East Midlands derby: Wikis


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Current Results
(Major Competitions Only)
From 85 games:

Derby County 30 Wins
Nottingham Forest 34 Wins
Draws 21

Last Meeting
Jan 30 2010:
Derby County 1-0 Nottingham Forest
Hulse 78

Pride Park Stadium, Derby, England
Attendance: 32,674

Next Match

The East Midlands derby is a sobriquet used to describe football matches held between Derby County and Nottingham Forest. It was first held on 1 October 1892 at the Racecourse Ground in the Football League Division One, and saw Nottingham Forest win 3-2. The most recent meeting between the two was a Football League Championship match at the Pride Park Stadium, Derby on January 30, 2010, which finished in a 1-0 Derby County win, ending a 19 match Forest unbeaten run. Although the clubs are rivals due to their geographical proximity - the rivalry grew even more intense towards the late 1970s when Brian Clough was appointed Forest manager, much to the dismay of the Derby support. According to a survey on football rivalries it is the 11th fiercest rivalry in English football, with 9 out of 10 fans from both clubs pointing to the other as their fiercest rival.[1]

Since 2007 whenever the two teams meet the winner has been awarded the Brian Clough Trophy, in memory of the man who had great success at both clubs. The inaugural match was held at Pride Park in July 2007 which Derby won 2-0. Derby County are the current holders after a 1-0 home win on January 30, 2010.



The rivalry between the two clubs was not, initially, a great one. In the 1880s the town of Derby had two clubs, Derby County and Derby Junction, whilst the city of Nottingham had Forest and Notts County as local rivals. Even when Derby Junction folded and became part of Derby County animosity between the two clubs went no further than friendly banter. The two clubs first met in 1892 following Forest's election to the Football League that same year when it was expanded to two divisions in size after four years as a one tier setup. Forest has formed in 1865, 19 years before Derby, but had elected to join the Football League's rival, the Football Alliance, instead in 1889-90. Their winning of the Alliance title in the 1891-92 season ensured they were voted into the First Division when the two leagues where merged in 1892. The fixture was held at least twice a season from 1892 until 1906, when Forest were relegated. Due to the two world wars, and the fact both clubs had a habit of enjoying success at different times, they jointly contested in only 6 league seasons (or 12 matches) for the next 64 years, all of which came in Division Two, with an additional four meetings coming in the FA Cup.

In the past 39 seasons, since the fixture returned onto the First Division fixture list in the 1969/70 season, meetings have been slightly more common, though not as common as the Merseyside, or Manchester derbies. Both clubs have jointly contested 17 league seasons, 12 in the Top Flight and a further 5 in the second tier. This return coincided with the rivalry developing into what it is known as today, largely due to when former Derby manager Brian Clough took over at Forest, much to the anger of the Derby fans - in fact some commentators have described the rivalry to be as much about which club owns Clough's heart as much as the proximity of the clubs geographically.[2] This, alongside the fact that Derby is a one club city and Forest fans do not see Notts County as a genuine threat as they have traditionally occupied the bottom two tiers of English football whilst Forest the upper two, lit the torch between the two supporters and there has been a bitter rivalry ever since. Both Derby and Forest fans have a large hatred for each other, and on a number of times have clashed. One famous incident occurred in the 1980s when, after a game, Derby hooligans teamed up with Leicester City (who also have a strong dislike for Forest) to cause trouble in Nottingham city centre and confront the Forest fans. Over 60 fans from all sides were arrested. More recently, prior to an FA Cup Fourth Round meeting in Derby in January 2009, Forest fans threw two sheep's heads at Derbyshire pubs.[3] The two sets of supporters did, however, put their differences aside to commemorate their former manager Brian Clough in a special memorial service at Derby's Pride Park Stadium following his death on 20 September 2004. The two met in the Championship just 6 weeks later in an emotional match which saw Derby win 3-0, their biggest win over Forest in 25 years.

