Derby County in the FA Cup – the 1980s by Gareth Davis

Derby County in the FA Cup – the 1980s by Gareth Davis

It took Derby until three years into the 1980s to win an FA Cup match – and what a memorable encounter that one was. We’ll come to it soon, however, as their first two attempts to progress in the competition during the decade both ended at the hands of the same opponent. By the 1979/80 season, such was the Rams’ decline that the glory days of the ’70s were fast becoming a distant memory, even though they weren’t actually too…

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Derby County in the FA Cup – the 1990s by Gareth Davis

Derby County in the FA Cup – the 1990s by Gareth Davis

Derby County’s FA Cup story of the 1990s is book-ended by home upsets – but in between came three quarter-finals, two abandonments and one of the greatest games ever seen at the Baseball Ground. Under Arthur Cox, the Rams had looked like they were on the up at the end of the previous decade having finished fifth in the old First Division. Even as the ’90s dawned, Derby were sitting comfortably in ninth and there was little indication of what…

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1988-89 revisited by Gareth Davis

1988-89 revisited by Gareth Davis

It remains a stark fact that the 1988/89 season represents the high point of the last 45 years for Derby County. Finishing fifth in the old First Division was the Rams’ best position since ending up fourth under Dave Mackay in 1975/76. Only twice since 1989 have they even finished in the top ten of the top flight – Jim Smith’s exciting teams coming ninth and then eighth in the Premier League 1998 and 1999 respectively. Arthur Cox’s side, including…

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Igor Stimac

Igor Stimac

In today’s game of football all players at elite level are expected to be comfortable in possession. Having the confidence and ability to start attacks by ‘bringing the ball out from the back’ is an essential quality in a modern day centre back, shown by the £80 million transfer of England international Harry Maguire from Leicester City to Manchester United in 2019, a world-record fee for a defender. On 31 October 1995 Derby County signed Igor Stimac, a 28 year…

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Derby County programmes from the Third Division North – Part 2: the 1956/57 season by Moz Curtin

Derby County programmes from the Third Division North – Part 2: the 1956/57 season by Moz Curtin

Derby‘s second season in Division Three North saw them on more familiar ground. During the 1955-56 season they had played a number of clubs they had never previously met and visited grounds they had never played on before. Once again many of the programmes were simple affairs, but what they often lacked in reading matter, they more than made up for, in my opinion, with iconic and attractive covers. What a shame Derby persevered with their dull grey covers. Only…

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Derby County programmes from the Third Division North – part 1: the 1955/56 season by Moz Curtin

Derby County programmes from the Third Division North – part 1: the 1955/56 season by Moz Curtin

Derby County’s first game of the delayed 2020-2021 season will be at home to Barrow in the Carabao Cup first round on Saturday 5 September. Barrow were promoted as National League champions back to the English Football League after 48 years away following the curtailment of their 2019/20 season as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Cumbrian side were four points clear when the season was suspended in March but a vote by National League clubs decided to determine…

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Derby v Scottish clubs by Steve McGhee

Derby v Scottish clubs by Steve McGhee

This article will give a broad outline of the Rams’ post-war matches against Scottish opposition, highlighting what programmes were issued. Given the geographical proximity, games against clubs north of the border have actually been quite few and far between. For completion, I will list the pre-war games I’m aware of: 5.4.1890         Derby 5 Partick Thistle 1 1890s              Kilmarnock v Derby 26.4.1899       Hearts 2 Derby 2 14.12.1901      Dundee 1 Derby 2 1.1.1906          Dundee 1 Derby 1…

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Pirate programmes featuring Derby County

Pirate programmes featuring Derby County

Several clubs in the Premier League and Championship, including Derby, did not produce a programme for the behind closed doors games of June and July 2020. Consequently, several enterprising eBay sellers have created their own mini-programmes and teamsheets as a record of the games played. These could be considered a type of modern-day ‘pirate’ programme, similar to those produced by some fans for games in the early to mid-twentieth century. The older pirate programmes, or ‘souvenir’ issues, were unofficial productions…

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Charlton v Derby 1964/65 – the mystery of the missing back page

Charlton v Derby 1964/65 – the mystery of the missing back page

A few years ago when scanning programme covers, I came across the Charlton v Derby 16 January 1965 issue which had the back page neatly cut out. Assuming it had been damaged by a previous owner removing a form, or perhaps a photo of a favourite player, I thought nothing of it, added it to my spares pile and made a note to buy a replacement. Several months later a copy was purchased on eBay but when it arrived the…

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“Anyone fancy playing for the Rams this week?” by Steve McGhee

“Anyone fancy playing for the Rams this week?” by Steve McGhee

1942/43 – “Anyone fancy playing for the Rams this week?” The abridged 1939-40 Football League season saw Derby lying 7th in the First Division after three games (home wins over Portsmouth and Aston Villa and a defeat at Sunderland). The Rams beat Villa literally the day before war was declared – so once it was confirmed, football was the last thing anyone cared about. There would follow a handful of friendly matches over the next 2/3 years but wartime competitive…

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