In Memory of Derrick Broome

Following the sad news that Derrick had passed away, Julie Bennett’s moving tribute later appeared in the Huddersfield match programme:

‘Derrick was king of the one-liners, including: “This is my last season”, announced for the last umpteen years when arriving for a trip at some unearthly hour, saying thank you for a saved seat, returning at silly o’clock midweek.

But come August, he would appear with a twinkle in his eye, bag in hand with a Wenzel’s treat inside, ready to do it all again!

He loved the laughs, sing-songs and banter on the coach, pointing out Eddie Stobart lorries for no apparent reason and half the coach would end up cheering with no-one ever knowing why!

Derrick was a 50s/60s/70s music expert and would have a song in mind for all occasions: ‘Almost There’ – Andy Williams, as we approached, ‘When Will I See You Again?’ – The Three Degrees; back at the Target.

He famously had his own group of players he would call “My Hero” – for reasons unknown! (Sean Goss, anyone?!)

Coincidentally, Derrick and one of his more genuine heroes, Terry Venables, was born on the same day, 6th January 1943. Derrick insisted that “I’m the better looking one!”

Always seated early for home games, ready for a chat before and the verdict after, Derrick also loved, “soaking up the atmosphere” at away games and never let the football spoil the trip.

He was rarely ill, although he was constantly told to use his walking stick, not just keep it as a hidden accessory!

Derrick wouldn’t dream of missing a match and joked after missing the first-half at Swansea in 2018 due to the coach breaking down, “My 100 per-cent attendance record is in tatters!”

He loved his programmes and would make sure a friend downloaded one for him if it were unavailable in print – technology wouldn’t get the better of Derrick!

“Park the Bus”- nerves would kick in when ahead late in games and he would mime a bus driver – giving a little wink when everyone disagreed.

Sadly, this was to be your last season Derrick, an unsung hero to many. You’d want us to be “Rangers till we die” and to “Keep the faith”.

Knowing your great sense of humour, we think you’d now say: “Don’t worry about me, I suffered more at the Watford match than when I slipped away painlessly that night!”

RIP Derrick

Julie Bennett

As expected, there was a large turnout at the Breakspear Crematorium, which included many fans in Rangers colours.

When Andy Sinton arrived, he proceeded to shake numerous hands in the queue.

The entrance music was Dean Martin’s: ‘Memories Are Made of This’ which was followed by the football anthem: ‘Abide With Me’.

The Eulogy was given by Sandy and Julie Bennett, which incorporated many memories of Derrick’s life.

This led into: ‘Hi Ho Silver Lining’, and the first line of the chorus was adapted to: ‘And it’s hi, ho Derrick Broome,’

After the final hymn and ‘The Lord’s Prayer’, the Rev. Nicholas Wheeler performed the Commendation, followed by the Committal and his Blessing. We then began to file out the Chapel to Frank Sinatra’s: ‘My Way’.

The Wake was held at the North Harrow Home Guard Club, a club I had never previously heard of. It’s tucked away off the main road, close to the Underground Station, and behind the Broadwalk Car Park.

As we shared memories of Derrick, and celebrated his life, Julie conducted another rousing rendition of: ‘Hi, Ho, Silver Lining’.

Derrick was a true gent who never missed a game, home or away, but at times it was clearly a real struggle for him.

Once again, my condolences to his brothers, Alan and Terry, and all his family.

God Bless Derrick.

Steve Russell

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