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Derby County F.C. in European football

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Title: Derby County F.C. in European football  
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Derby County F.C. in European football

Derby County F.C. in European football
Statue of Brian Clough and Peter Taylor, the management team during Derby's first European Cup campaign
Club Derby County
First entry 1971–72 Texaco Cup
(Major: 1972–73 European Cup)
Last entry 1994–95 Anglo-Italian Cup
(Major: 1976–77 UEFA Cup)

Derby County Football Club is an English football club based in Derby. The club was founded in 1884 competed in the English football league system from its conception in 1888. Their first season in Europe came when they entered the 1972–73 European Cup after winning the 1971–72 First Division Title, reaching the semi-final stages, were 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 due to financial regularities. The 1970s saw 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 won the Texaco Cup in 1971–72, and also competed in the Anglo-Italian Cup between 1992–93 and 1994–95, reaching the final in 1993, losing 3–1 to Cremonese at Wembley.


1971–72 Texaco Cup

Broomfield Park, then home to Airdrieonians and venue of the away Texaco Cup final leg.

Derby entered the Texaco Cup for one season only: the 1971–72 season. The Rams' first opposition were Dundee United.[1] Derby kicked off by winning 6–2, with goals from Alan Durban, Kevin Hector, Alan Hinton, John O'Hare, John Robson and Jim Walker.[2] United won the away leg 3–2 however Derby progressed, winning 8–5 on aggregate.[3] Victories against Stoke City and Newcastle United followed as Derby reached the final.

Their final opposition were Airdrieonians, who reached the final by beating English clubs Huddersfield Town and Manchester City then Ballymena United of Northern Ireland.[4] The final was a two-legged tie. A Derby defence praised as "efficient" was left unbeaten in the leg at Broomfield Park as it finished goalless.[5] The East Midlands leg, rearranged after the original game was postponed,[6] was won 2–1 by the home team, with Derby's goals from Roger Davies and a hotly disputed penalty kick scored by Hinton; Derek Whiteford was the Airdrie goalscorer.[7]

Season Competition Round Opposition Score
1971–72 Texaco Cup First Round Dundee United 6–2 (H), 3–2 (A)
Second Round Stoke City 3–2 (H), 1–1 (A)
Semifinals Newcastle United 1–0 (H), 2–3 (A)[nb 1]
Final Airdrieonians 0–0 (A), 2–1 (H)

1972–73 European Cup

After claiming the club's first ever League title the previous year, Brian Clough led Derby into their first major European campaign, four years after taking over the club then in the Second Division of English football. Clough led Derby to the semi-finals at the first attempt, recording a famous 3–0 aggrgate victory over Eusébio's S.L. Benfica, the leading light of European football in the 1960s, and becoming only the second club in European football history (after Ajax) to keep a clean sheet against the club over two legs. Derby eventually lost out 3–1 to Juventus, although it was in controversial circumstances, with claims from Clough that the Italian club had bribed the match officials, calling them "cheating bastards".[8]

Season Competition Round Opposition Score
1972–73 European Cup First Round Željezničar 2–0 (H), 2–1 (A)
Second Round Benfica 3–0 (H), 0–0 (A)
Quarter-final Spartak Trnava 0–1 (A), 2–0 (H)
Semi-final Juventus 1–3 (A), 0–0 (H)

1974–75 UEFA Cup

Dave Mackay (2006 image), manager during Derby's début UEFA Cup season.

Dave Mackay first lead Derby into Europe when he took the club to a third place finish in the 1973–74 after taking over from Brian Clough in October 1973. This was Derby's first entry into the UEFA Cup and the second round draw against Atlético Madrid marked Derby's first ever involvement in a penalty shootout; Derby won the shoot-out 7–6.[9]

Season Competition Round Opposition Score
1974–75 UEFA Cup First Round Servette 4–1 (H), 2–1 (A)
Second Round Atlético Madrid 2–2 (H), 2–2 (A)[nb 2]
Third Round Velež 3–1 (H), 1–4 (A)

1975–76 European Cup

Derby's second foray into the European Cup came in the 1975–76 competition under the management of Dave Mackay. Though the run contained arguably the greatest night in the club's history, a 4–1 home victory over Real Madrid, in which Charlie George grabbed a hat-trick, a 5–1 defeat at the Bernabéu saw Derby exit the competition in the second round. The gate of 120,000 is the largest to ever watch a Derby County match.

Season Competition Round Opposition Score
1975–76 European Cup First Round ŠK Slovan Bratislava 0–1 (A), 3–0 (H)
Second Round Real Madrid C.F. 4–1 (H), 1–5 (A)

1976–77 UEFA Cup

Dave Mackay's third foray into Europe as Derby manager proved to be the club's last in major competition. The 12–0 first round victory over Finn Harps stands as the club's record victory in all competitions, whilst the second round defeat at home to AEK Athens was the club's first ever European home defeat. It was also one of MacKay's last games in charge of the club as he was sacked later that month, less than 18 months after winning the title.

