|Derby Down Under - Clothes Don't Make The Man|
Sun 26th Oct 2008 06:35 by Daniel J Sewart
This week Derby County released its new third kit with a design based on the popular away shirt from the club's 1975/76 season.
When the Rams took the league title for the second time in four years, it seemed that the devastating departure of Brian Clough may not be the end of the clubs success. Dave Mackay had successfully guided the team to third in his first season and managed to fight off challenges from Liverpool and Ipswich to win the league in his second.
In 1975 when this design was first unveiled, the Rams started their defence of the title by securing the charity shield but ultimately fell short of back to back titles finishing in fourth. The season contained arguably one of the clubs most memorable highlights when they defeated Real Madrid at the baseball ground 4-1 which included a stunning hat trick from Charlie George.
My mother often says when I was born it was the year Derby County became jinxed. Just over a month after I appeared on this earth the Rams lifted their last top flight champions trophy to date. Although there have been successes, none have matched those of the seventies but it is nice to know that the club have managed at least one title in my lifetime (if only just).
It has been a running joke amongst family and friends about the unsuccessful nature of the sporting teams that I follow. Collingwood in Aussie Rules have managed one league win in 50 years and Cronulla in Ruby League have not even managed one in their 41 year history, despite both clubs appearing in countless finals. It is very difficult when faced with these facts to mount an argument against the accusation my clubs were desperately unlucky the day I donned their colours.
Many of us have certain affection for our birth year, that interest has seen the rise of many novelty gifts like birthday card DVD’s that detail highlights from that year. You can even purchase personalised folders that include newspapers and other dated items from the day and year of your birth.
It is with that same affection I have always considered buying the Rams retro away strip as it represents two important events for me, the year of my birth and the last time (to date) when the Rams were at the height of their powers. I for one will be placing my order unless of course a campaign is mounted to have me removed from Ram fandom and the jinx I provide by having me on your side.
We all wait to see if the good times of old will ever return to Derby County. Sadly the world is different now, especially the world of football and if we were being logical our heads would say it is unlikely but our hearts will always hold out hope that more glory days await the Rams faithful. Unless of course our U.S owners bring in a a Texan oil billionaire or someone of that ilk to take us to that next level. Stranger things have happened.
The new kit does not guarantee any more success on the pitch and in reality is nothing more than another way to get loyal fans to part with more of their hard earned money. But after the ‘Ghostbusters’ like away slime green number that was forced upon us, I am glad at least the club has a strip that not only looks better but represents the clubs proud history.
Hopefully it will gladden the hearts of any Derby fan that remembers or has been educated about a time when the club was respected and feared by opposition the length and breadth of the globe.
Now it is up to the players who wear the shirt to make sure that once again this design holds an important place in a fans memory because clothes alone don’t make the man.
C’mon Ewe Rams!!
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Daniel J Sewart