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Derby County FC

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Derby County FC

Derby County
Badge of Derby County F.C.
Full name Derby County Football Club
Nickname(s) The Rams
Founded 5 February 1884
by William Morley
Ground Pride Park Stadium
Derby, England
(Capacity 33,597)
Chairman Andrew Appleby
Head Coach Steve McClaren
League Championship
2012–13 Championship, 10th
Home colours
Away colours
Current season

Derby County Football Club /ˈdɑrbi ˈknti/ is an English football club based in Derby, England. Notable for being one of the twelve members of the Football League in 1888, it is one of only ten clubs to have competed in every season of the English football league and, in 2009, was ranked 137th in the top 200 European football teams of the 20th century by International Federation of Football History and Statistics.[1]

Derby County F.C. was founded in 1884, by William Morley, as an offshoot of Derbyshire County Cricket Club; it has spent all but four seasons in the top two divisions of the English football league. The club's competitive peak came in the 1970s when it had two spells as English League Champions and competed in major European competitions on four separate occasions, reaching the European Cup semi-finals, as well as winning several minor trophies. The club was also a strong force in the interwar years of the football league and also won the 1945–46 FA Cup.

The club adopted its now traditional black and white club colours in the 1890s and appropriated its club nickname The Rams, a tribute to its links with the First Regiment of Derby Militia, which took a ram as its mascot and the song "The Derby Ram" as its regimental song,[2] at the same time. Home games are played at the Pride Park Stadium, located in Pride Park, Derby, where the club moved in 1997. As of 2013, the club plays in the Football League Championship and are managed by Steve McClaren.


Derby County F.C. was formed in 1884 as an offshoot of Derbyshire County Cricket Club in an attempt to give players and supporters a winter interest as well as secure the cricket club extra revenue. The original intention was to name the club "Derbyshire County F.C." to highlight the link, though the Derbyshire FA, formed in 1883, objected on the grounds it was too long and therefore would not have been understood by the fans who may mistake it for a Derbyshire FA team. Playing their home matches at the cricket club’s Racecourse Ground, 1884/85 saw the club undertake an extensive programme of friendly matches, the first of which was a 6–0 defeat to Great Lever on 13 September 1884. The club’s first competitive match came in the 1885 FA Cup, where they lost 7–0 at home to Walsall Town.

Arguably the most important game in the club's history came in the following season's FA Cup, when a 2–0 victory over Aston Villa, already an emerging force in English football, helped establish Derby County F.C. on the English football map, helping the club to attract better opposition for friendlies and, in 1888, an invitation into the inaugural Football League. The opening day of the first ever league season was 8 September 1888, when Derby came from 3–0 down away to Bolton Wanderers to win 6–3, though the club ultimately finished 10th out of 12 teams. They absorbed another Derby club, Derby Midland F.C., who had been members of the Midland League, in 1891, leaving them as Derby's sole professional football club. Steve Bloomer, generally considered to be Derby County's best-ever player, joined the club in 1892. In 1895 the club moved to a new stadium, The Baseball Ground (so called because it was previously used for baseball), which became their home for the next 102 years and adopted their traditional colours of black and white. Although Derby were inconsistent in the league, though they did finish runners-up to Aston Villa on 1896 as well as achieving a number of third place finishes, they were a strong force in the FA Cup, appearing in three finals in six years around the turn of the 20th Century, though lost all three, in 1898 (3–1 to Nottingham Forest,[3] 1899 (4–1 to Sheffield United)[4] and 1903 (6–0 to Bury.[5] Bloomer was sold to Middlesbrough, due to financial constraints, in 1906 and the club subsequently suffered its first ever relegation following season,[6] but under Jimmy Methven's management they re-signed Steve Bloomer and regained their First Division place in 1911.[6] In 1914 they were relegated again, but instantly won the Second Division to get promoted[6] (though World War I meant that they had to wait until 1919 to play First Division football again). After two seasons, they were relegated yet again in 1921. However, the appointment of George Jobey in 1925 kick-started a successful period for the Rams and, after promotion in 1926,[6] the club became a formidable force, with high finishes from the late 1920s and all through the 1930s.,[6] including finishing runners up twice.

