Following a lengthy career as a professional footballer starting at Burnley then a further 15 teams, with his longest spells at Southend United and Barnsley Derrick was their record signing in 1980 for £80,000. Following his football career Derrick sold cars for a short time before joining Nilfisk selling industrial vacuum cleaners.
His efforts to sell vacuums to Carlton Main Brickworks resulted in Derrick being offered a sales position in January 1991. Derrick joined Carlton at a low point for the industry with over 26 million bricks on stock, hard to imagine now. At that time Carlton purely manufactured engineering bricks. His first job at that time was to call Elliots (local competitor) and find out their selling price, pretending to be a customer. Derrick was instrumental in expanding the range of products with Browns, then rustics and Dragwires and selling the bricks to a wider customer base. He covered a large area establishing Carlton in the North East his home patch and down into the Midlands with regular forays into the South of England with notable success.
Thankfully unlike his football career Derrick stuck with Carlton Main and brick manufacturing establishing many long-standing customer friendships. Bringing several customer events to Carlton from the prestigious Carlton Brick 5 a side tournament (now that’s forward thinking in current climate) to the Carlton Golf day played locally most years. Always a good listener and good at recognising an opportunity, the range of bricks expanded to include 73mm bricks and more latterly the Capital Collection. Still manufacturing niche bricks that others discontinued at high selling prices such as the Pinholes when Normanton closed, and listening to what customers want.
As the salesforce expanded Derrick took up the role of sales manager, at least we think he was, Carlton was light on organograms and hierarchical structures, but he was very convincing. Looking after not only the sales team but the sales office. Uniquely bridging the gap between sales and production as one team. Instrumental in bringing new innovations to the salesforce mobile phones, sat nav (one between us) and eventually around 2012 email! Derrick has been a regular on the South Yorkshire Bunkers Golf Tour an annual tour of sunny climes with a plane of load of building professionals and plans to keep attending which is surprising as he will now have to settle his own bar tab.
Derrick will be able to spend more time with Kath and family, the golf course, the tennis court once he gets his dodgy knee fixed. If anyone got their monies worth from the private health insurance, it`s Derrick.
His sparkling wit and repartee will be badly missed “did I ever tell you about the goal I scored at St. James Park “. Of course, you can still tune into BBC Radio Sheffield as he continues his other job as Barnsley match expert summariser, look out Gary Lineker.
“From a personal point of view, Derrick’s support, expertise and experience has been key to the successful integration of Carlton into the Michelmersh group. His wealth of product knowledge and his customer relationships has been a considerable help to all the Michelmersh Commercial Team. I will be forever grateful for Derricks contribution, particularly his willingness to adapt and generally for his support over the last three plus years. Strangely I will miss his bad jokes, and I wish Derrick the best of luck for the future….. and will hold memories of a fantastic bloke.”