Recent meetings have been amongst the most controversial in the fixture's history. On November 2, 2008, refree Stuart Attwell became the centre of attention when he disallowed two Derby goals in the final few minutes and booked eight players and issued a straight red card to Forest midfielder Lewis McGugan.[4] Derby boss Paul Jewell was especially vocal in his dismay at Attwell's performance, accusing the 25-year old official of 'losing control' of the game and 'robbing' the Rams of a victory.[5] The press furore around his display[6][7] saw Attwell called in for a meeting with Referee's Chief Keith Hackett[8] and was consequently axed from the following week's fixture list.[9] Days after the game Jewell said that a member of the Football Association had contacted him and told him that the second goal should have stood.[10]

Animosity between the club's grew even further with the appointment of former Derby manager Billy Davies at Forest in December 2009, along with the signing of several former Derby players in Lee Camp, Robert Earnshaw and Dexter Blackstock, and the appointment of Nigel Clough as Derby manager, along with the signing of former-Forest favourite Kris Commons at Pride Park. Two fractious FA Cup ties, including one in which Derby came from 2-0 down to win 3-2 and win at the City Ground for the first time since 1971, did not help matters and Robbie Savage's post-match scarf waving did not endear him to the Forest support.[11] Following a match on August 29, 2009, in which Forest won 3-2 to secure their first victory over Derby in 6 1/2 years, a post-match scuffle broke out between the Derby and Forest players after Nathan Tyson, in reaction to Savage's scarf waving the previous season, celebrated in front of the Derby County fans with a corner flag that had the Nottingham Forest logo on it, an incident the FA said they would investigate with some 'urgency'[12] the end result of which saw both club's fined for failing to control their players and Tyson charged with improper conduct.[13] Derby were fined £20,000, of which £10,000 was suspended, and ordered to pay £400 costs, Nottingham Forest were fined £25,000, of which £10,000 was suspended, and ordered to pat £1,200 costs and Tyson was fined £5,000 and given a two-match ban and ordered to pay £400 costs.[14] A second brawl broke out during the return fixture in January 2010 after Chris Gunter pushed Jay McEveley whilst the latter was taking a throw-in. The FA announced they would investigate the brawl[15] whilst former Derby manager Billy Davies claimed that Nigel Clough had "attacked" him during the melee and made a formal complaint to the League Manager's Association.[16]

Head To Head Record


Major Competitions

The clubs have met 85 times in all Major competitions, 76 times in the Football League, 8 times in the FA Cup and once in the League Cup.

Competition Played Derby County Draw Nottingham Forest Derby County
Nottingham Forest
League 76 26 19 31 118 121
FA Cup 8 4 2 2 12 8
League Cup 1 0 0 1 1 2
Totals 85 30 21 34 131 131

Minor Competitions

There have also been a further 26 meetings in various minor competitions of varying importance. The majority of these have come in Wartime competitions, such as the Wartime Cup and the regionalised Football Leagues, set up during World War I and World War II to keep football running during the conflicts. There was also one meeting in the Anglo-Italian Cup

Competition Played Derby County Draw Nottingham Forest Derby County
Nottingham Forest
Anglo-Italian Cup 1 1 0 0 3 2
Brian Clough Trophy 6 3 2 1 10 5
Football League (N) 6 3 1 2 15 12
Football League (S) 2 1 1 0 4 3
Midland Section 4 1 0 3 7 13
United Central League 4 2 1 1 6 2
VE Celebration Match 1 0 1 0 2 2
VJ Celebration Match 1 1 0 0 4 1
Football League War Cup 6 3 2 1 10 8
Totals 26 13 6 7 53 43

All Competitions

Competition Played Derby County Draw Nottingham Forest Derby County
Nottingham Forest
Major Competitions 85 30 21 34 131 131
Minor Competitions 26 13 6 7 53 43
Totals 111 43 27 41 184 174