Derby were one of several clubs to close down during the Second World War but restarted in the early 1940s, in part due to the persistence of Jack Nicholas and Jack Webb. Aided by the adding of Raich Carter and Peter Doherty, who had both been stationed in Loughborough during the War, Derby were one step ahead of the opposition when competitive football resumed with the 1946 FA Cup and won their first major trophy with a 4–1 victory over Charlton Athletic[7] The League restarted the following season after a break due to World War II and, under the management of Stuart McMillan, as well as twice breaking the British transfer record to sign Billy Steel and Johnny Morris to replace Carter and Doherty, finished fourth and third in the 1948 and 1949 seasons respectively, before a steady decline set in and the club was relegated in 1953, after nearly 30 years in the top flight, and again in 1955 to drop to the third tier of English football for the first time in their history.[6] Harry Storer led Derby back into the second tier at the second attempt in 1957, though the club progressed no further over the next decade under either Storer or his successor, former Derby player Tim Ward.

In 1967, Brian Clough and Peter Taylor took over and led them to their greatest glory. Having clinched the influential signing of Dave Mackay, Derby were promoted to the First Division in 1969, finished fourth in 1970,[6] got banned from competing in Europe due to financial irregularities in 1971 and won their first ever Football League Championship in 1972.[6] Though Derby did not retain their title the following season, they did reach the semi-finals of the European Cup. They lost to Juventus in a controversial match which was subject to subsequent allegations that the Italian club had bribed the match officials, leading Clough, to call the Italians "cheating bastards".[8] Clough's frequent outspoken comments against football's establishment eventually led to him falling out with the board of directors at the club, and Clough and Taylor left in 1973. Such was their impact on the club that, 37 years later, a 9'0 high bronze statue of the pair was erected outside the Pride Park Stadium in commemoration of their legacy.[9]

Despite the departure of Clough and Taylor, Derby's League success was repeated in the 1974–75 season when they won the title under Dave Mackay. However, Derby's form declined towards the end of the 1970s and they went down to the Second Division in 1980 after a string of managers, including former Manchester United boss Tommy Docherty, unsettled the club trying desperately to maintain its place at the top of the First Division. Though they challenged well in their first season, Derby's stay in the Second Division was not a happy one and they were relegated to the Third Division for only the second time in their history in 1984.

After the relegation, the club appointed Arthur Cox who turned the club around with successive promotions in the mid-1980s to get the club back into the old First Division in 1987. The financial backing of new chairman Robert Maxwell saw stars such as Peter Shilton, Mark Wright, Dean Saunders and Ted McMinn bought to the club and they finished fifth in the 1988–89 season However, English clubs were banned from European competition at the time following the Heysel Stadium Disaster and so the Rams missed out on their place in the UEFA Cup.

A lack of further investment from Maxwell lead to a decline shortly after. With Maxwell soon dead, the club was relegated back to the Second Division in 1991. At this time, local newspaper businessman Lionel Pickering became the majority shareholder of the club. In 1992 Derby paid £2.5 million for Notts County central defender Craig Short, at the time – and for five years afterwards – the most expensive player to be signed by a club outside the top flight. Cox resigned in late 1993 citing health problems and Roy McFarland returned as manager. McFarland failed to get the side into the top flight; the closest he came being a defeat at the hands of Leicester City in the 1993–94 play-off final. He was sacked in 1995 to be replaced by Jim Smith. Although the new season started slowly, the signing of sweeper Igor Štimac in the early autumn proved pivotal. Throwing his brief of 'a top-half finish' out the window, Smith guided the Rams to a second-place finish and the Premier League, now the top flight of English football. After finishing an admirable 12th in their first season back into the top flight the club left the Baseball Ground, its home of 102 years, to move into the new 30,000-seat Pride Park Stadium for the 1997–98 season. The Baseball Ground was demolished six years later and later a memorial was erected in memory of its role in Derby city history.[10]

