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Derek Fenton 1931-2014

Derek Fenton moved to Glenfield in 1939 from South Shields to avoid the bombing of the shipyards on Tyneside.
He settled with his parents in Manor Gardens overlooking a pig farm where Glenfield Crescent now is, with his Mother, Father and 6 siblings, Mabel, Audrey, Arthur, Noreen, Cath & Raymond.
Glenfield was a small village then and he took time to settle in with his "Geordie" accent. After the war, he did his national service with the RAF and when he was demobbed made many more friends in Glenfield especially in sport.
Derek played cricket for Glenfield, tennis and bowls socially, all on Ellis Park. His sporting passion however was football and started playing for Glenfield United at "Archer's field" on Barrow Lane. During this time the tea girl after the matches was the publican's daughter Madeleine. She served tea in the "Griffin" (now the Forge) where they also changed in the children's room.
In 1953 "Coronation year" the Griffin was to hold a coronation dance in the yard, but it rained on the day and was delayed until June 6th. Derek asked Madeleine for the last waltz and that was the start of their relationship. They married in 1957 at Glenfield Church and have lived ever since they married, still on Manor Gardens, next door to the house he was brought up in. There they had 4 children 2 girls Kim and Janette, followed by 2 boys Neil and Ian.
When the boys were 7 and 9 in the early 1970's they wanted to play football. Madeleine knew the league secretary who suggested playing in Coalville. They did to start with although there were not many parents with cars. Certainly on one occasion Derek and Madeleine along with 9 boys and all the kit piled into their Ford Consul to go and play football. Don't think that would be allowed today somehow! After the games the boys both had a bath followed by the entire team's kit going in to remove some of the mud before going into the twin tub washing machine. Football kit was drying around the house for days before being pristine ironed for the next week.
Some years later Neil and Ian along with their friends were formed into an under 13's side for Glenfield Athletic, where Derek became manager. They weren't very good but enjoyed it, in fact they lost every game including a 25-0 and a 23-0. Derek decided that they needed coaching, which started a new passion for teaching football instead of playing.
He was clearly quite good as the next season at U14's they won the league. Much more to village life at the time Madeleine, who was by then club secretary hired a lorry and organised a parade round the main streets of Glenfield to show off the cup.
Over the following many years they organised committee meetings, fetes, discos, dances, rummage sales, whist drives and every other money raising event you could think of to raise money for club funds. These were held at the Memorial hall or Women's Institute so they were always in the village and were always well attended. The later were popular with the older generation as it was nice to meet up and meant a lot of socialising.
As the boys grew up Glenfield Athletic got bigger with ever more teams and Derek was asked to be Chairman of which he was honoured to accept. During this time the name was changed to Glenfield Town which still runs to this day. His last foray into management was for the Nags Head on Station Road, who had formed a new side in the mid 1980's. They played at the new ground on the A50 opposite to where the millennium park is now situated.
After one season he bowed out gracefully and found a new enthusiasm for travel with Madeleine, which lasted until very recently. They spent many trips at home and abroad and loved to go on Mediterranean cruises and the ageless Benidorm in Spain.
Many friends were made through football, work, travel and from visiting their "local" for the last 40 odd years "Westy's". Glenfield Social Club on Station Road. Latterly through ill health and not being able to drive he could have been spotted around Glenfield still with Madeleine 61 years after first courting, in tandem on their mobility scooters.
We hope that everyone that new Derek remembers some of the above and will have fond memories of a very shy man which gave much to the community without any need for recognition.
Rest in peace dad.
Ian Fenton

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