|Nickname(s) The Rams|
Ground Capacity 33,597
Chairman Mel Morris
Arena/Stadium Pride Park Stadium
League EFL Championship
|Ground Pride Park Stadium|
Owner Mel Morris
Manager Steve McClaren
Location Derby, United Kingdom
|Full name Derby County Football Club|
Founded 5 February 1884, Derby, United Kingdom
Derby County Football Club (/ˈdɑːrbi ˈkaʊnti/) is a professional association football club based in Derby, Derbyshire, England. Their home matches are played at Pride Park Stadium, where the club moved in 1997.
- Beginning and early success
- Edwardian and interwar era
- Post war success and decline
- Brian Clough era
- Success and decline after Clough
- 1980s revival
- End of the century
- 21st century
- Club mascot
- First team squad
- Out on loan
- Under 23 squad
- English Football Hall of Fame members
- Football League 100 Legends
- The Jack Stamps Trophy Player of the Year
- Board of directors and ownership
- Moor Farm
- Domestic honours
- Reserve team honours
- 125th anniversary
- All time XI
- Top 10 Derby goals
- Derby County in Europe
- Records and statistics
Notable for being one of the 12 founder members of the Football League in 1888, it is one of only 10 clubs to have competed in every season of the English football league system 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.
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 English football. The club's competitive peak came in the 1970s when they were twice 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. Additionally, the club was a strong force in the interwar years and 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, at the same time.
Beginning and early success
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, they did finish runners-up to Aston Villa in 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), 1899 (4–1 to Sheffield United) and 1903 (6–0 to Bury).
Edwardian and interwar era
In 1906 Steve Bloomer was sold to Middlesbrough due to financial constraints, and Derby subsequently suffered its first ever relegation the following season, but under Jimmy Methven's management they re-signed Bloomer and regained their First Division place in 1911. In 1914 they were relegated again, but instantly won the Second Division to get promoted, 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, the club became a formidable force, with high finishes from the late 1920s and all through the 1930s., including finishing runners up twice.
Derby were one of several clubs to close down after the outbreak of World War II but restarted in the early 1940s, in part due to the persistence of Jack Nicholas and Jack Webb. Aided by the recruitment 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
Post-war success and decline
The league restarted the following season after a break due to the Second World War 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. 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.
Brian Clough era
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, were banned from competing in Europe due to financial irregularities in 1971 and won their first ever Football League Championship in 1972. Though Derby did not retain their title the following season, they did reach the semi-finals of the European Cup, where they lost to Juventus. 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 October 1973. Such was their impact on the club that, 37 years later, a 9 ft (2.75 metres) bronze statue of the pair was erected outside Pride Park in commemoration of their legacy.
Success and decline after Clough
Despite the departure of Clough and Taylor, Derby's League success was repeated in the 1974–75 season when they won the title under successor Dave Mackay, who had been a player under Clough when they had returned to the top flight in 1969. 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 were soon hit hard by rising debts, falling attendances and dismal performances. Peter Taylor returned to the Baseball Ground as manager in early 1983 and kept Derby up that season, but he retired a year later just before Derby's relegation to the Third Division for only the second time in their history. However, Derby did manage to avoid going out of business, and they were soon under the ownership of wealthy businessman Robert Maxwell.
After relegation to the Third Division in May 1984, the club appointed Arthur Cox as manager. Although they missed out on promotion in Cox's first season as manager, they then won back-to-back promotions and were back in the First Division for the 1987–88 season, with attendances also rising as the club's on-the-field fortunes and financial position improved. The financial backing of new chairman Robert Maxwell saw stars such as Peter Shilton, Mark Wright, Dean Saunders, Trevor Hebberd and Ted McMinn brought 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 a place in the UEFA Cup.
End of the century
A lack of any further investment from Maxwell quickly led to a decline, culminating in relegation back to the Second Division in 1991. At this time, local newspaper businessman Lionel Pickering became the majority shareholder of the club, taking control just before Maxwell's death in November 1991.
In 1992, Derby County 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, and indeed one of the highest fees paid by any English club for a player at the time. Other expensive signings included strikers Tommy Johnson and Marco Gabbiadini.
Cox's resignation as manager in October 1993 saw the appointment of legendary former player Roy McFarland as manager. Derby reached the final of the Division One playoffs that season, but were beaten by local rivals Leicester City. McFarland was sacked a year later after Derby missed out on the playoffs, and his replacement was Jim Smith – a manager whose track record at his previous clubs included four promotions and an FA Cup semi-final appearance.
Although the 1995–96 season started slowly, the signing of sweeper Igor Štimac in the early autumn proved pivotal. Smith guided the Rams to a second-place finish and the Premier League, now the top flight of English football. During that season, it was announced that Derby would be leaving the Baseball Ground after more than 100 years to move into a new all-seater stadium, following earlier plans to develop the Baseball Ground as a 26,000-seat stadium.
