He became Commonwealth and European Champion in the 4x400m relay in 1986, World Silver medalist in 1987 and triumphed in 1991 World Championships when he and his 3 team members defied statistics and defeated the Americans, bringing home the 4x400m Gold Medal for Great Britain. One of the most significant and inspiring moments recorded in the history of Athletics took place at the Barcelona Olympics with Derek taking centre stage. Having been plagued by injury throughout his athletic career, Derek was tipped to win gold for Great Britain. Tragedy struck when 150m into the race, in a dominant position, looking and feeling great, Derek's hamstring snapped. In this powerful, emotional and heart rending moment, the crowds roared as Derek got up and hobbled the remaining 250 metres of the race with the aid of his father. The footage of this passionate and emotional moment will be used for years to come, to highlight the enormity of this individual's determination and pride was found in a television commercial for Visa Go World: The official sponsors of the 2008 Olympics. His sense of pride, passion and sheer determination made Derek get up and finish the race that he knew he had already lost, but on that has earned him the right to become the awe inspiring public speaker that he is today. Drawing on his experiences as an athlete, a coach and both a radio and TV presenter, Derek relives some of his track memories, talking to individuals and organisations on the dynamics of teamwork, goal setting and overcoming obstacles.
Derek has been a regular on television and radio, including commentating for Eurosport and appearances on programmes as diverse as Noel's House Party and Equinox. He also presented a prime time basketball show for ITV.
Derek has done much work with UK Athletics, identifying talented young athletes, inspiring them to commit to their discipline and providing them with the necessary facilities and support structure to enable them to progress from school level to Junior International. Derek is very committed to this role and is further inspired by the goal of seeing the British team exceed expectations in 2012.Derek has recently traded in his Lycra for leathers and taken to the tracks of Donnington Park Race Course with the former Grand Prix racer, Ron Haslam. His new passion for motorcycles has also taken him through the dusty outbacks of Africa on a 1700km adventure through the isolated terrain of the famous Wild Coast.
Derek draws on his vast experiences as an international sportsman to provide a fascinating and inspirational platform for his motivational speeches. In telling his story, Derek takes the audience on a rollercoaster ride of emotions, but also explains the secrets of his success – both as an individual and within a team.