The club settles in well into its new home as it recorded back-to-back top 10 finishes for the first time since their 1970s peak before a sudden decline at the turn of the millennium saw three years of struggle, which Smith resign, to be replaced by former players Colin Todd, who lasted just 3 months, and John Gregory before the Rams were relegated after a six-year stay in the top flight, in 2002. Derby County's relegation saw the club enter a serious financial crisis, which forced them to sell many key players. Gregory was later suspended from his managerial duties over alleged misconduct and former Ipswich Town boss George Burley was brought in. The club was put into receivership then sold in October 2003 for £3 to a group led by Jeremy Keith. After finishing 20th in the 2003–04 season, a dramatic improvement in the 2004–05 season saw Derby finish 4th in the Football League Championship, qualifying for a promotion play-off spot, though they lost in the semi-finals to Preston North End. Soon afterwards, Burley resigned citing differences between himself and the board. He was replaced by Bolton first team coach, Phil Brown. Brown failed to find much success in the job, however, and was sacked in January 2006, after a bad run of results. Terry Westley, the academy coach at the time, took over first team duties until the end of the season and saved Derby from relegation.

In April 2006 a consortium of local businessmen led by former vice-chairman Peter Gadsby bought the club, reducing its debt and returning Pride Park Stadium to the club's ownership in the process. In June 2006, former Preston North End boss Billy Davies was appointed Derby County's new permanent manager. In his first season, Davies took Derby to the Championship play-offs, where they beat Southampton on penalties in the semi-finals before defeating West Bromwich Albion 1–0 with a second-half Stephen Pearson goal at the new Wembley Stadium to secure a return to the Premier League and the associated £60m windfall. In October 2007, Peter Gadsby stepped down as chairman to be replaced by former Hull City owner Adam Pearson, who immediately began searching for investment from overseas.[11] After a poor start to the season, manager Billy Davies left by mutual consent in November.[12] He was succeeded by Paul Jewell,[13] who failed to save the club as Derby suffered the Premier League's earliest ever relegation, in March,[14] recorded the Premier League's lowest-ever points total,[15] and equalled Loughborough's 108-year Football League record of going through an entire season with only one win. In January, the club was taken over by an international investment group led by General Sports and Entertainment, with Pearson remaining as de facto chairman.[16]

Derby's match at home to Sheffield United on 13 September 2008 generated much media coverage as it was approaching a year since Derby's last league win, a run which saw the club break the English league record for most matches without a win. Just four days short of the anniversary of the 1–0 victory over Newcastle, Rob Hulse scored against his former club as Derby ran out 2–1 winners, earning Paul Jewell his first league win as Derby boss at his 27th attempt. Despite taking the club to the League Cup semi-final, the club's first major cup semi-final since 1976, where Derby lost 4–3 to Manchester United over two legs, Jewell resigned as manager in December 2008 after a run of just 2 wins in 11 matches.[17] He was replaced by Nigel Clough,[18] son of former manager Brian. He led the club to 18th place and safety. After two disappointing seasons that saw the club finish in the bottom half of the table, Derby finished the two subsequent seasons in 12th and 10th place. Clough was sacked 9 games into the 2013–14 season, after defeat to local rivals Nottingham Forest, and was replaced by former Derby player and assistant manager Steve McClaren.

Club crest and colours


Like most old football clubs, Derby County did not initially have any badge displayed on their shirts. Their first badge was introduced in 1924. The badge consisted of a circular shield split into three equally sized sections, representing the club, its fans and the area, all containing items traditionally associated with the city of Derby: a Tudor rose and a crown in one section, a buck in a park in the second and a ram's head in the final section. The badge was worn on the players' shirts for just two seasons before they reverted to plain shirts.

By 1934, another badge had been introduced. This time it was a traditionally shaped shield, again with three sections. The buck in the park had been removed and the rose and the crown had been split up and now occupied a section each. The ram's head also remained and was now given the largest section of the shield. The badge never appeared on the players' shirts. The shield was modified in 1946 when the rose and crown were removed and replaced with the letters DC (Derby County) and FC (Football Club) respectively. The badge, right, was featured on to the player's shirts from its introduction onwards, though the ram's head on its own was used from the late 1960s (the full shield, however, remained the club's official logo).

