Derek Wilshaw - A man of integrity, with a dry sense of humour and old fashioned values.
He was always my “sounding block” whilst serving on the Board of Altrincham FC.
His wife Ann used to help Graham Heathcote out when he was Secretary - writing letters and writing up minutes of Board meetings. The club then needed someone to man the front door on match days - and Ann duly volunteered her husband who had recently retired from Astra Zeneca in Wilmslow.
Photo: Grahame Rowley (left) with Derek Wilshaw (right)
He took to the job like a duck to water and in doing so he became the face of Altrincham Football Club.
When Graham took on the managers role at the club, Derek became Secretary - a position he kept for over 20 years.
Nothing would ever get past him, as he was a fountain of knowledge; either he knew the answer or he’d research the subject and become an expert.
He had a dry sense of humour but was a gentleman who was so engaging that many a time I’d sit in his office for hours on end even though I’d only just called in for a quick word.
Derek never got stressed but would methodically work through the list of jobs that he set himself. Many other secretaries would phone him for advice and he freely gave it - a truly well liked person.
On the funny side, not many people could say that they’d had a cup of tea made for them by Derek. He rarely ventured to the kettle to brew up and if I ever found myself alone with Derek, he’d always check to make sure no one else was around before offering to make a drink. I take it as an honour that I was a recipient of a Derek brew!
He was a massive part of Altrincham FC whilst he served as Secretary, always being the voice of reason. If ever Geoff Goodwin or myself came up with outlandish ideas he would be the one to bring us back down to earth.
Derek Wilshaw: Club Secretary, Board member. But above all a fantastic friend to me and my family. He will be greatly missed by everyone connected with Altrincham Football Club.
Grahame Rowley, Club President