I’m shocked and terribly saddened by Simon’s death. I knew him as an inspiring tutor and academic, a trusted colleague, a family man, jazz fan, comrade, and friend.

I was Simon’s colleague at the University of Derby for three years, from 2010 to 2013, and I have many fond memories of him and his family. He went above and beyond in terms of welcoming me to Derby and helping me getting settled into the job.

Simon had an almost encyclopedic knowledge of sociology, social theory and society today. I learnt a lot from him and have many fond memories of our occasionally lively discussions on these topics. From our many good humoured debates on the role of religion in society today to the relative merits of avant garde jazz, and from the “Leninist party” to the contradictions of contemporary satire, he was always thoughtful, witty and interesting.

I learnt massively and continue to be inspired by Simon’s approach to working in higher education. Though he did what was required to get along – he “played the game” as necessary – he never let that get in the way of being a great tutor and academic. He will be sorely missed.

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