A new club badge was introduced in 1971, featuring a more modern design that, with modifications, is still in use. The badge was initially consisted of a stylised white ram facing left. The badge was first modified slightly in 1979 to include the text 'Derby County FC' under the ram (though the ram remained on its own on away kits). In 1982 the ram turned to face to the right and the text under it was removed. The ram was surrounded by a wreath of laurel and the text 'Centenary 1984–1985' was printed underneath for the club's centenary season. The laurel was removed and the text reading 'Derby County FC' returned from the next season. In 1993, the ram faced left again and the text was removed once more. From 1995, the ram faced right and was enclosed in a diamond, with a gold banner reading 'Derby County FC' underneath and the text '1884' (the year of the club's foundation) underneath that. The design was changed again in 1997 (see left): the ram faced now left and the golden banner now simply read 'Derby County'; the diamond and year of formation were removed.

A decade later, in 2007, the badge was modified again with the ram still facing left and the text 'Est. 1884' now in the middle of a circular frame featuring 'Derby County Football Club' in gold lettering, with the colours being modified to the club colours of black and white in 2009 (see top of page). In July 2012, the club announced intention to show the traditional Ram on future shirts, rather than the full club logo. In July 2013, the traditional Ram became the club's full logo again to huge popular acclaim.


Derby County's original colours (right) were amber, chocolate and blue, though by the 1890s the club had adopted its now traditional colours of black and white, which are still in use today. In the 1970s and 80s, colours for home matches were white shirts with small blue or red touches (on the club badge or shirt makers insignia), blue shorts and socks that were blue, red, white or a combination of the three.[19] The colours of away kits have varied widely, and although they are usually yellow/gold or blue, the colour for the away kit for the 2008–09 season was fluorescent green.[20] The club also introduced a surprise third kit in August 2008. Similar in design to the club's away kit of the 1970s, with blue and white stripes and reminiscent of the Argentina strip, the style was re-introduced following feedback from fans who said it was one of their favourite kits from the club's past.[21]

188494 kit
Period Kit Sponsor Shirt Sponsor
1973–1979 Umbro None
1979–1980 Le Coq Sportif
1980–1981 British Midland
1981–1982 Patrick
1982–1984 Patrick
1984–1985 Admiral Bass Brewery
1985–1986 OSCA
1986–1987 Sportsweek
1987–1992 Umbro Maxwell Communications
1992–1993 Auto Windscreens
1993–1994 Bukta
1994–1995 Rams Pro Wear
1995–1998 Puma Puma
1998–2001 EDS
2001–2005 Erreà Marston's Pedigree
2005–2007 Joma Derbyshire Building Society
2007–2008 Adidas
2008–2010 Bombardier
2012–Present Kappa

Club mascot

Derby's mascot is a ram named Rammie. Rammie is a full-time employee of the club who also works to maintain the club's links with fans and the East Midlands in general, such as school visits to promote literacy and charity events.[22][23] Rammie originally emerged as a more friendly option to the club's traditional links with the British Army.

Rammie was the first full-time mascot in British football.[24][25] Rammie's traditional activities include penalty shoot-outs with members of the crowd (from both the Home and Away ends) at half time, with Rammie as goalkeeper, and warming the crowd up before the match and encouraging them during it. Rammie is a very popular figure amongst Rams' fans[26][27] and, in 2005, released his first DVD, which features the character reading from Aesop's Fables in the Derbyshire countryside.[24]


As an offshoot of Derbyshire County Cricket Club, Derby County’s first home stadium was County Cricket Ground, also known as the Racecourse Ground, where the club played it’s league and FA Cup matches between 1884 and 1895. Although the ground itself was good enough to hold the first FA Cup final match outside of London, when Blackburn Rovers beat W.B.A. 2–0 in the 1886 FA Cup final Replay[28] and a full England International, disputes over fixture clashed between the football and cricket clubs meant that when the opportunity to play at Sir Francis Ley’s Baseball Ground arose, the club accepted.[29]

