Coronation Street legend Eileen Derbyshire’s beloved husband of 56 years dies after battle with Alzheimer’s
Coronation Street legend Eileen Derbyshire’s beloved husband of 56 years has died after a battle with Alzheimer’s has died, her son has revealed.
The 89-year-old actress’s longtime partner Thomas W. Holt passed away last weekend, with the couple’s only son, Mail On Sunday’s Oliver Holt, at his bedside.
Eileen, who has played Emily Bishop on the hit ITV soap for 58 years, first met former engineer Thomas in 1964, and then went on to reside in a large cottage in Cheshire.
Heartbreaking: Coronation Street legend Eileen Derbyshire’s beloved husband of 56 years has died after a battle with Alzheimer’s has died, her son has revealed
Writing in his column, he recounted how his dad had taken him to his first game at Stockport County’s grounds Edgeley Park, connecting his mourning with a realisation of what football really means to fans.
He wrote: ‘My dad never forgot Stockport even when he was deep into his struggle with Alzheimer’s Disease. He wanted to go back there and revisit all the places of his youth. Sometimes, he asked me if I’d give him the bus fare for the journey.
‘Now and then, in between drives up into the Peak District, I’d take him back to Manchester Road so we could look at his old house and drive past the George & Dragon where his dad used to go for a few pints.
‘Sometimes, I’d drive him past Edgeley Park, too, past the spot we parked on that Monday evening nearly 42 years ago. It was part of our history.
‘Taking me there was one of the many things I was grateful to him for. And so, County and Stockport Viaduct, a landmark of which he was inordinately proud, were two of the last things I mentioned to him before he died last weekend.
‘He was unconscious by the time I arrived but, after I had been sitting at his bedside for a while, I told him I’d been to watch the home game against Sutton United 10 days earlier.
‘I told him that when I sat down, I’d made a point of glancing over – just as I always do – to the seats in Section A where we sat that first time he took me to Edgeley Park. I told him I could still see the man in the sheepskin jacket. I told him I could still smell the cigar smoke.’
Adding to the poignant words, Oliver delved into the family archives to share a series of personal pictures of his late father during happier times.
Oliver’s mother Eileen, who hold the distinction of being the longest serving woman on long-running soap Corrie, departed from the show in 2015.
At the time, the private screen star was given time off my bosses of the show for personal reasons, though producers left the door open for a possible return.
Her character was shown departing the familiar cobbles of Coronation Street to spend time in South America with her nephew Geoffrey ‘Spider’ Nugent, who was played by Martin Hancock.
She returned to make a cameo appearance as part of the celebrations for Ken Barlow’s (William Roache) 80th birthday in October 2019, as she was seen sharing well wishes in a video message.