|Full name||Derek Johnstone Townsley|
|Date of birth||21 January 1973|
|Place of birth||Carlisle, England|
|1996–1999||Queen of the South||59||(18)|
|2007||Newcastle Blue Star|
|* 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
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. Including an early career appearance for Jamie McAllister, 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.
Motherwell and Hibernian
He was then signed by Hibernian manager Alex McLeish in July 2001 after his contract with Motherwell expired. 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
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.
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. 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.
- "Club History" on the official Queen of the South website Archived 13 September 2009 at the Wayback Machine
- Jamie McAllister interview on www.qosfc.com Archived 18 August 2009 at the Wayback Machine
- Tommy Bryce profile on "Queens Legends" on the official Queen of the South FC website Archived 26 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine
- Motherwell FC News, motherwellfc.org.
- Hibs land Townsley, BBC Sport, 9 July 2001.
- When Mick arrived we stopped playing with a smile, says Tosh, News and Star, 5 June 2008.
- Townsley, Inglis arrive at Annan, BBC Sport, 18 July 2008.
- Annan add Aitken, lose Townsley, BBC Sport, 12 May 2010.
- Jeffrey, Jim (2005). The Men Who Made Hibernian F.C. since 1946. Tempus Publishing Ltd. ISBN 0-7524-3091-2.