Commonly referred to amongst supporters as "The BBG", the club moved to The Baseball Ground in 1895 and remained there for the next 102 years, despite opportunities to move in the 1920s and 1940s.[29] Derby had already played there, a 1–0 win over Sunderland during the 1891–92 season, as an alternate venue after a fixture clash at The County Ground. At its peak during the late 1960s, the ground could hold around 42,000 – the club’s record attendance achieved following the opening of the Ley Stand with a 41,826 crowd watching a 5–0 defeat of Tottenham Hotspur on 20 September 1969.[29] From this peak, the continued addition of seating saw the capacity drop over the next 15 years to 26,500 in 1985. Following the Taylor Report in 1989, and the legal requirement for all seater stadia, the ground’s capacity dwindled to just 18,500 by the mid-1990s, not enough for the then ambitious second tier club. Despite initially hoping to rebuild the Baseball Ground to hold 26,000 spectators, and rejecting the offer of two sites elsewhere in Derby, then-Chairman Lionel Pickering announced in February 1996 the intention to move to a new, purpose built stadium at the newly regenerated Pride Park, with the last ever first team game at the Baseball Ground being in May 1997, a 1–3 home defeat to Arsenal, though it continued to host reserve games until 2003. Derby's new ground, named Pride Park Stadium, was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II on 18 July, with a friendly against Sampdoria following on 4 August.

Derby hold the unique distinction of being the only club to have had three home grounds host full England internationals. England beat Ireland 9–0 at The Racecourse Ground in 1895, beat Ireland again, 2–1, at The Baseball Ground in 1911 and, most recently, Pride Park hosted England's 4–0 win over Mexico in May 2001.[30]

Listing of Grounds

Years Location Capacity
1884–95 Racecourse Ground n/a
1895–1997 Baseball Ground 4,000–42,000
1997–present Pride Park Stadium 33,597

Supporters and rivalry


Derby is often acknowledged as a 'passionate football town' by rival supporters[31] and the press alike. For example, Tony Francis of The Daily Telegraph noted when discussing the East Midlands derby "Derby is a passionate football town. Possibly more so than Nottingham... Even in Division Two, it's a reasonable bet that crowds at Pride Park would not fall far below 20,000. It's historical, it's geographical, it's in the blood. Some places have it, some don't."[32] During the 2007–2008 Premiership season Derby County fans were repeatedly referred to as the best in the country due to their loyalty despite the club's disastrous campaign.[33] Almost every home game at Pride Park Stadium was sold out by the Derby fans and the club also had a great following away from home. The recognition included them being named fans of the season in much national coverage of the season, even winning an award from Nuts Magazine,[34] and being named the most loyal supporters in the country in a 2008 survey by Sky Sports Magazine[35] In 2013, Derby supporter Nick Webster was voted Championship Fan of the Year.[36]

Statistically, the club had the 12th highest average attendance in the country in the 2007/08,[37] 2008/09,[38] and 2009/10 seasons[39] despite only having the 15th largest club ground and finishing 18th or lower in their respective division.In 2008/09 they were the best supported club in the Championship, with a larger average attendance than 9 Premiership clubs, and had the Football Leagues's single largest league match attendance, with 33,079 against Wolverhampton Wanderers on 13 April 2009.

Derby's current most popular celebrity supporters are the likes of One Direction singer Niall Horan,[40] Blur guitarist Graham Coxon,[41] Asia singer John Wetton, who has been a fan for 57 years, Olympic Gold Medal winner Rebecca Adlington (niece of former Rams goalkeeper Terry Adlington), actor Robert Lindsay, This Is England and Skins star Jack O'Connell, This Is England 86 actor Michael Socha, and Team GB swimmer Ross Davenport.