Last ten years

Forest's relegation from the Premier League in the 1998/99 season meant that the first meeting between the two clubs in the new millennium did not occur until the 2002/03 season, following Derby's relegation from the top flight in the previous season. A 0-0 draw at Pride Park Stadium was followed by a 3-0 win for Forest at the City Ground, Forest's first victory in the fixture since 1994. The fixture was contested four more times over the next two years as both clubs remained rooted in the Football League Championship with arguably the most notable fixture between the two clubs coming on 20 March 2004 at the Pride Park Stadium, which Derby won 4-2. Both clubs were battling to avoid the drop into League One at the time, which ensured much media attention regarding the ailing fortunes of the two most prominent clubs in the career of the legendary Brian Clough. It was the highest scoring encounter between the clubs since 1970 and was also memorable for 'The Coffee Cup Incident',[17] the cup was retrieved by groundstaff and is still in the Derby trophy cabinet. As the ball travelled back to Forest keeper Barry Roche, it struck a coffee cup and bobbled up, causing Roche to slice it neatly into the path of Paul Peschisolido, who took full advantage to put the ball into an empty net and put Derby 2-0 up. Whilst both clubs eventually survived relegation, the following season Forest went down to League One, were they remained for three seasons.

When the fixture returned during the 2008/09 season, after Forest's promotion and Derby's relegation from the Premiership, it was held four times. Following a 1-1 draw at Pride Park Stadium in the league in October 2008, the teams were then drawn against in the FA Cup fourth round. Following a 1-1 draw at Pride Park, Derby won the replay 3-2, after being 2-0 down within the first 15 minutes, ex-Forest player Kris Commons scoring the winner. It was Derby's first win at the City Ground since 1971 and their first away win under new manager Nigel Clough. They won again at the City Ground just three weeks later, this time winning 3-1 in the Football League Championship. Forest got their first win over their rivals in six years with a 3-2 victory at the City Ground on August 29, 2009. Derby, struggling in 19th, won the return match 1-0, 2nd placed Nottingham Forest's first defeat in 19 matches and their first away defeat of the campaign, on January 30, 2010.

The total record over the past 10 years reads -

Competition Played Derby County Draw Nottingham Forest Derby
League 10 4 4 2 17 13
FA Cup 2 1 1 0 4 3
Brian Clough Trophy 1 1 0 0 2 0
Totals 13 6 5 2 23 16

Crossing The Divide

Since World War II some 30 players have played for both clubs, the majority of these moves coming in the 1970s/80s. The most famous individual to have represented both clubs, however, is unquestionably the man regarded as the greatest manager in the history of both - Brian Clough.


The first man to be involved in management at both clubs was Harold Wightman. A player with Derby between 1919 and 1927, Wightman was assistant at Derby under George Jobey and was later appointed Forest manager between 1936 and 1939. Peter Taylor followed a similar path, he was assistant manager at both Derby and Forest, becoming Derby's full manager in 1982.

The first man to be the actual manager at both clubs was Dave Mackay. Mackay, who managed Forest between 1972 and 1973, joined Derby in 1973 as the replacement for the man who would eventually become the second man to manage both clubs Brian Clough. Clough, who managed Derby between 1967 and 1973, joined Forest partway through the 1975-76 season, following spells with Brighton and the famous 42 days in charge at Leeds Utd. Clough took over from Mackay's initial replacement Allan Brown, with Forest struggling in Division Two. In just 3 unprecedented years, Clough led Forest to the 1978-79 European Cup, the highest domestic honour in European football, after earning the Second Division title in his first full season (1976–77) and the First Division title at the first attempt (1977–78). He won the First Division with both Forest and Derby, becoming the first man to win it with two different clubs since Herbert Chapman. He left the club in 1993.

On December 31, 2008 it was announced Billy Davies was to become the new manager at Forest. Davies had been out of work following his dismissal at Derby in November 2007, making him the third man to manage both clubs.


Since the Second World War some 30 different players have represented both Derby and Forest. The majority of these movements came in the 1970s/80s, when Clough signed many of his former Derby players for his new club Forest.

