Derek Schofield (left) and Matt Sheader enjoyed success on the international stage

Obituary: Derek Schofield, world champion and VETTS founder

Paul Stimpson

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Derek Schofield, a veterans’ world champion and former chairman and president of VETTS, has died at the age of 90.

A formidable defensive player, Derek won Men’s Doubles gold in the Over-50 category at the World Veteran Championships in 1984, alongside Matt Sheader.

The pair went on to enjoy much success together, adding golds in the Over-60 category in 1992 and 1994 as well as gold in the O60s Men’s Doubles at the European Veteran Championships in 1995. Derek also won a number of minor medals in O50, O60 and O70 classes at the two events, alongside Sheader, Terry Donlon and M Wood.

Derek reached a senior ranking high of No 6 in England and competed at one European Championships, in 1966, reaching the round of 64 in the Men’s Singles.

He competed at several English Opens, with a best performance of last 16 in both the Men’s Singles and Men’s Doubles and the last 32 of the Mixed, alongside his wife Doreen.

He represented Cheshire in the County Championships, making more than 100 appearances between 1952 and 1971 and won a stack of Open tournaments across the country as well as Closed tournaments in Cheshire and Lancashire.

Off the table, Derek was a founder member of VETTS (Veterans English Table Tennis Society), holding the position of Chairman from 1984 to 1998 and President for 20 years until 2018.

He became a Vice-President of the then ETTA in 1992, an Honorary Life Member of VETTS in 1998 and was awarded the Mike Watts Memorial Trophy in 2017.

For Cheshire TTA, he was President from 1978-80, having been National Councillor from 1973 to 1978.

He was also non-playing captain of the England team for internationals against Scotland and West Germany in 1969.

Derek’s funeral will take place on Tuesday February 25th, at 11.15am at St George’s Church, Heaviley, Stockport, SK2 6NU. This will be followed by refreshments at the Alma Lodge hotel, Heaviley, Stockport, SK2 6EL.

Please RSVP to Derek’s daughter Jill via [email protected] so that she can have an idea of numbers.

Derek as England non-playing captain

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