Derby's primary rival clubs are Nottingham Forest, Leicester City and Leeds United,[42] with Forest, based in Nottingham, 14 miles east of Derby, being by far the fiercest rivals; a 2008 survey named the rivalry the 11th biggest in English football, revealing that 9 out of 10 fans from both clubs point to the other as their fiercest rival.[43] Meetings between the side are often christened with the sobriquet East Midlands derby and the winning team is awarded the Brian Clough Trophy. The rivalry as a whole largely developed from the 1970s, due to former Derby manager Brian Clough taking over at Forest, much to the anger of the Derby fans; in fact some commentators have described the rivalry to be as much about which club owns Clough's heart as much as the proximity of the clubs geographically.[44]

The rivalry with Leicester City stems largely from geographical location rather than any shared history.[45]

Leeds United are disliked due to ongoing friction from the early 1970s when Derby and Leeds were two of the top English teams and the scarcely concealed hostility between their respective managers, Brian Clough and Don Revie.[45] The rivalry is documented in the novel and film The Damned United. This rivalry is stronger on Derby's side; whilst Derby consider Leeds their 2nd biggest rivals, Leeds fans focus more on their dislike of Manchester United, Sheffield United and Liverpool.[42]

A number of lower division Midlands clubs also display a slight rivalry towards Derby, with Notts County[42] and Burton Albion considering Derby to be one of their top rivals. The Burton rivalry in particular is largely friendly following a high exchange of former players and backroom staff after Nigel Clough took over as Derby manager from his position as Burton boss – the 2011/12 Derby squad was managed by former Burton boss Clough and featured four former Brewers players and the 2011/12 Burton squad was managed by former-Derby striker Paul Peschisolido and featured five players with a Rams connection.


First-team squad

Updated 19 October 2013.[46]

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 England GK Lee Grant
2 England DF Adam Smith (on loan from Tottenham Hotspur)
3 Scotland DF Craig Forsyth
4 Scotland MF Craig Bryson
5 England DF Shaun Barker (Captain)
6 Republic of Ireland DF Richard Keogh (Vice-captain)
7 Scotland MF Paul Coutts
8 Republic of Ireland MF Jeff Hendrick
9 England FW Chris Martin
10 Northern Ireland FW Jamie Ward
11 Scotland FW Johnny Russell
12 England MF Michael Jacobs
13 Republic of Ireland GK Saul Deeney
14 England MF John Eustace
15 Republic of Ireland DF Mark O'Brien
16 England MF Ben Davies
No. Position Player
17 Wales DF Kieron Freeman
18 Republic of Ireland FW Conor Sammon
19 England MF Will Hughes
20 England FW Mason Bennett
21 Albania DF Valentin Gjokaj
22 England FW Callum Ball
23 England DF Michael Hoganson
24 Norway GK Mats Mørch
25 England DF Jake Buxton
26 England GK Adam Legzdins
27 United States DF Zak Whitbread (on loan from Leicester City)
28 England DF Jamie Hanson
29 England MF Max Lowe
30 England MF James Bailey
32 England FW Simon Dawkins (on loan from Tottenham Hotspur)
33 England DF Andre Wisdom (on loan from Liverpool)


Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player

Out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
England GK Ross Atkins (at Alfreton Town until the end of the 2013–14 season)
United States FW Conor Doyle (at D.C. United until the end of the 2013 Major League Soccer season)
England DF Josh Lelan (at Gateshead until 20 October 2013)
No. Position Player
England DF Tom Naylor (at Newport County until early January 2014)
England DF James O'Connor (at Bristol City until 13 January 2014)

Notable former players

English Football Hall of Fame members

Several ex-players/managers associated with Derby County are represented in the English Football Hall of Fame, which was created in 2002 as a celebration of those who have achieved at the very peak of the English game. To be considered for induction players/managers must be 30 years of age or older and have played/managed for at least five years in England.[47]

Football League 100 Legends

The Football League 100 Legends is a list of "100 legendary football players" produced by The Football League in 1998, to celebrate the 100th season of League football. Eight former Derby players made the list.

The Jack Stamps Trophy (Player of the Year)

Main article: Derby County F.C. Player of the Year

Derby County's Player of the Season award is voted for by the clubs supporters and named in honour of Jackie Stamps – who scored two goals in Derby's sole FA Cup final victory in 1946. It was first introduced in the 1968/69 season.[48]


Below is a list of all the permanent managers that Derby County have had since the appointment of Harry Newbould in 1900.[50] In the 16 years prior to Newbould's appointment, the team was selected by club committee, a standard practice by football clubs at the time. The club is currently head coach Steve McClaren its 27th permanent manager replace following the dismissal of Nigel Clough on 28 September 2013.