However, the first notable move was Scottish left winger Stewart Imlach who, after an unsuccessful spell at Derby in the 1954-55 season signed for Forest for a fee of £5,000 in 1955. He went on to play in the Forest side that beat Luton Town in the 1959 FA Cup Final. The next direct transfer between the two clubs was Alan Hinton. Hinton spent four years at Forest between 1963-67 before Clough signed him for £30,000. Forest had seen Hinton as a fairly uninspiring player and a number of Forest directors were known to have smugly put it about that Derby would "soon be asking for their money back". They were proved wrong when Hinton played 253 times for the Rams over the next 8 years, scoring 63 goals and winning two League Titles. Other Forest to Derby transfers in the late 60s/early 70s saw Terry Hennessey and Henry Newton join Derby directly from Forest and Frank Wignall make the move with a spell with Wolves in between. All of these players made telling contributions to Derby's regular triumphs from 1969 to 1975. Following Clough's move to Forest in 1975 he signed many of his former Derby players for the Reds. Both John O'Hare and John McGovern initially followed Clough to Leeds in 1974 before joining him at Forest, twice lifting the European Cup. Archie Gemmill joined Forest directly from Derby in 1977 and Colin Todd joined Forest in 1982, four years after leaving the Rams. What is notable about the Gemmill transfer is he rejoined Derby in 1982 (3 years after ending his term with Forest) becoming the only player to resign for one side of the divide after playing for the other, on a full term basis at least. Charlie George, a Mackay signing who played for Derby between 1975–78, joined Forest on loan from Southampton in 1980, before re-signing for Derby for 11 games in 1982.

Going in the other direction, three of Forest's European Cup winners joined Derby. The most famous is Peter Shilton who left Forest for Southampton in 1982 and joined Derby for a five year spell between 1987 and 1992. The most infamous was John Roberston. Robertson was signed by Peter Taylor in 1983 in a highly contested transfer, which eventually went to tribunal. Clough felt his old mate had pulled off an underhand deal, and the two former partners fell out, never to reconcile their differences before Taylor's death in Majorca in October 1990. The other former European Cup winning Red to join Derby was Kenny Burns, who spent a year at Derby between 1984-85. All three of these players signed for Derby at a time when Forest's great successes were still fresh and the Rams were in the wilderness.

Since then there have been few high profile players who have played for both clubs. Those who have include goalkeepers John Middleton, Steve Sutton and Lee Camp, defenders Gary Charles, Gary Mills and Darren Wassall, midfielders Steve Hodge, Glyn Hodges, Darryl Powell and Lars Bohinen and forwards Mikkel Beck, Dexter Blackstock and Dean Saunders. On 30 May 2008 Rob Earnshaw became the first player to move directly between the two clubs for 15 years (since Gary Charles in 1993) when he agreed to a £2.65m deal to join Forest from the Rams less than a year after moving to Pride Park. The move was followed three days later by Forest winger Kris Commons moving to Pride Park, though he was released by Forest first meaning he did not move directly between the two clubs.


The following records are based solely on meeting in major competitions :

  • The record home victory in a league match is 5-0 recorded by Derby County at The Baseball Ground on 11 April 1898.
  • The record away victory in a league match is 6-2 recorded by Nottingham Forest, again at the Baseball Ground, on 14 November 1903.
  • The highest scoring match saw 8 goals when Forest won 6-2 at the Baseball Ground on 14 November 1903.
  • Steve Bloomer of Derby County holds the mark for the most derby goals with 26 between 1892 and 1912.
  • Record Attendance: 62, 017 at Crystal Palace for the 1897-98 FA Cup Final on 16 April 1898, which Forest won 3-1.
  • Record League Attendance: 42, 074 at The City Ground on 14 March 1970, which Derby won 3-1.
  • Lowest Attendance: an estimated 3,000 at Baseball Ground on 20 April 1899, a match which Derby won 2-0

League Doubles

Due to the nature of the football league match schedule, when Derby and Nottingham Forest are in the same division they will play each other twice, once at Derby's stadium and once at Nottingham Forest's. Occasionally, one of either club will win both fixtures resulting in a "league double". This has happened on 14 occasions, 8 times in Forest's favour and 6 in Derby's. Derby did beat Forest twice in the 2008/09 season, but one of those wins came in the FA Cup and both were at the City Ground.

