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Details of RBL Chapel branch president's funeral confirmed

Derek Eley BEM. Image credit: RBL Chapel branch.

The funeral of the former president of the Chapel-en-le-Frith branch of the Royal British Legion will take place on Friday (10 September).

Derek Eley BEM sadly passed away on Friday 13 August at the age of 103. 

Tributes poured in for the lifelong Derby County fan, who was a staunch supporter of the RBL and an honorary freeman of Chapel. 

The funeral cortege will leave his home at 12.30pm to travel down the main road to Town End Methodist Church for a 1pm service. 

A spokesperson for the RBL Chapel branch said: "Due to social distancing and restrictions in church, the family have had to make the hard decision of who to invite inside. If you haven't had an invite and you wish to show your respects, please line the roadside from 12.15pm at Crossings Road, Manchester Road, and Market Street.

"There will be speakers outside at church with limited standing room and the whole service will be live streamed if you want to watch from home.

"After the service, Derek's funeral cortege will again return back through Chapel at approximately 2pm towards Whaley Bridge for a private Cremation service.

"Please remember we are still in a pandemic, please adhere to social distancing rules and masks are to be worn if you can wear one to keep everyone safe." 

People can watch the funeral service online here: https://vimeo.com/event/1217200/9a6ef149cc

The above link won't be live until 1pm on the day and people can watch it up until 17 September. 

The country's oldest football fan? 

Derek was born in Matlock in Derbyshire on 18 November 1917. 

He attended New Mills Grammar School leaving in 1933 at the age of 16 to become a cashier at Ferodo, a brake-lining manufacturing company in Chapel-en-le-Frith. 

Mr Eley was a staunch supporter of the RBL but the Covid-19 pandemic meant in 2020 for the first time in more than 70 years he wasn’t been able to the collect funds for the Poppy Appeal. 

Still keen to raise money for the charity, for his 103rd birthday in November, he asked for people to donate to the RBL and hoped to raise £103, a total of more than £670 was raised. 

Mr Eley was an honorary freeman of the town in recognition of his gallant and distinguished service during the Second World War and long service to the Royal British Legion. 

Widely regarded as the country's oldest football fan, Derek cheered on his beloved Derby County for nearly 90 years without a break, except to serve his country in World War Two. There was a special tribute on the big screen at Pride Park and a minute's applause before the Rams' goalless draw with Middlesbrough in the Championship on 21 August. 

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