John Derrick: Former Glamorgan coach and player dies at the age of 54

John Derrick
During his time as coach, John Derrick (left) led Glamorgan to National League victory twice and oversaw their promotion to Division One of the County Championship

Former Glamorgan coach and player John Derrick has died at the age of 54.

He steered the county to two National League titles in 2002 and 2004, as well as promotion in the Championship.

Derrick played over 200 matches for Glamorgan and New Zealand's Northern Districts as a seam bowler and lower-order batsman.

He worked for the Cricket Board of Wales until he was taken ill in August 2016, subsequently undergoing brain surgery and chemotherapy.

"JD embodied all that is good about cricket at both professional and club level. Glamorgan CCC, and Welsh cricket as a whole, has lost a great and loyal servant, and the game will be very much the poorer for his passing," said the county in a tribute statement.

'Great servant to cricket in Wales'

Glamorgan chief executive Hugh Morris added: "John Derrick was one of my closest friends in the game.

"We started playing together for Welsh Schools at U15 level and were room-mates in our early years at Glamorgan.

"He was always a hugely popular member of the dressing room and universally liked throughout the game.

"He enjoyed a successful playing career and became an outstanding coach, being seen by many Glamorgan players past and present as an inspirational figure in their careers.

"John was a great servant to cricket in Wales both on and off the field and will be sadly missed by us all."

Born in Cwmaman, Derrick made his senior county debut aged 20 and became a regular member of the first team, with his county career spanning the years 1983 to 1991.

He recorded a highest score of 78 not out and a best bowling performance of six for 54, and was handed his county cap in 1988.

Derrick moved into coaching and was involved with the first team in the late 1990s, before taking over on a more permanent basis in 2002.

John Derrick
John Derrick spent some of his playing career in New Zealand

"When I finished playing, I wanted to help Glamorgan in any way the county needed me," he said at the time.

"I've never had a problem working where the county wants me."

His appointment quickly brought success as Glamorgan clinched the one-day National League title in 2002 and 2004, working with captain Steve James and his successor Robert Croft.

They also reached Twenty20 finals day in 2004 and were promoted to the First Division of the County Championship, but lasted just one season in the top flight.

Mike Powell pays tribute

"What people forget about John is he is our most successful coach. He's a true icon of Glamorgan and Welsh cricket," former Glamorgan batsman Mike Powell told BBC Radio Wales.

"He was a mentor for me beyond cricket. He went deeper than that. How I behaved, how I conducted myself is all from John.

"He encouraged so many people to take up the sport and excel than what they would have been without him."

Derrick was replaced as coach in 2006 but continued to work in Welsh cricket and play for his club Aberdare, as well as showing his expertise as a BBC Wales commentator.

He was appointed national performance director of the Cricket Board of Wales in 2010 and at the time of his illness, he was pursuing a hectic schedule developing future generations of Welsh talent.

He managed Wales's age-group sides for both boys and girls as well as the senior Wales women's side, attending matches throughout the summer and running nets through the winter.

A fundraising dinner organised by Glamorgan and the Professional Cricketers' Association in December of 2016 paid for modifications to his house, so that he could continue to live at home while undergoing chemotherapy.

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