THOSE DERBY DAYS



Brian Clough walked into Derby County's Baseball Ground in the summer of 1967. It marked the start of a memorable transformation of the Second Division club, who became English champions within just a few years.

Clough brought his assistant Peter Taylor with him. They had enjoyed success in their first managerial roles at Hartlepool. Derby were in the Division Two doldrums and needed new blood. They got it in the shape of Clough and Taylor. After winning promotion to Division One in 1969, Derby went on to secure the league title. 

Roy McFarland was still a teenager when he signed for Clough at Derby. Under him, he won a First Division title and his first England cap. McFarland told this website: "When I signed for Derby, one of the first things Clough said to me was that I would be an international player. Everything he said came true. It was an incredible time."

McFarland recalls those magical times in this brianclough.com video....


Among the other key signings was Dave Mackay. Clough went to see Mackay at Spurs and persuaded him to join the Derby revolution rather than become assistant manager at Scottish club Hearts. Brian later reflected: "I never made a more effective signing in my entire managerial career." 

Derby had already played their last game of the season (against Liverpool - and featured in 'Brian Clough: Fifty Defining Fixtures') by the time the final fixtures involving Liverpool and Leeds took place. As a result, Clough was on holiday with his family on the Isles of Scilly when he was told Derby were the champions. 

Cloughie & league trophy
Clough's first attempt at winning the European Cup ended in controversy as his Derby side lost to Juventus in the semi-final. That game is featured in the book 'Brian Clough: Fifty Defining Fixtures'. Although Clough regretted walking out at Derby in October 1973, following a boardroom bust-up, he would sometimes look back fondly at his time at the Baseball Ground.  "They were happy, happy days," he recalled in his first autobiography. "I've never known a collective spirit stronger than the one we built at Derby at that time."

Celebrations in 1972

Clough was given the Freedom of Derby in 2003 and a statue of him, and his assistant Peter Taylor, was unveiled in 2010 at Pride Park, which had hosted the memorial service in 2004.