Derek, along with his twin brother Allan and older brother Graeme, attended Barnhill Primary School, and Monifieth High School. Both were walking distance from their house, outside Dundee on the east coast of Scotland. Derek and Allan his twin were above average students, not top of the class, but not bottom either, top quartile you would probably call it. Which was not bad considering being twins they only had half a brain each!
With primary school the subjects are all the same, and Derek and Allan always sat together. At senior school although they continued to sit together, they further developed their own characters and ambitions, Derek excelling in languages, Allan preferring the numbers/accounting classes. One class session, they decided to swap class, so Derek ended up in accounting, and Allan in German. With identikit school uniforms and very similar looks and physique, the only way teachers spotted the difference between them was the side their hair parted on! So Derek sat in accounting learning debits and credits, and Allan in German learning Deutsch sprechen! Laughter soon erupted between the classes as the teachers found out as the twins could not answer the questions they were asked! Fortunately the teachers found it funny! Staying and studying from home was beneficial to Derek as he excelled in tennis and squash, playing for Scotland at various junior and senior levels. At the same time, their mother would have such a mountain of smelly sports kit (all three brothers played sport to an international level) to wash every weekend from all the matches and tournaments!
After senior school, the twins enrolled at University of Abertay, Dundee, to study Commerce, with Derek opting for languages route. The four year course awarded Derek an Honours Degree, and he graduated in June 1992, after which he used his German skills to work a ‘gap’ year in Dresden, East Germany.
Tragically on 6 November 2020 Derek’s identical twin Allan was killed in a hit and run accident in Bahrain where he lived and worked. He was a talented triathlete and ironman and was out on a training cycle run when the accident happened.