Thank you, on behalf of Del Boy

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I’m not sure what to say. The messages from everyone about my dad Del Boy, sometimes known by his real name of Derek on the few occasions he wasn’t here were overwhelming.

I had planned to let you know about his passing anyway, but I was beaten to it. I hope it doesn’t seem like I’m trying to ‘milk the applause’ but I really did plan to let you all know about what it meant to dad as an exile, to have a forum like this which enabled him to still feel part of something which he held so dear.

Earlier this week when it was clear to us that dad was going to die, his partner Christine and I were talking, and she made a comment that the house would be very quiet without the constant tapping of dad’s keyboard, and she asked me to post something funny about him, she said he’d like that. I can’t for the life of me think of anything funny, but I’d like to tell you a little bit about him. There’s no need for replies, you’ve all said such wonderful things already and Christine has seen what people think of him. Please believe me when I say it helps us all more than you can imagine.

Derek was born in Pallion in 1933. The son of a miner who in turn was the son of miner who in turn was the s…….. keep going until you’re bored. Dad also began his working life down the pit, but was determined to better himself and so pushed himself through nightschool, gaining qualifications in electrical engineering and later electronic engineering. His determination to succeed meant that my brother and I were the first males in our family who didn’t have to do that kind of work. He was proud of that, and I’m immensely proud of him for that too.

His career eventually (following the divorce from my mother) led to him moving to Newbury about 20ish years ago to take up a directorship in what was to become a successful electronics company. He missed ‘home’ terribly. He hated not being able to go to games, although he did go to away games when he could, with the occasional trip to Sunderland. His love for Sunderland football club remained undiminished, and I remember clearly him telling me about this place, a place he’d found on the internet where he could mix with fellow fans and feel at home.

In recent years dad’s health deteriorated quite badly, they discovered that he had a hole in his heart, and also peritonitis. This week he developed septicemia and cellulitus, leading to kidney failure. He’d always been a really active man, golf was his 2nd love after safc and he was made senior captain of his club. He never smoked, didn’t drink much, ate healthily and generally looked after himself. Despite this his recent health problems meant that he was pretty much unable to do very much at all, but his dream was to move closer to home so he could see his children more often, and actually regularly come to the SOL on matchday. He finally achieved that goal six weeks ago, and made it to one game against Sheff Utd. I feel like screaming that he only had one game. Life just isn’t fair sometimes, although he’d clip me round the ear for complaining.

This week while he was drifting away, my brother, two sisters, Christine and I, were obviously devastated. Each hour that brought his death closer broke our hearts a little more, but I was able to get through it because of a trick my wife told me. She told me to choose a moment where he was happy, put that image into my mind, and bloody well keep it there no matter what. Some of you may remember that he was a champion of Kevin Kyle. He liked the lad, loved his commitment and was desperate for him to succeed. My ‘happy picture’ is my dad’s reaction to Kyle’s goal against Sheffield. I turned to see dad on his feet (not easy for him although he beat me up there) with his fists raised in absolute triumph, his face shining with shear pleasure. I’m starting to break down a little bit typing this, but that image brings me back every time.

I’m so grateful for the kindness you’ve all shown, but the point of this is to thank you on behalf of Del Boy for giving him so much pleasure for the last three years. You all really made a difference to the quality of his life.

the streaker

Well said mate.................

Little yella chappie wiping a tear from his eye...............

Keith S30S

Inside right
Staff member
Chuffed to bits Del Boy was there for possibly our best performance of the season :) Hope that image of your Dad will help you thru at this time mate.

My good (Sunderland supporting) mate from work died aged 42 in '96. The next game we beat Millwall 6-0 at Roker Park and it brought a tear to my eye that 'his' team had put on a show for him.

Lump in my throat but a smile in my heart.


Number 2 is Gareth Hall

Absoulely superb post!

I particularly liked the bit about Kyle. It must have been great to see his face after he scored.

Like I said on the other thread, when I first signed up on the board in August 2002, one of the first posts I read was your fathers, and his posts always stuck out after that. I have never met him, but if his posts on here are anything to go by, you should be proud, because your father seems a great man.

Pass my condolences on to your family, and believe me when I say I am deeply saddened by his death. R.I.P.

Roker Mackem

I don't know what you must be going through mate as I haven't had to go through all that yet as i'm only young.

But my sincerest condolences to you- i'll think of your dad in the minute silence against Norwich.
Please don't take this the wrong way, but isn't it good to see someone who really meant it when he said "Sunderland Till I Die"?

