Derek Townsley

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Derek Townsley
Personal information
Full name Derek Johnstone Townsley
Date of birth (1973-01-21) 21 January 1973 (age 46)
Place of birth Carlisle, England
Playing position Midfielder
Youth career
Carlisle United
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
0000–1996 Gretna
1996–1999 Queen of the South 59 (18)
1999–2001 Motherwell 54 (6)
2001–2003 Hibernian 43 (9)
2003–2004 Oxford United 11 (0)
2004–2007 Gretna 84 (23)
2007 Workington
2007 Newcastle Blue Star
2007–2008 Penrith Town
2008–2010 Annan Athletic 36 (1)
Teams managed
2015–2017 Workington
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 2 June 2010

Derek Johnstone Townsley (born 21 January 1973 in Carlisle) is an English former professional footballer. His clubs included Gretna, Queen of the South, Motherwell, Hibernian and Oxford United. Townsley was normally a midfielder, although he was a versatile player and also played in attack and defence.


Gretna (first spell) and Queen of the South[edit]

Prior to being a fully professional footballer, Townsley worked as a postman. While in his first spell with Gretna, who were a Northern Premier League club at the time, he played in the FA Cup 1st round match against the First Division side Bolton. Townsley scored in the match but Gretna lost 3–2.

He began his senior career in 1996 when he joined Dumfries side Queen of the South, with chairman Norman Blount getting the wheels moving on the club's revival. Townsley's creative talents made him a mainstay of the team as the club were rebuilding in the late 1990s.[1] Including an early career appearance for Jamie McAllister,[2] the club reached the Scottish Challenge Cup final for the first time in 1997. Second Division Queens lost 1–0 to First Division side Falkirk at Fir Park. Townsley had a late chance to score an equaliser teed up by man of the match Tommy Bryce. Townsley's shot went over the bar.[3]

Motherwell and Hibernian[edit]

Townsley moved into full-time football for the first time at the age of 26 when he joined Motherwell on 31 May 1999.[4]

He was then signed by Hibernian manager Alex McLeish in July 2001 after his contract with Motherwell expired.[5] Townsley struggled to hold down a place under the management of McLeish, but he got into the team more regularly after Bobby Williamson was appointed manager in February 2002. Townsley also popped up with a few goals, including one in a remarkable Edinburgh derby that finished 4–4. Townsley left Hibs at the end of his contract to sign for Oxford United.

Oxford United, Gretna (second spell) and later career[edit]

Townsley only stayed with Oxford for six months before returning to Gretna. Now bankrolled by Brooks Mileson, Townsley re-joined a vastly different club to the non-league outfit that he left early in his career. He played an important part in Gretna's successive promotions and played in the 2006 Scottish Cup Final. The team was then largely 'ripped apart' by Director of Football, Mick Wadsworth, in preparation for their only season in the Scottish Premier League.[6]

He moved to Workington in February 2007, before moving onto Newcastle Blue Star and Penrith Town. In July 2008, Townsley signed for Scottish Football League newcomers Annan Athletic as a player and assistant manager.[7] He announced his retirement from playing at the end of the 2009–10 season, also choosing to step down from his assistant position at the same time.[8]


  • Jeffrey, Jim (2005). The Men Who Made Hibernian F.C. since 1946. Tempus Publishing Ltd. ISBN 0-7524-3091-2.

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