Mike is searching for old school friends from Sale to make his birthday dream come true

By Peter Trollope at

Can you help  and make someone birthday wishes come true?

This is Michael Merrill standing outside Sale Grammar School for Boys in the early 1960’s.  He was in the 4th year at the time and best friends with Paul Derbyshire and John Degg but he lost touch in the intervening years. Now Mike, who will be 70 this September,  would love to make contact with his old friends.

Mike outside Sale Grammar School

‘”You would think it would be easy – but we can’t find any trace of them,”said Mike’s daughter, Amanda Merrill-Skelton.

”They are my dad’s old best friends from his days at Sale Grammar School for Boys.  They attended in the years 1959-66.

“The first is Paul Derbyshire born in Sale 1948 (but we think at birth he was registered as Norman). His mum was called Joan (nee Smeddle) and I think he lived down the Avenue in Sale where my dad lived too. His mum apparently bred Bedlan terriers and Elsie Tanner from Corrie apparently bought one from them.

“The second person we are trying to trace is John Degg , who was  born in Sale 1948 and attended Sale Grammar. We have found their birth registers, but after that we are drawing complete blanks – so we are contacting Sale Today to see if you can help.

“The reason we are doing this is that we are trying to trace Paul and John as they were my dads best friends and as children he would mention them all the time but I guess back then in the 50’s and 60’s it wasn’t easy to keep in touch and they lost contact after school.
“My Dad is turning 70 in September and we are trying to make contact with them or any of his old Sale Grammar class mates. Fingers crossed you can help in any way and help reunite these old best friends. We are now based in York so not a million miles away. ”

Amanda knows that Paul Derbyshire won his cricket colours for the school, and that Mike used to play for the school team, as well being a prefect at the school.

Mike’s old prefect badge from Sale Grammar

The Sale Boys’ Grammar School was demolished in 1991/2,

If you know what happened to Paul Derbyshire and John Degg, please contact Sale Today, and we will forward the details on to Mike –