TRIBUTES have been paid to a musician who shared the stage with some of the UK’s biggest artists.
Derek Williams, or Dek Dooley as he was better known, died on March 6 at Wrexham Maelor Hospital following a short illness.
Dek was a top attraction in Wrexham and the North West during the 1960s with his band Dek Dooley and the Dominators, where he played on the same bill as the likes of The Hollies, The Merseybeats and The Searchers, playing venues in Wrexham and also iconic clubs like the Cavern in Liverpool.
Later he was also in the band Daybreak during the 1970s and ‘80s which performed all over the North West.
One of his roadies Geoff Roberts said Dek was a fantastic musician and one of the best in the North West area during the time.
Dek was educated at Grove Park Grammar School, Wrexham and started work in the 1950s as an apprentice atLlay and Gresford collieries.
During this time he was given a banjo by his uncle Gordon Reynolds and played skiffle music in small venues like the Tanyfron Youth Club with a band called The Lovely Men, who were influenced by the rock ’n’ roll of stars such as Chuck Berry.
Dek later became an electrician and owned the local business Clwyd Engineering Services.
He lived with his wife Sheila Williams in Llay. She said: “He was such a special and talented person, with a unique sense of humour and dry wit. He was loved by many people from different walks of life and will be greatly missed.”
Dek was an avid Harley Davidson fan and last year he lived his dream of travelling on the legendary Route 66 in America, from Chicago to Santa Monica, on a Harley Softale Classic.
He rode the route bearing the Welsh flag.
Dek was also involved in the Deva Legion Harley Owners Club, based in Chester, organising and taking part in rides to raise money for charity.
He was also a keen follower of Wales’ rugby union team and followed them both home and away for 20 years.
Dek’s funeral was held yesterday at Pentrebychan Crematorium.