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Obituary - Derek King

Posted on 27 June 2003  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

We were sorry to learn of the passing of our former defender Derek King, aged 73. He made 19 first division appearances for us between 1951 and 1954 during his six year stint as a professional.

Associated with the club for 11 years during the immediate post war era, initially as a junior and then on our professional staff, Derek featured in approximately 200 competitive matches in our colours, mainly at centre half, until joining Swansea Town in 1956.

Born at Hackney on August 15, 1929, Derek Albert King attended Glynn Road School, Hackney and trained in the tie and neckwear industry on leaving at the age of 14. He played for Alexandra Palace FC during 1945. A member of Tottenham Juniors he featured at full back when our reserve team reappeared for the 1945-46 season.

His two year spell of National Service from November, 1947 was spent with the 3rd Battalion Grenadier Guards based at Windsor Castle.

On joining our full time staff during August, 1950 his first season was spent chiefly with our 'A' team playing in the Eastern Counties League. He made his Football League debut in a 1-0 home win over Fulham on August 20, 1951 but it was not until March, 1953 that he had a sustained run in our senior side.

Derek made his final league outing for us against Charlton Athletic during October, 1954 going on to gain winners medals in the Sudbury & Suffolk Charity Cup of 1954-55 and the 1955-56 Football Combination before joining former team mate Ron Burgess at Swansea. His one season there yielded five league appearances.

After his playing career he returned to work in the tie/neckwear business. Derek was associated with Tottenham based firm Dave Mackay Club Ties for a number of years and later worked as a school caretaker until retiring through ill health. He lived at Hoddesdon for many years having previously resided at Enfield and adjacent to our ground on Paxton Road, maintaining his love of football throughout.

Derek had followed his uncle Eddie in wearing our colours. He was a son of Eddie's eldest brother Bert. Eddie's three year spell at Tottenham was ended by injury in 1936. He made one Football League appearance for the club in 1934.

Derek King passed away at a Huntingdon nursing home on June 16. The funeral takes place at City of London Crematorium, South Chapel, at 13.15 on June 30.

He is survived by his mother Doris, aged 97, three sisters June, Doreen and Valerie, three daughters, Lesley, Toni and Christine, plus grand children.

Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time.