• Derek Mayers

  • Derek Mayers (with sun glasses) in South Africa with John O'Neill, Tommy Thompson, Sammy Taylor,Jimmy Baxter and Joe Walton.

    Les with Alex Alston
  • Season 1960-1961. Derek is on the front row next to Tommy Thompson.

    Les signing autographs with Tommy Docherty
  • Mr. Cliff Britton, Derek's manager at both Everton & Preston North End.

    Les in training with Tom Finney, Jimmy Baxter, Tommy Thompson and Sammy Taylor
  • Derek Mayers with Les Dagger at a previous golf day.

  • Derek pictured on the front cover of the East Germany vs. England Programme 1963.

  • Derek was a local-born product of Liverpool schools soccer. At school he played anywhere on the forward line as long as he got a game. From an early age, he had an eye for goal and was also handy at cricket and golf too.

  • Everton F.C.

    Derek signed for Everton straight from school, initially as an amateur, before signing as a part-time professional in August 1952. By the end of that season Derek had made his league debut, scoring twice in a 3-0 win, against Bury at Goodison Park (15/4/53). The following season, Derek was called up to do his stint in the National Services, and he represented the Army team on a number of occasions.

    On his return to Goodison, Derek found himself to be a “fringe” player and by the end of the 1956-57 season he was disappointedly deemed “surplus to requirements” at Everton. However, he was soon approached by his former manager at Everton, Mr. Cliff Britton, who was now manager of Preston North End.

  • Derek At Deepdale

    Derek did not need too long to decide about a transfer, as he was about to join a Club that had finished third in the League the previous season. He was excited about playing alongside international footballers such as Tom Finney & Tommy Thompson (England); Willie Cunningham & Tommy Docherty (Scotland) and Frank O’Farrell (Eire). Derek was signed for a modest £2,000 on 24th May 1957 along with his Everton team mate, Alec Farrall. After a few reserve team games to ‘acclimatise’ Derek was elevated to make his North End league debut on 14th September 1957, at Deepdale, against Tottenham Hotspur. Derek Mayers Preston North End

    From the right-wing position he duly scored in a 3-1 win. Ironically, he missed the following two games due to a bout of influenza! Derek’s sixth appearance was one he had been relishing, the visit to Deepdale of his former team, Everton. Once again he collected a win bonus as PNE beat the ‘Toffees’ by 3-1, and just to rub it in, Derek scored twice. He kept his place in the team until the end of the season, scoring another nine goals as North End finished runners-up in Division One.

  • South Africa

    At the end of his first season at Deepdale, Derek was a member of the 16-man squad that had a 4-week tour of South Africa, a fine reward for the team for running Wolverhampton Wanderers close for the Championship. Derek scored in four of the games played on tour, including one in the 11-0 mauling of Border FC.

    During the mid-to-late 1950’s, the wing positions at Deepdale were well contested for. Mainly by Derek Mayers, Les Dagger, Les Campbell and Sammy Taylor as Tom Finney had moved to centre-forward. Derek was a senior member of the North End side for four seasons, until the Club suffered relegation to Division Two. Derek’s last goal for the Club was the only goal of the game at Bloomfield Road, Blackpool during February 1961.

    He had accumulated 132 games for Preston North End, scoring 29 goals.

  • Life After Deepdale

    He was transferred to Leeds United on 6th June 1961 for £2,150. At Elland Road, Derek was to play alongside the likes of Billy Bremner, Jack Charlton and Paul Reaney, under manager Don Revie. After one season with Leeds (20 appearances, 5 goals) he was signed by Bob Stokoe, manager of Bury at that time and clocked up thirty-two games, scoring another six goals. From Bury, the next club was Wrexham for a season before being enticed over to Australia by the former Blackpool player Bill Perry. Prior to flying off to the Land of Oz, Derek had a handful of games for Rhyl as a favour for their manager, Albert Dunlop, a former team mate from both his Everton and Wrexham days.

    Derek had 18 months down under playing for South Coast United before returning to the North West of England. Having retired from the game, suffering from dodgy knees, Derek tried his hand at being a salesman, selling office filing systems, and was employed by the firm for 27 years. Derek still likes his golf and plays in every golf day the PNE Former Players Association organise unless he is playing abroad in the Jimmy Tarbuck Classic. Derek had finished first in the last three years in the annual tournament held in Portugal. Some hat-trick!

  • Words by Ian Rigby.