Board of directors and ownership

The club is owned by an international investment group led by General Sports and Entertainment LLC.[6]

Club Academy

Moor Farm

Derby County's academy, called Moor Farm, is a purpose-built complex situated near the city suburb of Oakwood. It was built in 2003, at a cost of £5m,[51] to replace the club's previous academy, The Ram-Arena, which was based at Raynesway. It covers 50 acres (200,000 m2) and features six full-sized training pitches plus an indoor pitch and includes a gym, restaurant, ProZone room and a laundry.[51] When opening the academy, then-Chairman Lionel Pickering said that the intent was to have "at least eight players from the Academy... in the first-team within three years."[51] Although this wasn't achieved, the academy produced a number of notable players such as England international midfielder Tom Huddlestone, Wales international defender Lewin Nyatanga, Northern Ireland international goalkeeper Lee Camp, England under-21s midfielder Miles Addison and England under-19 players Giles Barnes and Lee Grant.

In April 2009 new manager Nigel Clough announced his intention to restructure the academy, appointing former Derby players Darren Wassall and Michael Forsyth[52] and Wolves Academy director John Perkins to the backroom staff, replacing the departed Phil Cannon, David Lowe and Brian Burrows.[53] Following this, and an increased investment of £1m-a-year from the club,[54] a number of players broke through to the first team squad; ahead of the 2010–11 season, almost a third of the Derby squad were academy graduates, with Mason Bennett setting the club record for youngest first team appearance when he made his full debut with a start in a defeat at Middlesbrough on 22 October 2011 at the age of 15 years and 99 days old.[55] This helped strengthen the academy's reputation[56] and reinforced CEO Tom Glick's stated desire to make Moor Farm "the academy of choice in the Midlands."[56] In August 2012, Derby's academy became a tier 2 academy under the new controversial Elite Player Performance Plan.[57]


Note: the leagues and divisions of English football have changed somewhat over time, so here they are grouped into their relative levels on the English football league system at the time they were won to allow easy comparison of the achievement

Domestic honours

European and International honours

Minor honours

  • Midland Cup

Reserve team honours

125th anniversary

As part of the club's 125th Anniversary in 2009, the Derby board took a number of initiatives to celebrate the club's history.

All-time XI

As part of the club's 125th Anniversary celebrations,[58] it was announced that during 2009 each month a vote would be carried out to decide on the club's official All Time XI, starting in February 2009 with the goalkeeper, with the following eight months offering opportunities for Derby's support to select a team based within a 4–4–2 formation, with December's vote being reserved for the manager.[59] Voting closed on the 25th of each month, with the winner being announced in the following few days.[60]

Player Position Years at Club
Colin Boulton[61] Goalkeeper 1964–78
Ron Webster[62] Right back 1960–78
David Nish[63] Left back 1972–79
Roy McFarland[64] Centre Back 1967–81; 83–84
Igor Štimac[64] Centre Back 1995–99
Stefano Eranio[65] Right Wing 1997–2001
Alan Hinton[66] Left Wing 1967–75
Archie Gemmill[67] Centre midfielder 1970–77; 82–84
Alan Durban[67] Centre midfielder 1963–73
Steve Bloomer[68] Centre forward 1892–1906;10–14
Kevin Hector[68] Centre forward 1966–78; 80–82
Brian Clough[69] Manager 1967–73

Top 10 Derby goals

On 2 June 2009, the Club announced the supporters choice of the Top 10 Goals in the club's history, with the fans then asked again to choose their favourite from the 10 nominated. The list was obviously biased in favour of more recent goals, largely thanks to the increased coverage modern football enjoys. Three goals featured from the club's 2008/09 campaign.[70] The winners were announced on 22 June 2009.[71]

