Derek Morris, founder of MV Sports and Leisure, passed away on Sunday 5th July.
Derek was born on 15th May 1930 in Birmingham where his father was a local builder and director of Birmingham City Football Club. Derek had a lifelong association with Birmingham City, where he was a supporter and season ticket holder for many years.
Derek was involved in many businesses, most of them linked to the toy industry. In the 1970s, he started Morris Vulcan manufacturing roller skates in his home town of Solihull. At one time it was producing 3,500 pairs a day. It was also one of the first companies to produce skateboards.
Derek started MV Sports and Leisure in the early 1980s. The company still exists today as part of the Tandem Group. Much of MV’s success was built on character licences such as Barbie, My Little Pony and Thomas the Tank Engine.
Derek organised golf days to support the Roy Castle cancer charity and raised thousands of pounds on each occasion. The events were attended by local celebrities from Birmingham and Coventry City FC as well as the likes of Willy Thorne, Jasper Carrott and former international cricketers.