A HEADTEACHER with a love of Mr Men has retired after an unusual but fitting celebration.

Andy King joined Wherwell School 18 years ago and on Friday, April 5, he stepped down from his role.

But the school and its staff did not let him leave without celebrating his favourite books.

On April 2 he arrived to find the school decked out for a Mr Men celebration and a ‘Mr King’ outfit waiting for him.

His love of the Mr Men books is well-known to the children that he has taught. One of the those is Philippa Gilbody who was at the school when Mr King started and has now returned to teach.

Children and staff joined in by dressing as the characters.

A school spokesperson said: “Several generations of children who attended the school will remember Mr King as an inspirational teacher, educator, leader and mentor and the whole school community is very sad that the time has come for him to hang up his crown.”

In the school’s newsletter, Mr King said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for the kind words and good wishes I have received in recent weeks — and indeed over the past 18 years. It is a hard thing to let go when so much of one’s life has been bound up in the school for so long.

“However, knowing when to let go is as important as knowing when to grasp an opportunity — and indeed they are often two sides of the same coin — as one phase passes another begins.

“I no longer have the energy that the job of headteacher demands and deserves so it is time to pass on the baton.”

In his retirement Mr King is planning to tend to his allotment, go rambling, and returning to his former life as an archaeologist.

Deputy head Mary Collins has taken over as headteacher, with Ruth McNee stepping into her position.