Wigan Grammar School
Staff Appreciations




Derek Eccles joined the staff of the School in 1954 after completing his studies at Bristol University and National service in the Royal Artillery. His enthusiasm for the languages of French and German inspired many a pupil to pursue their studies further at University, or to take advantage of their basic knowledge of vocabulary lists and tenses of verbs half-forgotten, when on holiday on the continent of Europe.

Derek came to School with a wealth of knowledge and experience as a scout and became involved with the School Scout Troop. He made a significant contribution in the week-to-week activities of the troop and gave freely of his spare time during the holidays to take the Scouts to camps at home and abroad. Mr Savigny retired from the position of group Scoutmasters in 1960. Derek took on the mantle and continued in the role for several years.

It is probably for his involvement with football that most “old boys” will remember him. He was secretary of the Area Grammar Schools for Wigan, Bolton and Bury Under 19’s for many years and manager/coach of the School 1 st XI at a time when Grammar Schools were playing to a very high standard. The School won the Mackereth Cup on two occasions and were more than a match for most of the other schools in Lancashire. A number of his players gained representative honours – just reward for their commitment to training and Derek’s coaching on several days each week. Trips to away matches and representative fixtures were never without the added interest of the “reliability” of Derek’s somewhat ancient but beloved car. Would they arrive and would they return?

In 1967 Derek left the School to continue his career at Smithills Grammar School in Bolton – a step which brought him nearer to home, and then at Bolton North Sixth Form College from where he retired in 1990