RTG’s totally and utterly (we hope) indispensable guide to this season’s away grounds.
THE OPPO –Derby County aka The Rams
DATE – Saturday 20th September
KO TIME – 3.00pm
Pride Park Stadium is west of Derby city centre, close to the main A52 Nottingham-Derby road.
Visiting supporters are accommodated in the McArthur Glen south stand (upper and lower).
Tickets are now on general sale from either the SAFC Ticket Office (tel 0191 551-5151) or online via Ticketmaster.
GOING BY CAR?
Pretty easy really! By far the most straightforward – and probably fastest – way from Sunderland is to get on the A1; just after you pass junction 45 (for the A64 Leeds/York road) you’ll see signs for the M1 – so take the M1 south. You join the M1 at jcn 48 and you need to stay on it until you reach jcn 25. On the exit slip road turn right onto the A52 towards Derby. After that, just keep going until you see the signs for Pride Park – easy peasy.
Parking in the area around the stadium is extremely limited, you’ll probably be as well off parking in one of the multi-storeys in Derby town centre.
GOING BY TRAIN?
There are 2 trains an hour out of Newcastle, direct to Derby. Catch either the 10.21 or 10.51 and you’ll get to Derby in time to have a drink before the match.
To get from the station to the ground, come out of the station and turn right onto Railway Terrace, go through the walkway under the railway line and turn right onto Pride Park Way – the stadium is a little way further along on the right.
Coming back, if you can get yourself on either the 5.45 or 6.15pm train, you’ll still have time for a pint in Sunderland before last orders.
For train times for that day, check the National Rail website.
Express by Holiday Inn, Pride Park, tel 01332 388000
Travelodge Derby, Kingsway Retail Park, Derby, tel 0870 1911572
Premier Lodge, Sinfin Lane, Derby, tel 0870 9906306
Travel Inn, Wyvern Business Park, Derby, tel 0870 2383313
The Grange Hotel, Normanton, Derby, tel 01332 766338
SCRAN AND BOOZE
A bit like at Stoke City, there isn’t too much around immediately outside the stadium to take the edge off your hunger or quench your thirst – there are bars inside the stadium but be warned: they stop serving drinks 15 minutes before kickoff.
Many away fans drink at “The Navigation” pub just next to the away parking facilities at Wilmorton College. Just follow the directions to away parking signs. There are also some pubs close to the rail station – The Merry Widows, The Brunswick and The Alexandra.
Failing that if it’s just food or a soft drink you’re after, you could put your hopes in the hands of a motorway service station before you turn off the M1 – either Trowell services just north of jcn 25 on the M1, or the Tibshelf service area between jcns 28 and 29. Tibshelf is relatively new, very clean and well-organised, and has several options for nosh – Wimpy, Costa Coffee, the usual standard motorway services café and a ‘sells-everything’ shop with sarnies, pasties, crisps, sweets, pop etc, and cash machines.
LEND US A FIVER I’M OUT OF CASH
Handily, there’s a cash machine actually at Pride Park, belonging to the Derbyshire Building Society.
IN THE NEWS
– They recently denied that the club is on the verge of being sold after a midlands radio station sparked speculation that a takeover was imminent – their chairman wants out.
– They wanted to take striker Alun Armstrong from Ipswich on loan but the Horses have turned them down – they want a permanent deal. Armstrong played under Rams boss George Burley at Ipswich.
– Former Skunk Warren Barton is a Ram these days but had surgery on a shoulder injury in the close season then had a sciatic nerve problem – but is hoping to return to full fitness soon.
– The Mag connection continues: squad no 32 is a defender by the name of Gary Caldwell – Steve’s brother – he’s on loan to the Rams.
– They’re already out of the Carling Cup, having lost to 3rd division Huddersfield.
Finished 18th out of 24.
Their recent 3-0 defeat of Stoke – their first win of this season – moved them up from 24th of 24, to 22nd:
P6 W1 D1 L4 F4 A11 Pts 4 GD -7
HEAD TO HEAD
A close-run thing. Derby and Sunderland have met 120 times in the league, we’ve won 51 and they’ve won 46, with 23 draws. The most notable recent game between us was when we beat them 5-0 on their own patch, only six weeks after starting our Premiership campaign in 1999 – Kevin Phillips bagged a hat-trick, with Quinn and McCann getting the other two.
LAST 6 MEETINGS
11/05/02 Lads 1, Derby 1 (Phillips 17)
09/02/02 Derby 0, Lads 1 (Quinn 80)
03/02/01 Derby 1, Lads 0
16/09/00 Lads 2, Derby 1 (Kilbane 40, Phillips 74)
26/02/00 Lads 1, Derby 1 (Rae 62)
18/09/99 Derby 0, Lads 5 (McCann 24, Phillips 42, 52, 85, Quinn 55)
– Best league win: 9-0 vs Wolves back in January 1891.
– Worst league defeat: 2-11 vs Everton in 1890.
– Record transfer fee paid: £3m to Crewe for Seth Johnson (October 2001)
– Record transfer fee received: £7m from Leeds, for……Seth Johnson! (Oct 01)
– They were formed in 1884 as the footy-playing branch of Derbyshire County Cricket Club and only four years later became one of the founding teams of the Football League.
– Our own Raich Carter – skipper of the Sunderland FA Cup winning side in 1937 – signed for Derby County in December 1945. He helped them to win the FA Cup too, becoming the only player to have won a Cup winner’s medal either side of the War. Carter also played first-class cricket for Derbyshire before being sold to Hull.
– Like Sunderland, Derby County is another club linked to the footballing legend that is Brian Clough – he managed them from June 1967 until October 1973. During his tenure, the Rams won the Watney and Texaco cups, were crowned Division One champions and reached the semi-final of the European Cup.
– The current manager is George Burley – a former Sunderland player from 1985 to 1988; the Craig Burley who played for Derby until earlier this year is manager George’s nephew.
– In 1984 newspaper tycoon Robert Maxwell stepped in to save the club from bankruptcy but rarely attended matches, prompting the supporters’ chant “He’s fat, he’s round, he’s never at the ground…”. After his death in 1991 a consortium of local businessmen took over the club, and current chairman Lionel Pickering provided the major financial backing to keep the club in business; but now he wants out.
Credits: Derby County FC official website, therams.co.uk, Rough Guide to English Football, Soccerbase, www.streetmap.co.uk, National Rail.