Cheer them on from the best seats in the house tomorrow, Del lad.

Ha'way The Lads!!!

Neil - is there a charity or owt your Dad would have liked any donations sent to, cos I's like to organise a whip round of our regulars at the next home game and do a little something in his memory?

Even if it's something like the Stokoe Statue fund.


I'm really sorry to hear of your Dad going Neil and I wish you and all your family well. The story of your Dad and the Kevin Kyle moment is a really good one and I'm really sure that as much as your Dad appreciated KK, KK appreciates fans like your Dad too.

Boot Cleaner

What a nice post, brought a tear or two to my eye :cry: As i said Del Boy was the person who showed me how things were done around here. He was a genuine nice bloke, if only the rest of the country were like him :(

Bob Fleming

I've tears in my eyes reading that Neil, thanks for telling us a little more behind the poster we knew as Del Boy, your dad.

It's half time in the game against Wigan right now, I sincerely hope big Kyler sticks one in this second half. The goal would be for all Sunderland fans, but I'll be thinking that particular one could be for your dad.

All the best to you and your family Neil, keep thinking that good thought.


Bob Fleming said:
It's half time in the game against Wigan right now, I sincerely hope big Kyler sticks one in this second half. The goal would be for all Sunderland fans, but I'll be thinking that particular one could be for your dad.

All the best to you and your family Neil, keep thinking that good thought.
Not today then. I hope he saves it for the winner in Cardiff.

David Brent

Just read your post now Neil. I always loved your dad's posts, and he always used to agree with me about Kyler. Brought a tear to my eye reading that last bit, and after i've been feeling a bit shiot about football lately, it's reminded me why we all do it, for those few seconds that transcend everything, those Kevin Kyle moments thatw e carry inside us, always.

Thanks Neil, and thanks Del if you can see this now.

Haway the lads


Reading your post you cant help but being moved. Reading your Dads posts and the wisdom of years and your post today, may I tell you something else your dad taught you and they are wise words that
"there is no I in team"
Bodies last for only some time, memories last forever.


Excellent post like many had a tear in my eye and find it hard to understand why but as soon as you describe the Kyle moment theyll be very few who dont feel emotion.

Sack Fatto

Neil-Thanks for taking the time to tell us a bit more about your dad. You posted a heart-felt & emotional tribute. Your dad will always love you mate.

I know what you are going through as I lost my mam to cancer at Xmas. The good memories will always sustain you in the weeks & months ahead.

Thinking of you & your family-God Bless Del Boy.


Regular Poster
Staff member
Moving stuff, Neil.

It only seems two minutes since Derek was helping us out with a review for the magazine and even though I never met him in the flesh, you sort of felt you knew a little about him from his posts on here. Because of that, it came as a real shock when a SMB regular notified me of his passing away just before kick off today.

I'm sure I speak for for others when I say that, because of his age and the fact that he had experienced so much of SAFC's history, I kept an extra eye out for his thoughts. He'll be sadly missed.

My thoughts are with you and your family, Neil.

R.I.P Del Boy.


nannypat said:
forever more I shall think of your Dad whenever Kevin Kyle scores
I keep on writing replies, then binning them - can't really find the right words. All I want to say is that Neil's words are very poignant, especially when he mentions Kyle towards the end.

When I first started visiting the Internet it was way back on the old board and despite you getting to know some of the names, there (IMO) was never the feeling of the community this one is building up.

After a while on here though, you get to know names and you build up and imagine what the people are like behind the usernames, even when you don't know them personally.

Over the last two years or so I came across the user named 'Del Boy' and whilst we weren't exactly buxom buddies, or best mates and also from different generations, on many occasion we were fighting the same cause, along with a few others, most notably the cause of Kevin Kyle.

After seeing some of his posts defending Kyle, I realised Del Boy was an intelligent and experienced in the ways and wonders of SAFC and I kept an eye out for his posts. In doing so I've learned far more about some parts of SAFC's history than some of the history books I've read, because of the way his stories have been told and the emotions he's put accross with being you're average fan and while I never knew him personally I still can't help feeling great sadness at his passing.

I'm still defending Kyle now to many, on here and elsewhere, despite how he's improved this season and I'll continue to do so as long as I think he deserves it, but as the poster I've quoted above says - I too will think of Del Boy whenever he scores.

Sorry if it's a bit long winded :?
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