After finishing in 12th place 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 33,597-seat Pride Park Stadium for the 1997–98 season. The Baseball Ground was demolished six years later and a memorial was eventually erected in memory of its role in Derby city history.
The club settled 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. Smith resigned to be replaced by former players, Colin Todd, who lasted just three 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 fourth 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. In January 2006, Brown was sacked after a poor 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. After a poor start to the season, manager Billy Davies left by mutual consent in November. He was succeeded by Paul Jewell, who failed to save the club as Derby suffered the Premier League's earliest ever relegation, in March, recorded the Premier League's lowest-ever points total, 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.
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 two wins in 11 matches. He was replaced by Nigel Clough, son of former manager Brian. He led the club to 18th place and safety. After two seasons that saw the club finish in the bottom half of the table, Derby finished the two subsequent seasons in 12th and 10th place.
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 its intention to show only the iconic ram on future shirts, rather than the full club logo. In July 2013, this traditional ram became the club's full logo again.
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. 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. 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.
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. 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. Rammie's traditional activities include penalty shoot-outs with members of the crowd at half time, with Rammie as goalkeeper, and warming the crowd up before the match and encouraging the Derby fans during matches. Rammie is a very popular figure amongst Rams' fans and, in 2005, released his first DVD, which features the character reading from Aesop's Fables in the Derbyshire countryside.
Shortly thereafter, Rammie was joined by a female equivalent, named Eweie. Eweie did not last very long at Pride Park, however, and took a reported "vacation" to the United States. She returned from a 10-year exile on 3 October 2015, at a home match against Brentford F.C.
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 its 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 London, when Blackburn Rovers beat W.B.A. 2–0 in the 1886 FA Cup final replay 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.
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. Derby had already played there, a 1–0 win over Sunderland during the 1891–92 season, as an alternative 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. 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 the Queen 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.
Pride Park was renamed the iPro Stadium on 7 December 2013, as part of a 10-year, £7 million sponsorship deal with global sports drink company iPro.
At the beginning of 2017, the iPro Stadium reverted to its original name of Pride Park Stadium.
Derby is often acknowledged as a 'passionate football town' by rival supporters and the press alike. Tony Francis of The Daily Telegraph noted: "Derby is a passionate football town... 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." 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. Almost every home game at Pride Park Stadium was sold out by the Derby fans and the club also had a large following away from home. The recognition included them being named fans of the season in much national coverage of the season, winning an award from Nuts magazine, and being named the most loyal supporters in the country in a 2008 survey by Sky Sports Magazine. In 2013, Derby supporter Nick Webster was voted Championship Fan of the Year.
Statistically, the club had the 12th highest average attendance in the country in the 2007–08 season, 2008–09, and 2009–10 seasons 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 nine 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 celebrity supporters include actor Robert Lindsay, One Direction singer Niall Horan, Blur guitarist Graham Coxon and actor Jack O'Connell. It has been reported that O'Connell has persuaded other celebrities to support the club, including actors George Clooney and Angelina Jolie, and model Cara Delevingne.
Derby's primary rival clubs are Nottingham Forest, Leicester City and Leeds United, 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. Meetings between the side are known as East Midlands derbies 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.
The rivalry with Leicester City stems largely from geographical location rather than any shared history.
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. 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 and Chelsea.
First-team squadUpdated 27 January 2017.
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Out on loan
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Under-23 squadUpdated 25 August 2016.
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
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.
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)
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.
Below is a list of all the permanent managers that Derby County have had since the appointment of Harry Newbould in 1900. 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's manager is currently Steve McClaren. He replaced Nigel Pearson, following his dismissal on 8 October 2016, after a suspension period. He lasted less than five months in charge and was replaced by McClaren, who is now in his second spell at the club after initially being sacked on 25 May 2015.
Board of directors and ownership
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, 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. 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." 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 players Miles Addison and Lee Grant. Also England under-19 player Giles Barnes.
In April 2009 new manager Nigel Clough announced his intention to restructure the academy, appointing former Derby players Darren Wassall and Michael Forsyth and Wolves Academy director John Perkins to the backroom staff, replacing the departed Phil Cannon, David Lowe and Brian Burrows. Following this, and an increased investment of £1m-a-year from the club, 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. This helped strengthen the academy's reputation and reinforced CEO Tom Glick's stated desire to make Moor Farm "the academy of choice in the Midlands." In August 2012, Derby's academy became a tier 2 academy under the new controversial Elite Player Performance Plan. It was awarded Tier 1 status two years later in July 2014.
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
Reserve team honours
As part of the club's 125th Anniversary in 2009, the Derby board took a number of initiatives to celebrate the club's history.
As part of the club's 125th Anniversary celebrations, 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. Voting closed on the 25th of each month, with the winner being announced in the following few days.
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. The winners were announced on 22 June 2009.
Derby County in Europe
Derby first competed in Europe when they entered the 1972–73 European Cup after winning the 1971–72 First Division Title, reaching the semi-final stages, where 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.