Ebbsfleet United were saddened to hear of the death of one of our former players, Derek Styles. He was 77.
Derek played for the club between 1957 and 1961, making 57 appearances. A local player, he was signed by manager Lionel Smith in 1957 as Gravesend & Northfleet went on to win the Southern League but was largely a reserve in that season. He made his debut in November 1958 against Yeovil Town as the Fleet finished as Southern League runners-up.
Derek played alongside many of the Fleet greats of that era including Jimmy Logie, Jimmy Scarth, Peter Heathcote, Bob Thomas, Jimmy Robertson, Harry McDonald, Jackie Bridge and Sam Chambers. He scored three goals in his time at Stonebridge Road and after departing in 1961, he returned for one game against Clacton Town at the end of the 1962/63 season.
Derek passed away on 7th July – as a proud ex-player of the Fleet, and a fan of Tottenham Hotspur, his passing came at an incredibly unfortunate time as he was dearly looking forward to the two clubs meeting on Saturday. The Fleet played a large part in his life and he was always proud to say he was a part of the club’s family.
Away from football, Derek served an apprenticeship at J&E Halls Dartford and worked at DR Supplies in Gravesend. His funeral will be held at Thamesview Crematorium on Thursday July 20th at 11am and afterwards at Higham Village Club, Hermitage Road. The family asks that no flowers are sent but instead donations made to Cancer Research and/or Ellenor Hospice.
All at the Fleet wish to pass on our sympathies to family and friends Jill, Debbie, Lisa, Marion, Malcolm, Nicola, Claire, Kezi, Safiye, Daniel and Jamie.