Season Division Double
Result at
Result at
1892/93 Division One (Old) Nott'm Forest 2-3 1-0
1893/94 Division One (Old) Nott'm Forest 3-4 4-2
1895/96 Division One (Old) Derby 4-0 2-5
1897/98 Division One (Old) Derby 5-0 3-4
1903/04 Division One (Old) Nott'm Forest 2-6 5-1
1904/05 Division One (Old) Derby 3-2 0-1
1911/12 Division Two (Old) Derby 1-0 1-3
1921/22 Division Two (Old) Nott'm Forest 1-2 3-0
1925/26 Division Two (Old) Derby 2-0 1-2
1953/54 Division Two (Old) Nott'm Forest 1-2 4-2
1954/55 Division Two (Old) Nott'm Forest 1-2 3-0
1971/72 Division One (Old) Derby 4-0 0-2
1987/88 Division One (Old) Nott'm Forest 0-1 2-1
1989/90 Division One (Old) Nott'm Forest 0-2 2-1

Notable matches

The most notable meeting between Derby and Forest came in 1898 when the two contested the 1897/98 Cup Final at Crystal Palace, a match which saw Nottingham Forest run out 3-1 victors to take the cup for the first time. Another notable FA Cup meeting came when Forest drew Derby in the 3rd Round at The Baseball Ground on 8 January 1983. Clough's Forest where twice European Champions and one of the countries premier clubs whilst Derby where now a struggling Division Two club and under the management by Clough's long term former right hand man, Peter Taylor. Derby famously won 2-0.

Other notable meetings include

  • First Meeting & First Nottingham Forest Win - 1892/93 in Football League Division One - Derby County 2 - 3 Nottingham Forest, 1 October 1892
  • First Derby County Win - 1894/95 in Football League Division One - Derby County 4-2 Nottingham Forest, 8 September 1894
  • First Hat trick - 1895/96 in Football League Division One by Steve Bloomer, Nottingham Forest 2 - 5 Derby County
  • First Draw - 1896/97 in Football League Division One - Derby County 1 - 1 Nottingham Forest, 5 September 1896
  • Biggest Home Win - 1897/98 in Football League Division One - Derby County 5 - 0 Nottingham Forest, 11 April 1897
  • First FA Cup Meeting - 1897/98 in FA Cup Final - Derby County 1 - 3 Nottingham Forest, 16 April 1897
  • Biggest Away Win & Highest Scoring Game - 1903/04 in Football League Division One - Derby County 2 - 6 Nottingham Forest, 14 November 1903
  • First League Cup Meeting - 1985/86 in Football League Cup 3rd Round - Derby County 1 - 2 Nottingham Forest, 30 October 1985
  • Most Recent Forest Win at Derby - 1993/94 in Football League Division One - Derby County 0-2 Nottingham Forest, 27 April 1994
  • Most Recent Derby Win away at Forest - 2008/09 in Football League Championship - Nottingham Forest 1 - 3 Derby County, 21 February 2009

Brian Clough Trophy

In 2007 it was decided that whenever the two teams played in the league or in a cup tie the Brian Clough Trophy, in memory of the man who had great success at both clubs, would be awarded to the winner. The inaugural match was held at Pride Park in July 2007 which Derby won 2-0. Derby retained the trophy in the next four meetings, with two 1-1 draws at Pride Park and two victories, 3-2 and 3-1, at The City Ground. Despite losing the trophy to Forest for the first time after a 3-2 defeat at the City Ground in August 2009, Derby reclaimed the trophy after a 1-0 win at Pride Park Stadium on January 30, 2010.


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  11. ^ [http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1210060/Nottingham-Forest-3-Derby-County-2-Robbie-Savages-fury-Nathan-Tyson-act.html "Nottingham Forest 3 Derby County 2: Robbie Savage's fury over Nathan Tyson act Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1210060/Nottingham-Forest-3-Derby-County-2-Robbie-Savages-fury-Nathan-Tyson-act.html#ixzz0Q5g0Qeqw"]. daily mail.co.uk. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1210060/Nottingham-Forest-3-Derby-County-2-Robbie-Savages-fury-Nathan-Tyson-act.html. Retrieved 2009-09-03. 
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  17. ^ [2], The Coffee Horror Show, accessed 09 April 2008

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