Obituary: Tributes to MT Heads founder Derrick ‘Dez’ Warner

Date published: 15 August 2015

Members of the MT Heads Motorcycle club have paid tribute to their founder, Derrick ‘Dez’ Warner, following his death on Wednesday 5 August.

Dez, who suffered from Cystic Fibrosis (CF), died at the age of 42, due to complications with his illness.

Born on 24 December 1972, Dez spent all of his life in Rochdale. He was the youngest child of Geoff and Dot Warner and was brought up with his older brothers Craig and Wayne.

He has been described as an “inspirational son who made his parents proud” and “an amazing dad” to sons Jack and Kail, as well as a loving grandfather to Jack and Ember.

Just over ten years ago, Dez decided that he wanted a motorbike licence after developing his love of bikes from a young age. Upon getting his licence, Dez wanted to be part of a bike community who saw life his way and this is what inspired him to set up the MT Heads.

Speaking about Dez, a spokesperson for the group said: “Without Dez’s influence there would be no MT Heads Motorcycle Club today, no parties, no rallies or the rock nights that we are renowned for. Each and every one of you who knows an MT Head does so because of Dez.”

Paying tribute to Dez, his brother Craig Warner said: “He didn’t mince his words and if he didn’t agree with something he would let you know straight away. He was a loveable rogue, and sometimes not that loveable! He was always positive and always fought. He never gave up.”

Best friend Sean Holt said: “Dez to me was a best friend, a brother and a father figure all in one. I did my best to support him as a friend with life, relationships and his health. Whether it was nagging him to take his medicine, do his physio, driving him to hospital appointments or just giving his head a wobble with relationship stuff.

“We knew each other’s personalities inside out. We could tell you what the other was thinking. He really was my best friend and was supposed to be my best man when I get married.

“I was always there for him when I could be. He equally supported me and always had the answers to my dilemmas. He had the mind of a 25-year-old but the wisdom of a pensioner.”

Geoff Lyon, who helped Dez with starting up the MT Heads, said: “He would do anything for you and always had time to do things for you. From starting the club, Dez’s influence has spread far and wide.”

Dez spent a lot of time in Wythenshawe Hospital where he was treated on the Doyle Ward for twenty seven years. He would also spend time raising funds to buy televisions for the ward and would encourage the doctors to consider cycling as an alternative therapy.

He also spent time raising awareness of CF and would use social media to raise awareness of the condition to support others and promote the organ donor register.

Over 200 bikers are expected set to say goodbye to Dez on Tuesday 18 August.

The bikes will be following the hearse from Dacre Road, Queensway, past Sandbrook Park and down Roch Valley Way. The bikes will not be stopping for traffic lights, so drivers are being asked to be cautious as the cortege passes. Marshalls will be in place during this time.

They are leaving Dacre Road at 1:10pm and are aiming to be at the cemetery for 1:30pm.

After the funeral, everyone will be head to The Flying Horse Hotel to share their memories of Dez.

Do you have a story for us?

Let us know by emailing
All contact will be treated in confidence.

To contact the Rochdale Online news desk, email or visit our news submission page.

To get the latest news on your desktop or mobile, follow Rochdale Online on Twitter and Facebook.