Tough guy exterior hid a heart bigger than the man himself
With Derek Davis, what you saw wasn't all you got. There was plenty to be got from the public personality of this larger-than-life character, in every sense of the phrase, but there was a lot more which only his family and friends were privileged to see.
I was one of the privileged. Life kept bumping us into one another; first at school, then at university and finally in RTÉ. He was a self-made man - not in the usual definition of making money, but someone who had the talent and determination to become what he decided to be; from bullied schoolboy to bouncer in some of Belfast's toughest clubs; from showband roadie to news reporter for the American network ABC, then RTÉ; and from there to all-round entertainer and master of the 'Rose of Tralee'.