Mike was a dedicated and popular teacher at Wolfreton School on the outskirts of Kingston upon Hull in the East Riding of Yorkshire.

He spent his entire teaching career at the school, teaching a variety of subjects, including languages, P.E and music.

With a unique sense of humour, he gave his all when it came to the school kids, may it be lost dinner money, charity events or inspiring the future generation through lessons and clubs.

'Gave everything to teaching'

Simon Lister, 37 is an ex-pupil of Wolfreton School has many memorable moments with Mike over the years.

He said: “He was a man who gave everything to teaching. A group of us were raising money for a charity by charging pupils to vote for a teacher to get gunged.

"He was the person to play up to the situation and get covered in gunge, in front of an entire school whilst raising cash for charity. An absolute legend.”

Living in the East Riding of Yorkshire town, Beverley, Mike was also well known for his involvement in athletics, especially Race Walking.

The Northern Athletics group reported on their website, saying: “Mike was a mainstay of Humberside Schools athletics having been both Secretary and Treasurer, as well as being a kingpin of the East Riding Schools.

His enthusiasm was infectious, one did not need a public-address system when he was about.”

One of his proudest moments was when he carried the Olympic Torch through Beverley ahead of the 2012 London games.

Commenting on his Facebook page the morning of the run he posted: “Today is the day I've been waiting for. Up at 6am for my usual 5km power walk.

Arrive home get my first shower of the month. Hair roughly combed to the right with a touch of gel, underpants washed, eccentric facial hair trimmed. Irish flag firmly tucked away in my chest pocket and a couple of Guinness tucked away in my sports Bag. And yes, for the third time since 1984, I've even ironed my shirt. Now give me that torch son.”

After the event, Mike decided to display his torch at Wolfreton School: “I feel the school is more than deserving of its graceful presence," he posted.

"However, I will be getting it on show at as many places as I can in the not too distance future.”

When he wasn’t actively taking part in an event he would often be found organising and officiating them.

Coach driver, Mark Holland said: “Such a lovely spoken man. I met him whilst coach driving. Every school event, he was there, in the pouring rain, cross country or rugby. He gave the pupils backing, helping with the kit or even giving his own sandwich out to one boy who had forgotten his lunch. Always polite, such a sad loss. I met him a few times, he was always smiling.”

Keen interest in music, playing many instruments

In 2012, as the Mayor of Beverley wrote his column for the Beverley County Council website, he spoke of Mike.

Regarding his commitment to sport and music, he spoke of a recorder group he attended in his school years; “We were serious recorder players, we played the whole range of recorders, we rehearsed regularly, we were good. That was all because of Mike. He had a special interest in Early Music and we played music from the Renaissance to cutting-edge modern works. We won cups and prizes in festivals all over the county.”

He was also known to like the stage and often wrote and performed shows. Ex-pupil, Jo Barrett reminisced: “He taught me French some 26 years ago. Unforgettable man and I still remember a performance in the teacher pantomime of Rumple Stiltskin, he was wearing striped tights.”

As a frequent churchgoer, he also sang in choirs

Mike didn’t spend a lot of his time on his appearance, he posted about himself only on a few occasions and it was a part of his much-loved eccentricity.

However, he was an extremely intelligent man.

He was a member of MENSA and was known to speak several languages with ease plus the ability to communicate in many more. He would occasionally assist Humberside Police as a translator.

Believed to have been born around Glasgow on 25th July 1947 it is said that Michael Nicholson may have family in Ireland.

He is also said, by a writer of the Northern Athletics website, to have attended Beverley Grammar School and Durham University.

At 70 years old, Mike was found dead in Beverley 4 January 2018 after he had attended a service at Beverley Minster. Although found in the street his death is not treated as suspicious.

Friends, colleagues, acquaintances and generations of Wolfreton School pupils have been saddened by the news with thousands of tributes shared across social media.

'Legendary', 'generous' and 'selfless' have been frequently used to describe him.

There are no known relatives. Humberside Police put out an appeal to find Mike’s next of kin after his death. Anyone with any information that could assist should contact Humberside Police or call 101 quoting log: 145 of 04/01/18.

Wolfreton School stated on their website: “His selfless efforts have benefited so many young people and we know so many will always be grateful to have worked with and learned from him.” Later adding: “Staff from Wolfreton have been in close contact with Beverley Minster and the relevant authorities following the death of our friend and colleague.”

Mike's funeral is to take place at Beverley Minster on Tuesday 13 February at 4 pm.

It has been requested that flowers are not laid but instead, donations are made to Beverley Minster PCC.

Hundreds of friends, acquaintances and school pupils, both past and present are expected to attend.