Season Competition Round Opposition Score
1976–77 UEFA Cup First Round Finn Harps 12–0 (H), 4–1 (A)
Second Round AEK Athens 0–2 (A), 2–3 (H)

1992–93 Anglo-Italian Cup

The revival of the Anglo-Italian Cup for the 1992–93 campaign saw Derby, under the management of Arthur Cox, return to European Competition for the first time since 1976 and, thanks to reaching the final, return to Wembley for the first time since the 1975 Charity Shield. It also contributed to Derby's busiest ever season – the 9 matches leading up to the final were alongside a 46 match league campaign and reaching the FA Cup 6th Round (5 matches) and League Cup 3rd Round (4 matches), which resulted in a total of 64 matches, beating the previous club record of 60 from the 1985–86 season. The competition itself was largely unpopular though, with most home matches attracting gates of less than 8,000.

Season Competition Round Opposition Score
1992–93 Anglo-Italian Cup Preliminary Round Notts County 4–2 (H)
Preliminary Round Barnsley 2–1(A)
Group B Pisa Calcio 3–0 (H)
Group B Cosenza Calcio 1914 3–0 (A)
Group B U.S. Cremonese 1–3 (H)
Group B Reggina Calcio 3–0 (A)
Semi-final Brentford 4–3 (A), 1–2 (H)
Final U.S. Cremonese 1–3 (N)

1993–94 Anglo-Italian Cup

Derby, now under the management of Roy McFarland failed to navigate the Preliminary Round of the 1993–94 Anglo Italian Cup, though the competition did feature the only time in history that the East Midlands derby has been held in European competition, with Derby winning 3–2.

Season Competition Round Opposition Score
1993–94 Anglo-Italian Cup Preliminary Round Notts County 2–3 (A)
Preliminary Round Nottingham Forest 3–2 (H)

1994–95 Anglo-Italian Cup

Derby's most recent European campaign came in the 1994–95 season, the last year of McFarland's management tenure. The club was not part of the 1995–96 competition, which proved to be its last. By this point gates had descended to around 2,000 and the competition was considered more of a distraction than a viable opportunity of European competition for second tier clubs.

Season Competition Round Opposition Score
1994–95 Anglo-Italian Cup Group B Ancona 1–2 (a)
Group B Cesena 6–1 (H)
Group B Piacenza 1–1 (A)
Group B Udinese 3–1 (H)

Overall record

Competition Pld W D L GF GA GD
Texaco Cup 8 5 2 1 18 9 +9
European Cup 12 6 2 4 18 12 +6
UEFA Cup 10 5 2 3 32 18 +14
Anglo-Italian Cup 15 9 1 5 38 24 +14
Total 45 25 7 13 106 63 +43


  1. ^ After extra time
  2. ^ Won 7–6 on penalties



  • Lewis, Tom (20 December 2007). "Anglo-Scottish Cup & Texaco Cup". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 27 August 2014. 
  • Mortimer, Gerald (2006). Derby County: The Complete Record. Breedon Books. ISBN . 
  • "FACTS AND FIGURES". (Derby County F.C.). 22 August 2007. Archived from the original on 25 December 2007. Retrieved 9 September 2007. 


  1. ^ "TEXACO CUP OPENERS". The Herald (Glasgow). 14 September 1971. p. 4. Retrieved 27 August 2014. 
  2. ^ "UNITED OUTCLASSED BY DERBY". The Herald (Glasgow). 16 September 1971. p. 6. Retrieved 27 August 2014. 
  3. ^ "CONSOLATION WIN FOR UNITED". The Herald (Glasgow). 30 September 1971. p. 6. Retrieved 27 August 2014. 
  4. ^ Jacobs, Raymond (26 January 1972). "Derby will prove whether Airdrie are out of their league". The Herald (Glasgow). p. 5. Retrieved 27 August 2014. 
  5. ^ Jacobs, Raymond (27 January 1972). "Airdrieonians fail to penetrate Derby's efficient defence". The Herald (Glasgow). p. 4. Retrieved 27 August 2014. 
  6. ^ "TEXACO FINAL POSTPONED". The Herald (Glasgow). 9 March 1972. p. 4. Retrieved 27 August 2014. 
  7. ^ "Disputed penalty decision robs Airdrie of cup". The Herald (Glasgow). 27 April 1972. p. 9. Retrieved 27 August 2014. 
  8. ^ "Brian Clough obituary". The Guardian. 21 September 2004. 
  9. ^ "1974/75 UEFA Cup - Matches - Second Round". 27 August 2012. Retrieved 13 February 2013. 

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