DERBY COUNTY 1971-72 FIRST DIVISION CHAMPIONS
BRIAN CLOUGH led Derby County into the top-flight in 1969 and within three years they were crowned champions of England.
Before Clough arrived at The Baseball Ground from Hartlepool United, Derby were still living off their 1946 FA Cup triumph, according to winger Alan Hinton.
Clough gave the club the kick up the backside they needed and they raced away with the Second Division title, winning it by seven points from Charlton Athletic.
Derby finished fourth in their first season back in the First Division but two years later the magic combination of Clough and Peter Taylor pulled off the unthinkable of the championship.
Hinton recalls: “I had three seasons there before Brian Clough arrived. It was like a whirlwind when he suddenly hit us. It ruined my golf handicap and social life. He was so unpredictable. I tried to second guess him for about five years but never had any luck.
“He changed our training times, they would never be the same. He kept you guessing all of the time.
“It took a long time for us to adapt to the way he wanted us to live and the way that he wanted us to work.
“He would take us away for two or three days somewhere. Both Cloughie and Peter liked a trip to get away and relax.”
Derby started their champi- onship-winning season by going 12 games unbeaten. They used only 16 players and finished the season with 57 points, but needed Leeds and Liverpool to both slip up – which they did.
Leeds lost 2-1 at Wolverhampton Wanderers and finished runners up while Liverpool drew 0-0 against Arsenal at Anfield and the Championship was on its way to Derbyshire.
As the title was being decided Clough typically went on holiday with his family to the Isle of Scilly while Taylor went with the players to Majorca.
Hinton adds: “We listened to the last games on the telephone in the manager’s office of the hotel we were staying in.
“Peter Taylor had hold of the phone and the phone at the other end was next to a radio and we gathered around as Peter relayed to us all what was happening.
“That is what is was like for 90 minutes. We had been 6 or 7/1 on the morning to win the league.”
1. Brian Clough: Went on to manage the Rams’ most fierce rivals Nottingham Forest, leading them to a European Cup double. He died in Derby in September 2004 aged 69 after a battle with cancer.
2. Terry Hennessey: After a spell in management in Non-League football and abroad, he settled in Melbourne, Australia and worked as a sales manager and as an advisor to Onside Academy.
3. Ron Webster: Derby’s great right back worked on a cattle farm on a 100-acre estate north of Nottingham and then worked in a factory on Meadow Lane Industrial Estate in Alfreton.
4. Colin Boulton: The Rams’ bestever goalkeeper is now living in Walton on Trent. He sold burglar alarms and worked for football equipment manufacturer Mitre for over 30 years.
5. Colin Todd: He went into management with Middlesbrough, Bolton, Derby, Bradford, Darlington and is in his second spell in charge of Danish outfit Randers.
6. John Robson: The former England U23 international was forced to retire with multiple sclerosis. He ran a newsagents in Erdington but died in Sutton Coldfield in May 2004, aged 54.
7. Peter Taylor: Brian Clough’s long-suffering side kick returned to County in 1982 before he retired in 1984. Peter died suddenly on holiday in Majorca in October 1990, aged 62.
8. Jimmy Gordon: He worked with Clough and Taylor until his retirement in May 1981. He died in Derby from Alzheimer’s in August 1996, aged 80.
9. John McGovern: Went into coaching and management with Bolton, Chorley, Rotherham, Woking and Ilkeston, and has worked in local media and as an ambassador for Nottingham Forest.
10. Archie Gemmill: A former apprentice electrician has coached at Nottingham Forest, managed Rotherham United, scouted for Derby County and the Scottish FA.
11. John O’Hare: He was the licensee of a pub before going into insurance and then working at the Toyota factory in Derby. He then worked as chauffeur and currently does corporate hospitality at Forest.
12. Roy McFarland: Is now retired and living in Derby after managing Bradford, The Rams, Cambridge United, Torquay, Chesterfield and Burton Albion.
13. Kevin Hector: Named Derby’s greatest ever player, the striker settled in Allestree and, until he retired, worked as a postman in the East Midlands. His 486 League appearances for Derby is a club record.
14. Alan Hinton: Settled in the United States where he coached before becoming a Seattle Real Estate agent and broadcast analyst for Seattle Sounders.
15. Alan Durban: The Welsh international midfielder went into management with Shrewsbury, Stoke, Sunderland – where he was also chief scout – and Cardiff. Later worked in the Stoke academy.