Derby County F.C.

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Derby County F.C.
Full name Derby County Football Club
Founded 1884
Ground Pride Park Stadium
(capacity: 33.597)
Chairman Adam Pearson
Manager Nigel Clough
League League Championship
2009/10 League Championship, 14th

Derby County Football Club is an English football club. The club plays in the Football League Championship.

History[change | change source]

Early years[change | change source]

The club was formed in 1884 by players from Derbyshire County Cricket Club who wanted something to do in the winter. They started out by playing at the Racecourse Ground, Derby.

The Rams, as Derby County are known, were one of the first members of The Football League when it started in 1888. Back in 1895 the club moved to a new stadium, The Baseball Ground. It was called this because baseball had been played there much earlier beforehand, and it became their home for the next 102 years. When they moved, Derby County had changed their club colours to the black and white they still use today at matches.

In 1898, Derby got to their first FA Cup final, but lost. The same happened again in 1899 and 1903. Derby's went down to the Football League's Second Division for the first time in 1907, but they came back up to the First Division in 1911.

In 1914 they were relegated again, but won the Second Division the next year to get promoted. World War I meant that they had to wait until 1919 to play First Division football again. After just two seasons, they were relegated yet again in 1921.

After Derby's next promotion in 1926 the club got much better, and were one of the top teams from the late 1920s all the way through to the 1939-1940 season, which was interrupted when World War II broke out.

FA Cup win[change | change source]

The FA Cup restarted in the 1945-1946 season. Derby got to the final again, but this time they beat Charlton Athletic 4-1 to win the Cup. Some people had thought the reason Derby kept losing in the FA Cup was that they were cursed by gypsies, as the Baseball Ground was built on the site of a gypsy camp. Some players even thought so, and before the final they asked the gypsies to lift the curse.

The Football League began again the next season, but Derby did not play well and were relegated in 1953. Things went from bad to worse and in 1955 they were relegated to the Football League Third Division (North) for the first time in their history. Derby were too good for that league though, and finished second at the first try. Then they did even better next season by finishing first, and going back up to the top division.

The Clough years[change | change source]

In 1967, Brian Clough took over Derby County with Peter Taylor helping him. Derby were back in Division Two, but Clough got them promoted to the First Division in 1969. He led them to their first ever Championship in 1972. Derby could not win the title again the next season, but they did get to the semi-finals of the European Cup, but they lost to Juventus. A lot of people in England thought after the match that the Italian club had paid money to the referee as a bribe. This was never proved. Clough left the club after an argument with Derby's chairman Sam Longson. Clough later became manager of Nottingham Forest F.C., where he went on to win a First Division championship and two European Cups.

After Clough[change | change source]

Derby won the league again in 1974-1975, this time with Dave Mackay as manager. He used to play for the club, as captain, under Clough. When Mackay left in 1976, Derby got slowly worse until they went down in 1980.

Derby's stay in the Second Division was not a happy one and they were relegated to the Football League Third Division in 1984. It was exactly 100 years since the club formed, and just nine years after their last Championship.

The club made Arthur Cox manager. After a two-year stay in the Third Division, they were promoted to the Second Division. They won that league the next year, going back up to the First Division in 1987.

The club managed to finish 5th in 1989, but it was owned by businessman Robert Maxwell, who was having money problems. He stopped spending money on new players, and sold the club not long before his death. The club was relegated back to the Second Division in 1991 (which changed its name to the First Division a year later when the First Division clubs left to form the FA Premier League).

Jim Smith became Derby's manager in 1995. Before the end of the season, Smith took the Rams up to the Premier League for the first time.

Recent times[change | change source]

Derby County did well in the 1996-97 season, finishing 12th in the final table with international players like Aljosa Asanovic and Igor Stimac playing well. The club moved into the new 33,000-seat Pride Park Stadium for the 1997-98 season, and went on to finish ninth. Next year they did even better, finishing eighth, but the season after that Derby struggled, and finished 16th. Another bad season followed in 2000-01, as Derby finished 17th in the Premiership - just one place clear of going down.

Jim Smith left the club in October 2001 and his assistant manager Colin Todd took over. He kept his job for just 3 months before he was sacked. At the end of January 2002, John Gregory got the manager's job. Derby started well, but then lost seven of their last eight matches and were relegated again after six seasons in a row in the Premiership.

