A TRANENT teacher who is due to retire after 40 years at her school was left shocked when a sporting hero popped up during a video conference to wish her well.

Rhona McNaughton, who has taught at Ross High School since 1979, is well known among colleagues for her love of Heart of Midlothian Football Club.

And they decided to give her a surprise by inviting club legend Gary Locke to join in the morning work chat.

The former player turned ambassador for Hearts, was introduced into the video conference by Sky Sports reporter Keith Downie, who also joined the video chat.

And Rhona was able to turn the tables and surprise Gary himself after revealing that her husband Martin taught Gary when he was a pupil at Lasswade High School.

Rhona said: “I was shocked when Gary appeared on the screen and as we were chatting he was telling me he was never very good at geography at school.

“My husband Martin was listening in and told me to tell him he wasn’t very good at CDT as well, which I did. Gary was surprised to realise my husband had been his teacher!”

Rhona, who lives in Edinburgh, is the school’s principal teacher for social subjects.

She admitted she had been disappointed when the schools closed early due to the coronavirus outbreak and she realised she was unlikely to be back.

She said: “I have worked at Ross High throughout my teaching career and it was really sad to leave with just two days’ notice and know I might not be back before I am due to retire in June.

“The pupils were sad as well as I hadn’t told them I was due to leave in the summer.

“I am sure I will be able to visit to say goodbye properly when things are back to normal.”

Ross High headteacher Paul Reynolds said that setting up the surprise appearance of Gary during the morning conference had come out of an idea from the chair of the school’s parent council Lynn Donohoe about marking Rhona’s upcoming retirement.

Mr Reynolds said: “It was a team effort and the fact the original idea came from the parent council speaks volumes about how highly people think of Rhona.

“The inspiring thing about Rhona is that she has taught children for 40 years and never takes her foot of the pedal. She manages a really successful faculty and team who hold her in the highest regard.

“I was delighted we were able to surprise her in this way.”