No. Player Opponent Year Competition  % of vote
1 Paulo Wanchope Manchester United 1997 FA Premier League 39.3%
2 Charlie George Real Madrid 1975 European Champions Clubs' Cup 25.4%
3 Robin Van Der Laan Crystal Palace 1996 Football League Division One 10%
4 Stephen Pearson West Brom 2007 Football League Championship Playoff Final 6%
5 John McGovern Liverpool 1972 Football League Division One 4.4%
6 Kris Commons Manchester United 2009 Football League Cup 4.4%
7 Kris Commons Nottingham Forest 2009 FA Cup 4.2%
8 Trevor Christie Rotherham United 1986 Football League Division Three 3.1%
9 Dave Mackay Chelsea 1968 Football League Cup 2.2%
10 Robbie Savage Doncaster Rovers 2009 Football League Championship 1%

Derby County in Europe

Main article: Derby County F.C. in Europe

Derby first competed in Europe when they entered the 1972–73 European Cup after winning the 1971–72 First Division Title,[72] reaching the semi-final stages, were they lost 3–1 on aggregate to Juventus in controversial circumstances. They had qualified for the 1970–71 Fairs Cup after finishing the 1969–70 First Division in 4th, but were banned from entering the competition for financial irregularities. The 70s was the Derby County’s peak in English football and they qualified for Europe in three of the next four seasons, competing in the UEFA Cup or the European Cup in each of the three seasons between 1974–75 and 1976–77.

The club then declined rapidly and has not appeared in the top European competitions since, though it finished in 5th in the 1989 First Division which would have guaranteed entry into the 1989–90 UEFA Cup but English Clubs were banned from Europe following the Heysel Stadium Disaster.

Outside of major competition, the club competed in the Anglo-Italian Cup between 1992–93 and 1994–95, reaching the final in 1993, losing 3–1 to Cremonese at Wembley.

Records and statistics

Kevin Hector holds the record for Derby County appearances in all competitions, turning out 589 times in two separate spells with the club between 1966 and 1982. He sits ahead of Ron Webster who played 535 times for the club, often in the same team as Hector. Just counting league appearances, Hector is again in the lead, with 486 appearances, ahead of Jack Parry, who played 483 times for the club between 1948 and 1967.

The club's all time top scorer is Steve Bloomer, often referred to as Football's First Superstar, who netted 332 goals for the club in two spells between 1892 and 1914. He is over 100 goals ahead of second in the list Kevin Hector, who netted 201 goals for the club. Jack Bowers holds the club record for most goals in a single season, when he scored 43 goals (35 in the league and a further 8 in the FA Cup), during the 1932–33 season.

The club's record attendance is 41,826, for a First Division match against Tottenham Hotspur at the Baseball Ground on 20 September 1969, which Derby won 5–0. The record is unlikely to be broken in the near future as Derby's current stadium, Pride Park has a limit of 33,597 spectators. The record attendance at Pride Park for a competitive Derby County match is 33,378 for a Premier League match against Liverpool on 18 March 2000. The largest crowd to ever watch a Derby County game is 120,000 when Derby County played Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in the 1975–76 European Cup.

Derby hold several records in English football. The 2007–08 Premier League campaign saw the club equal Loughborough's all time league record of just one win in an entire league season. They also equalled or set several Premier league records (1992–present), including Least Home Wins in a Season (1, joint with Sunderland) and Least Away Wins in a Season (0, joint with 5 other teams) and Most Defeats in a Season (29). Records set included Fewest Points in a season (3 points for a win) with 11, Fewest Goals Scored (20) and Worst Goal Difference (−69). The club also holds the record for Most Consecutive League Games Without A Win, with 37 matches between 22 September 2007 and 13 September 2008, and the Record Defeat in an FA Cup Final, when they lost 6–0 to Bury in 1903.[73]


External links

  • DCFC.CO.UK – Official Site
  • Official Derby County F.C Fan Engagement Site
  • Derby County Fans Online
  • Derby Evening Telegraph Rams site.
  • BBC's Derby County section.
  • Proposed new Derby County stadium 1945
Preceded by
FA Cup
Succeeded by
Charlton Athletic
Preceded by
Football League First Division
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Leeds United
Football League First Division
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Charity Shield
Succeeded by

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