THE headteacher of Ellesmere College, Brendan Wignall, has died, his family has announced.

The news was confirmed by his wife Anne Wignall, who is also mayor of Ellesmere, in a Facebook post.

She confirmed that her husband had died at the Christie Hospital in Manchester where he had been treated for cancer, which he was diagnosed with in autumn 2021.


Brendan had been at the independent school for 28 years, joining the school in 1996, and passed away on Friday afternoon.

In the post, Mrs Wignall said: “I am so very sad to let you know that my dear, beautiful husband Brendan passed away peacefully this afternoon at the Christie Hospital in Manchester.

“He faced his cancer diagnosis over two years ago with stoicism and determination to live life to the full, which he did.

“He adored his work at Ellesmere College and his love for me, Catherine and Hugh knew no bounds.

“We were blessed for having such a wonderful man in our lives.

“He wanted us to know that he’d had a ‘gorgeous life’.”

A keen Liverpool fan, Brendan was also one of the top Taylor Swift listeners in the entire world, according to the 2023 Spotify Wrapped stats.

He was ‘deeply proud of’ and he was very much looking forward to attending his beloved Anfield with his daughter for The Eras Tour this summer. 

He also oversaw many years of success at the College in his role as headmaster, where he was appointed at just 35, one of the youngest in the country at the time, and was the school's longest-serving headteacher. 

An initial tribute was also paid by Ellesmere College through its acting headteacher Mrs V Pritt-Roberts.

She said: “It is with a profound sadness I must inform you that Brendan Wignall, Headmaster of Ellesmere College has died.

“His untimely death will come as a shock to staff, parents, students, and ex-students, many of whom have not known any other Headmaster, such was the longevity of his tenure over 27 years.

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“Our thoughts and prayers are with Brendan’s wife Anne and children Catherine and Hugh.

“Mr Wignall has been at the heart of all that is Ellesmere College for 27 years, taking on the role in 1996.

“His dedication and hard work to ensure that the school has blossomed through the decades has been remarkable, particularly when considered alongside his involvement in so many local, national, and international charities and organisations.”