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Derek Mayers 1935-2016

16 April 2016

Preston North End are saddened to learn of the passing of former player Derek Mayers.

Sadly Derek Mayers, one of the few Preston North End footballers remaining from the Tom Finney era, passed away in Wigan on Friday morning, 15th April, ironically exactly 63 years to the day of his first team debut for his first club, Everton.

Liverpool-born Derek had joined Everton straight from school but soon had to do his stint in the National Service and on his return to Goodison found it difficult to command a regular first team spot.

This was duly noted by his former team manager, Cliff Britton, who was then manager of Preston North End and so, after scoring 7 goals in 19 games for The Toffees, he was transferred to Preston North End for £2,000 in May 1957.

It proved a good move for Derek as the North End club, with Tom Finney the jewel in the crown, was a top First Division side back then and finished runners-up in his debut season. Derek had taken over the right-wing mantle but could play on the left-wing too. Scoring goals was part of his set up as a first class player and banged in 29 goals in his 132 games that he played for Preston.

After Preston suffered relegation from the top flight in 1961 Derek was transferred from Deepdale moving over the Pennines to play a season for Don Revie’s Leeds United side alongside the likes of Jack Charlton and Billy Bremner.

Spells with Bury, Wrexham and Rhyl followed before finally having an 18 month period playing down under in Australia. Derek, a fine footballer, was also a very keen, competent golfer.

One of the inaugural members of the Preston North End Former Players’ Association, Derek will be sorely missed and our condolences go out to his family and many friends.

Ian Rigby.

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