THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

Derby County fan Peter Gutteridge talks stadiums, kits and youth players at pride Park

The board and manager. Do they know what they’re doing?
No. Jim Smith seems to have lost all notion of team tactics in the past couple of seasons. Owner Lionel Pickering seems disintereted in the club and wants to sell up. But he’s also big chums with Smith so there’s a stalemate.

Does anyone miss the Baseball Ground?
Yes, people miss the intimacy of the atmosphere and the sense of history, although some seem to have ac­cepted that the facilities at Pride Park are a forward move.

Is the current team kit acceptable? If you could replace it with one from a past era, which would it be?
It’s still not out (at the end of July) due to the long search for a sponsor – it’s been confirmed that the shirts will feature a beermat logo. The artist’s impression made it look like the players will be wearing rucksacks. Can’t wait. There have been too many aborted attempts at re-creating the classic 1960s kit with the ringed collar so the early 1970s plain white shirt is due a revival. The best away strip was the Argentina-style one of the late 1970s.

Lots of young players seem to be coming through at the moment. But are they any good?
Some are – Chris Riggott, whom some have tipped to be a future England player, is the best example. The reserves have won the Premier reserve league for the past two seasons. But the constant influx of Bos­man-transfer foreigners makes it unlikely that more than one or two will get a good run in the team to prove themselves – we’d see a lot more of them if we go down.

In the absence of Forest from the Premiership, which is the least favourite club of Derby fans?
It’s still Forest amd always will be, Leicester have crept in but the rivalry seems to come more from their direction.

Milestone and Millstones
1895 Move from Racecourse Ground to Baseball Ground. Better size, but worse shape.
1896-1904 Lose three FA Cup finals including 6-0 to Bury (our star striker claims he’s injured and refuses to play and, our goalkeeper plays even though he’s injured).
1946 Win first postwar FA Cup final, 4-1 v Charlton. Centre-forward Jack Stamps, invariably described as “burly”, scores twice in
extra time.
1972-75 Win League title – and Texaco Cup. Juventus win European Cup semi-final by dubious means. Francis Lee has the definitive football punch-up with Norman Hunter. Roger Davies gloriously scores Cup hat-trick at Tottenham (on TV), ingloriously misses from a yard at Chelsea (also on TV). Clough leaves. Win League title again.
1976 Beaten by Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-final at Hillsborough. The turning point is a disallowed goal by David Nish, and then it’s downhill, all the way to the old Third Division.
1986-94 Manager Arthur Cox takes the team from seventh in the Third Division to fourth in the First. But he is deprived of funds by Robert Maxwell, from whom we are resuced by new owner Lionel Pickering.
1996-2001 Promoted to Premiership in Jim Smith’s first season in charge. Paulo Wanchope – described by a local radio commentator as “a two-legged tripod, if you know what I mean” – scores a wondrous goal on his debut in a 3-2 win at Old Trafford. Move to Pride Park. Win at Hillsborough for the first time since 1936. 

Fondly remembered
Dave Mackay ~ Apart from Brian Clough, who revolutionised a club that had achieved very little in the preceding 50 years, my personal hero was Dave Mackay, the fearsome enforcer in the  team that won promotion in 1968-69 and later manager of the 1974-75 title winners.

Best forgotten
Robert Mawell ~ For forcing the sale of key players while running the club down – then trying to make a huge profit in selling it off. Special mention also to Tommy Docherty, who sold our best players, replaced them with Man Utd reserves and set us up for relegation in 1980. 

From WSC 175 September 2001. What was happening this month

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