It was a bad time to go down. Money owed to the Football League teams by the TV company ITV Digital was never paid, and Derby were one of the clubs to suffer worst. They had to sell their best players and rebuild a team with mostly very young players. They finished 18th after a difficult season. In late March, Gregory was suspended and George Burley came in as a temporary manager. At the end of the season Gregory was sacked and Burley took over fully. Owner Lionel Pickering lost control of the club and a new board of John Sleightholme, Jeremy Keith and Steve Harding came in. Derby finished 20th in the 2003-2004 First Division campaign, but did much better in the 2004-05 season and finished 4th in the Division which was now called the Football League Championship. This meant they won a promotion play-off spot, but lost in the semi-finals to Preston North End. Soon after losing, Burley left. Derby then employed Phil Brown for a short period who was then replaced by the Academy Coach, Terry Westley, who kept the club up in the 2005-06 season.

Before the final game of the 2005-06 season a local consortium led by Peter Gadsby, took over the Rams and gave the manager's job to Billy Davies, who left Preston after compensation was agreed by both clubs for his services. The new changes and fresh activity in the transfer market promise a bright future for this founder member of the football league.

Following a poor start to the 2007-2008 season which saw Derby achieve just one win in 14 matches Billy Davies has left Derby County FC.

Famous players[change | change source]

Many people think the best Rams player ever was Steve Bloomer, one of the highest scoring players in the history of English football. He played for Derby from the late 19th century to just before the First World War. Other top players include the FA Cup winners Peter Doherty, Jackie Stamps and Raich Carter. In more recent years players like Roy McFarland, Archie Gemmill, Colin Todd, Kevin Hector, Steve Powell, Ron Webster, Alan Hinton and Dave Mackay played in the championship winning sides. More recently, the England goalkeeper Peter Shilton, Stefano Eranio and Igor Stimac all played for the Rams. Bobby Davison was also a favourite of Rams fans. Recent famous players also include locally born Matthew Debyshire who has achieved some degree or recognition at Blackburn Rovers but has expressed desire to play a more successful clubs like Tottenham Hotspurs.

Local rivals[change | change source]

Derby County's main rivals are Nottingham Forest, who are based in Nottingham, a city just a few miles north-east of Derby. Leicester City, also based in the East Midlands, come a close second. Fans from the north of Derbyshire often dislike Sheffield Wednesday or Leeds United.

Honours[change | change source]

  • Football League First Division
    • Champions, 1971-1972, 1974-75
    • Runners-up, 1895-96, 1929-30, 1935-36, 1995-96
  • Football League Championship Playoffs
    • Winners, 2006-2007
  • Football League Second Division
    • Champions, 1911-12, 1914-15, 1968-69, 1986-87
    • Runners-up, 1925-26
  • Football League Third Division (North)
    • Champions, 1956-57
    • Runners-up, 1955-56
  • FA Cup
    • Winners, 1945-46
    • Runners-up, 1897-98, 1898-99, 1902-03
  • Charity Shield
    • Winners, 1975-76
  • Texaco Cup
    • Winners, 1971-72
  • Watney Cup
    • Winners, 1970-71
  • Anglo-Italian Cup
    • Runners-up, 1992-93

League position[change | change source]

Season League Position
2000/01 Premier League 17th
2001/02 Premier League 19th
2002/03 First Division 18th
2003/04 First Division 20th
2004/05 League Championship 4th
2005/06 League Championship 20th
2006/07 League Championship 3rd
2007/08 Premier League 20th
2008/09 League Championship 18th
2009/10 League Championship 14th

Former position[change | change source]


Club records[change | change source]

  • Best Win: 12-0 (at home to Finn Harps F.C., UEFA Cup, First Round, First Leg, September 15th 1976)
  • Worst Loss: 11-2 (away to Everton, FA Cup, First Round, January 18th 1890)
  • Biggest Crowd: 41,826 (against Tottenham Hotspur, Football League First Division, September 20th 1969)
  • Top Goal-Scorer: Steve Bloomer (292 league goals)
  • Most Games: Kevin Hector (486 matches)
  • Promotions: First team to gain promotion to the English Premiership at the new Wembley Stadium (2006-2007)

Managers[change | change source]

Other websites[change | change source]