Derek sadly died at his home on Monday 29th May 2023. He leaves his wife Beryl, daughter Paula, son Mark and four granddaughters.
Derek was a huge part of Morpeth Swimming Club, having joined the newly formed club in 1970 and continued as a poolside helper until 2016, seeing over 500 children through the club. Derek also occupied almost every role on the committee over the years and organised annual and Christmas galas.
Together with his great friend, the late Peter Rushworth, they developed the Morpeth v Portobello inter-club gala that still runs to this day and later ensured the survival of the club through the Morpeth floods of 2008.
Over the years, Derek enjoyed seeing the value that swimming added to the lives of Morpeth swimmers and how it helped mould them into successful young adults. He delighted in seeing the children of the children he coached join the club.
In 2017, Derek retired from the club but was still seen from time to time on the balcony, delighted to see swimmers improve.
Such was Derek’s influence on the club, in 2018, we gave the first presentation of the Derek Thompson ‘unsung hero’ Award, given to a volunteer who had given an outstanding contribution to the club.
Our sympathies are with Derek’s family at this time.