Derick was a sports fanatic all his life and was multi-talented in many disciplines including rugby, cricket, swimming and he was a passionate supporter of Leeds United Football Club until the day he died.

In 1994 Derick took his son, Jamie, along to ‘join’ Longbenton FC. He felt it would be the making of his son – he was right!

There was only one Under 10’s team at the time and within a few weeks the Manager resigned leaving Derick to take over the team as a temporary measure – or so he thought!  Soon after he became Chairperson Longbenton Juniors AFC and successfully built an infrastructure within the club which encouraged the Club to grow.  Membership grew enormouslyduring his time as Chairperson with teams ranging from U8s to U17s, including female footballers in the U8 to U10 teams.

Derick introduced the coveted Presentation evenings honouring the young footballers for their efforts for the club and for key performers to be recognised in a formal manner. He was famous for his opening speeches.  Additionally Derick’s brainchild of the annual football tour was the highlight of the football calendar where the club were represented home and in Europe.  He coached his team from U10 to U17, winning a major local cup along the way (albeit on penalties!), they were not a ‘big’ team but he instilled a pride in the shirt that led to few teams being able to match them on a physical level.

Derick remained as Chairperson until his death on 6 April 2005 and he would be thrilled with the positive progress in the current negotiations for a club house.

Derick loved ‘the Club’ and everything it stood for. He had the utmost respect and love for the people involved. He willingly gave his time to the club without question until he died.

Words and picture courtesy of  Jamie Clough

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