TRIBUTES have been paid to Craven College lecturer and inspirational fund-raiserJack Morgan who has died following a short illness at the age of just 37.

Jack, from Embsay, who taught maths at the college for the last ten years, was paralysed from the chest down following an accident in 2008.

He died peacefully at Bradford Royal Infirmary and leaves a wife, Laura, and eight-year-old daughter Eve.

Make a donation to appeal in Jack's memory here

Following his accident, Jack was an inspirational champion for others with mobility issues, and in April last year, he climbed Penyghent in his self-propelled mobility scooter and raised £2,500 for the Cave Rescue Organisation. He had been planning to climb the remaining two Yorkshire Peaks, Whernside and Ingleborough at the time of his death.

CRO volunteer Rachel Platt, whose partner Andy Jackson joined Jack in last April's climb, and who went along herself, said: "We were all so proud of Jack doing what he did for our team, for raising all that money and to be able to support him on the day. It's so easy for people to walk Penyghent, but to do what he did and with paralysis it meant a lot to us.

We were so looking forward to him attempting the other two, it was such a challenge.

The team sends their condolences to his family."

Robert Bellfield, principal of Craven College, said he would be sorely missed.

“Jack taught maths at the college for the last 10 years and was an important member of the college. Jack was universally liked and admired by us all and will be hugely missed by staff, and students and is a big loss to the college and his family. Our thoughts and deep sympathy are with Jack’s family but particularly Laura and daughter Eve."

In 2015, Jack was nominated in the volunteer of the year category in the Craven Community Champion awards.

He was put forward by the college for his outstanding contribution to improving the accessibility of routes in the area for wheelchair users and people with limited mobility and being an inspirational role model to colleagues, students and the Craven community.

He was a member of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority access for all advisory group and represented the charity, Experience Community, which helps people with disabilities access the countryside.

He also appeared on BBC's Countryfile programme to raise awareness of improving footpaths for people with disabilities and to demonstrate the all terrain wheelchair, the mountain trike.

Jack, the only child of John and Janet Morgan, was brought up in Haworth and attended Oakbank School, before going to Aberdeen University to study Land Economy.

He played six years for Halifax Rugby Union Club during the 1990s, before playing for Skipton 1st XV from 2001-2005 and was Skipton’s 1st XV player of the year in his final full season of 2003-2004.

He married Laura in 2003 and married her at the Red Lion at Burnsall on his 27th birthday (27 May 2006) with their daughter Eve born in April 2008.

In August the same year Jacksuffered a cliff-top fall whilst walking on holiday in Scotland, which snapped his spinal cord and left him permanently paralysed from the chest down.

He was discovered around unconscious at the foot of 60-foot cliffs by the local Lochinver coastguard and was airlifted by the Stornoway helicopter to the Western Isles Hospital. He was unconscious for three weeks and received treatment in The Southern General Hospital in Glasgow, before being referred to a specialist unit at Pinderfields Hospital, Wakefield, where his rehabilitation began in earnest. He had surgery to strengthen his spine and was finally strong enough to sit up in bed after a four-month wait. He returned home in April 2009.

In August 2009, Skipton Rugby Club held a match featuring many of his former team mates raising over £2,500 for Jack’s family and, in September 2009, he returned to his lecturer role at Craven College part-time, thanks to its wheelchair-friendly design, eventually returning full-time.

Jack never let his injury change his optimistic attitude, telling the Craven Herald on 6 September 2009 that “it was apparent early on that I had broken my spinal cord and would be left paralysed, but the fact that I had survived meant every day was a lucky day. You have to be committed to being patient and let the body mend itself. It was just lovely being back home, I have a gorgeous wife and daughter and amazingly supportive friends. My friends have been fantastic and very thoughtful. They’ve kept me going and I really appreciate what they have done for me. There are still an awful lot of things I want to do in life.”

In March last year, Jack took on a mountain challenge to the peak of Pen-y-Ghent, to raising almost £2,000 for the Clapham-based Cave Rescue Organisation, with the seven-mile trek having an ascent of almost 700 metres.

Jack was subsequently involved in a new ITV1 program called ‘Britain’s Best Walks with Julia Bradbury’ when she too climbed Pen-y-Ghent. This program is scheduled to be shown on ITV 1 tomorrow (Friday 13 January) at 8pm.