As the news sinks in of Manticore's passing, which has come as a shock, I just wanted to reflect a little and pay tribute to one of the greatest posters in this sites history. Not done something like this before so please bear with me.
Like most people on here, I got to know Derek through this website and was lucky enough to get to know him away from the site as well as we shared similar interests including Rangers and we both enjoyed debating issues from football, to music, to politics, to religion and other stuff as well. Derek was a formidable debater who used to madden me with his arguments and tying me up in knots over the arguments I presented. I know I was not the only one on here who that happened to! However, his intellect and ability to present an argument was second to none and although we occasionally disagreed on things, I always respected his point of view and how he made his argument, and it really was a pleasure to debate with him. The debating chamber will be a more boring place without him.
Away from here, Derek was great company and on several occasions I was in his company at various grounds including Ibrox, Gayfield, Ochilview and Tynecastle. Also on occasion we would meet up for drinks before games and it always a good laugh and a pleasure to be in his company. One thing I found was every time I met him, I would learn something new about something and there are not many people I can say the same about. He was a good educator in that regard. Indeed some of the stories he would tell of his many years following Rangers all Scotland and Europe were absolutely brilliant and would have me in stitches. He showed a lot of commitment to Rangers and went the extra mile to show his support for our great club he loved so much.
Last year, I got word that he had taken seriously ill and had been taken to hospital in Dumfries and I was shocked to find out it was leukemia he had. He spent a good number of weeks in isolation at the hospital and during that time I traveled down to see him. Although very fragile he was still great company and in good spirits and lesser men would not have endured all those weeks in hospital. He had his reading material and music which I imagine helped keep him from going mad in there, I know I would have struggled to cope. When he came out I met up with him and he was looking much better and I thought that would be it clear.
I was not aware he had become ill again and the news of his passing came as a huge shock when I heard last night. It was only a few days ago we were debating on here and it never dawned on me that it would be our last communication. All of leaves a whole load of 'what ifs', however I am sure he would not want any time wasted on thinking along those lines.
Derek as well as being a great Rangers fan, was a great person and a total gent. The tributes paid to him on here go to show how well respected he was even if you didnt always agree with him. It has been a pleasure knowing him and I will miss him a lot, as will many people on here and of course those he was close to in real life away from internet-land. He enriched many people lives with his presence and will be sorely missed.
RIP Derek, a great Bear, but more importantly, a great human being who may be gone but will never be forgotten.
Thanks for the memories.