Derek was just 18 years of age and straight out of Schoolboy football when he made his debut for Shamrock Rovers in 1989. A product of the renowned junior club Belvedere FC, Derek was handed his competitive debut by the then Hoops’ manager Noel King in the first round of the Leinster Senior Cup against St. James’s Gate at Iveagh Grounds. Little did anyone present that day realise that Derek would spend the next seventeen years of his career playing in the famous green and white. He played all of his senior football at one club only and was a favourite amongst the Hoops’ support who affectionately called the Howth native the ‘Fisherman’.
During his League of Ireland career at Shamrock Rovers, Derek proved himself to be a versatile player lining out in defence, midfield and up front at various stages of his career. He made an astonishing 486 competitive appearances during his career and scored 47 goals during that time.
Derek captained the Hoops to a famous victory in the final of the Leinster Senior Cup in 1997 against a much fancied Shelbourne at Tolka Park. After he finally left Shamrock Rovers Derek joined Leinster Senior League club Phoenix FC. He has continued to support the Hoops as a fan and is a regular at home games at Tallaght Stadium.