Teacher's advice inspired journalist and novelist Mark

A JOURNALIST who releases his first major novel next month has paid tribute to the Calder High School teacher who inspired him to take up writing.

Mark Piggott, 41, who has previously written for The Guardian and The Telegraph, said it was English teacher Steven Cann who first took him to one side and told him to believe in his own ability.

He said: "I wasn't very good at school and I didn't enjoy it very much but I was always okay at English.

"He took me aside one day and said I could make a living from writing and I remember thinking 'Yeah, that sounds like a decent way to avoid ever getting a job.'"

Now Mr Piggott's first book, Fire Horses which traces the journey of an artist in 1980s sub-cultural Britain, will be published on May 21 through Legend Press.

And the author, who lived on Cambridge Street, Hebden Bridge, before moving to London at 18, is already planning a second novel provisionally titled Breakdown.

Mr Cann said: "I'm delighted he's doing so well, when you get someone who achieves so much you do think it's all worthwhile. I think he was very good at English, and I told him that. I remember he was not a great lover of school and I'm afraid school didn't much love him either because in all honesty he could be a bit of an 'erbert. "