mr Rodgers had been off work due to toothache on the week he died.

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The court heard he had attempted suicide 20 years ago and he had a history of depression, but had stopped taking his anti-depressants.

At the time of his death Mr Rodgers was undergoing therapy but had given no indications he was going to end is life.

His wife Claire Rodgers described him as someone who loved his job.

When asked by Senior coroner Grahame Short whether there was any indication Mr Rodgers would take his life, Mrs Rodgers replied: “He appeared quite low because he was in pain and he was having his therapy, but nothing else I am aware of.”

The inquest heard that Mr Rodgers’ body was found dead by dog walker Richard Collins, shortly after 3pm.

Pathologist Dr Bhargava gave the cause of death as hanging and senior coroner Grahame Short recorded a verdict of suicide.

Mr Short said: “He was clearly a well liked teacher and someone who was respected.

“Depression is an illness and it is often not recognised as being as serious as it is and it should not be underestimated by any of us and I think that was what was behind Calvin’s problems in this case.”

As previously reported Mr Rodgers’ death touched pupils, parents and staff at Oasis Academy Mayfield.

A statement from Mr Rodgers family said: “Today we have had the inquest into Calvin Rodgers’ death. This looked into how he died, but does not fully describe the amazing man he was.

Calvin died in November, leaving his wife Claire, daughters Tyra and Freya, and many others who will miss him greatly. Calvin was an amazing man.

“He was a great father to his girls and a wonderful husband to Claire.

“He was also a great friend to so many, with nearly 1,000 people coming to pay their last respects at his memorial service in Central Hall.

“There are so many examples of how he went above and beyond to help and support people, both as part of his job as a pastoral leader at Oasis Academy Mayfield, and amongst the many other people he came across in day to day life.

“Following his death, people took to social media to share stories of his brilliant acts of kindness, and as a sign of how much he was loved and appreciated, over £8,000 was raised by family, friends and his church community to support Claire and their girls.

“Calvin was a man of Christian faith who was on a journey of learning to love and be loved.

“He cared deeply for people, and at Oasis Academy Mayfield he inspired young people and was highly respected and loved by all he came into contact with.

“All the students liked him; he listened to them and gave them his time. Pupils described him as a friend, and the nicest teacher they had ever met.

“Calvin will be missed by everyone who knew him, especially Claire, Tyra and Freya."