Derrick George Godwin

Derrick George Godwin

Age: 24

Gloucestershire's Derrick George Godwin was described at the inquests as sincere, thoughtful and hard-working. He was said to be clever and methodical too, and an avid collector of stamps in his younger days.

Derrick became hooked on Liverpool FC after watching a cup game against Oxford and went on to work in the accounts department of Allied Dunbar. His mother Margaret said: "From the moment of his birth until his death, he gave us untold joy. Every day we think about him and what might have been."

Portrait by his mother Margaret Godwin

My son, Derrick George Godwin, was born on 24 October, 1964 at the Querns Hospital in Cirencester in Gloucestershire. He was our first born, and our hearts were filled with joy when Derrick was born, and three years later we were so blessed when our daughter, Valerie, was born. Our family was complete.

I had suffered a miscarriage between Derrick's birth and conceiving Valerie. We were so thankful to have two healthy children.

Derrick was a happy, contented child. He went to the local Church of England primary school in Lechlade, where we have lived all our lives. After primary school, Derrick went to Farmors Secondary School at Fairford. 

Derrick was a quiet person by nature. He was neat and tidy and very methodical in everything that he did. He was quite good at all subjects at school but he was very keen on languages: he was quite fluent in French and understood Spanish.

He really liked Geography and one day in particular springs to mind when he was about 14 years of age. One of his friends was listening to the local radio station and they wanted people to phone into the station to challenge the presenter on any subject. He nominated Derrick, unbeknown to him, on capital cities of countries, and Derrick answered every one and - would you believe it - the presenter ran out of countries!

Derrick was keen on sports and when he was about 14 years of age, he joined Lechlade Cricket Club and played with them throughout his teens and into adulthood. He was a very good bowler, but not so good at batting. He also joined Lechlade Football Club, but did not play very often, and he decided that it was better to watch football than to play it. He was also into snooker and darts.

We had a snooker table and a darts board at home, and he liked nothing better than to play snooker and darts with his friends in the house. He was so quick at mental arithmetic and found keeping score very easy. He was a popular member of the cricket club and took part in the cricket club pantomime; he even played the part of a vicar one year. Derrick was quiet and reserved by nature and playing in the pantomime helped him gain more confidence and to be more outgoing.

Derrick was very helpful by nature. His dad was a builder and stonemason and built our family home. We also have a very large back garden. Derrick always helped in both the house and the garden. He would mow the lawn and help his dad when he was doing some building work in the house. He was a good boy, well behaved, polite and courteous. He had a good sense of humour. He grew into a fine young man, well grounded, sincere, thoughtful and hard working.

Derrick was an avid stamp collector when younger, spending all his pocket money and birthday money on stamps. He invested in first day covers. We still have his collection. He was also into music. He was very organised around his music and he would record the 'Top of the Pops' and keep a record of exactly who performed and what was in the Top 20.

When Derrick left school at 17, he went on a YTS scheme to work at the Cotswold District Council in the offices. He gained experience there and moved on to PHH (insurance) in Swindon and then on to Allied Dunbar - now Zurich International - where he worked in the accounts department. He worked there for four years. He enjoyed his work there and had many friends from his work.

Derrick loved to watch football and when he went to work in Swindon, he joined the Swindon Town Football Club Supporters' Club and travelled to every away match with them. One day, he went to see Oxford United v Liverpool in a cup match and from then on he got hooked on Liverpool and the following season he became a season ticket holder on the Kop.

His dad used to say to him, 'Always stand in front of the crush barrier', which we are sure that he did. For all home matches, he would drive to Cheltenham station, change trains at Birmingham and then on to Liverpool. He would meet up with his football colleagues on the Kop.

Derrick did not drink, and he did not smoke. He was a regular young man with his whole life in front of him. He was our only son. From the moment of his birth until his death, he gave us untold joy. Every day we think about him and what might have been.

I clearly remember that on the morning of the semi-final, when he left home, his dad said to him, 'I hope Liverpool win, Derrick', to which he replied, 'Oh, they will win, Dad'.

Little did we realise, they would be the last words we would ever hear him say.

You'll Never Walk Alone

Rest in Peace