1971–72 Derby County F.C. season

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Derby County
1971–72 season
ManagerEngland Brian Clough
StadiumBaseball Ground
First Division1st (Champions)
FA CupFifth round
League CupSecond round

The 1971–72 season was Derby County's 72nd in the Football League and their 45th season in the top flight. They won their first ever league title to qualify for the 1972–73 European Cup, as well as winning the Texaco Cup. In addition, their reserve side won the Central League for the first time since 1936.

Season summary[edit]

Derby began the season with an unbeaten League run of five wins and seven draws although they did exit the League Cup at the second round stage, beaten 2–0 in a replay at Leeds. Defeat at leaders Manchester United in their 13th match triggered a period of inconsistent league form that saw Derby lose five times in 11 matches, the last at Elland Road just after Christmas, but they lost just one of their next 13 and a 2–0 victory against Leeds at the Baseball Ground over Easter took them to the top of the table. They remained there despite losing to Newcastle in the next match, their only home defeat of the season, and then drawing with West Bromwich Albion but had now played a game more than the three teams below them (Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester City) with only two points separating the four.

Two victories followed but defeat at Manchester City in their penultimate match of the campaign saw Derby slip to third with the title race still wide open. City, having completed their fixtures, now led the table on 57 points but could no longer win the league, with Derby and second-placed Liverpool both a point behind and separated only by goal average. Crucially, the two would meet at the Baseball Ground in Derby's final match although the Reds still had a further game in hand. Leeds lay fourth on 55 points, also with two matches remaining and a superior goal average to the other challengers.

Derby ended their season by beating Liverpool 1–0, John McGovern netting the winner, leaving them on 58 points with Leeds (who beat Chelsea 2–0 on the same night) on 57 and Liverpool on 56. Derby's destiny was not in their own hands and they left the country to escape the pressure - Brian Clough holidayed with his family in the Isles of Scilly while Peter Taylor went to Majorca with the players. Leeds needed a draw and Liverpool a win to overtake Derby.

In the event, Wolverhampton Wanderers beat Leeds 2–1 at Molineux and Liverpool could only manage a 0–0 draw at Arsenal. The league was unusually close throughout the campaign and the final table saw Derby champions just one point ahead of the teams in 2nd (Leeds), 3rd (Liverpool) and 4th (City).

Clough had built a balanced team at Derby, one in which every player knew his job. They rarely swept away the opposition, instead building on the foundations of a strong defence, although there were some memorable performances, notably in 4–0 defeats of Stoke and Nottingham Forest at the Baseball Ground and away to Sheffield United.

Although Derby reached the FA Cup fifth round, losing 1–0 to eventual runners-up Arsenal in a second replay at Filbert Street, their primary cup success for 1971–72 came in the Texaco Cup, a competition between sixteen English, Scottish and Irish clubs who were not in European competition. With home gates consistently over 20,000, Derby beat Dundee United (8–5 on aggregate), Stoke (4–3 agg.) and Newcastle (4–2 agg.) before playing Airdrieonians in the final. After a 0–0 draw at Broomfield Park, Derby beat their Scottish opponents 2–1 in the second leg at the Baseball Ground with Roger Davies, signed for £12,000 the previous summer from non-league Worcester City, grabbing the decisive goal to give Derby their second cup win in as many seasons.

Record signing defender Colin Todd claimed the club's Player of the Year while Alan Hinton finished the season as top scorer with 15 goals. Kevin Hector netted his 100th for the club in a 6–0 FA Cup fourth round win over Notts County and Alan Durban became the club's most capped international, overtaking Sammy Crooks, with his 27th and final appearance for Wales. Steve Powell became Derby's youngest ever player, a record he held for almost 30 years, when he made his debut in a Texaco Cup tie against Stoke City aged just 16 years and 30 days.

Squad[edit]

Substitute appearances indicated in brackets
Pos. Nat. Name League League Cup FA Cup Other Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
GK  ENG Colin Boulton 42 0 2 0 5 0 8 0 57 0
GK  ENG Graham Moseley 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
DF  ENG Tony Bailey 1 0 0 0 0 0 2(1) 0 3(1) 0
DF  ENG Peter Daniel 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 0 5 0
DF  WAL Terry Hennessey 17(1) 0 0 0 0(1) 0 8 0 25(2) 0
DF  ENG Alan Lewis 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0
DF  ENG Roy McFarland 38 4 2 0 5 0 2 0 47 4
DF  ENG Tony Parry 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0
DF  ENG John Robson 41 2 2 0 5 1 6 1 54 4
DF  ENG Colin Todd 40 2 2 0 5 0 6 1 53 3
DF  ENG Jim Walker 3(3) 1 0 0 0 0 2(2) 2 5(5) 3
DF  ENG Ron Webster 38 1 2 0 5 0 5 0 50 1
MF  WAL Alan Durban 31 6 1 0 5 4 4 2 41 12
MF  SCO Archie Gemmill 40 3 2 0 5 0 3 0 50 3
MF  ENG Alan Hinton 38 15 2 0 5 2 8 3 53 20
MF  SCO John McGovern 39(1) 3 1 0 5 0 6 1 51(1) 4
MF  ENG Steve Powell 2(1) 0 0 0 0(1) 0 2 0 4(2) 0
FW  ENG Jeff Bourne 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0
FW  ENG Barry Butlin 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 1 3 1
FW  ENG Roger Davies 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1
FW  ENG Kevin Hector 42 12 2 0 5 3 6 2 55 17
FW  SCO John O'Hare 40 13 2 0 5 0 5 4 52 17
FW  ENG Frank Wignall 10(1) 5 2 0 0 0 3 1 15(1) 6

League table[edit]

P W D L F A GA Pts
1 Derby County 42 24 10 8 69 33 2.091 58
2 Leeds United 42 24 9 9 73 31 2.355 57
3 Liverpool 42 24 9 9 64 30 2.133 57
4 Manchester City 42 23 11 8 77 45 1.711 57
5 Arsenal 42 22 8 12 58 40 1.450 52
6 Tottenham Hotspur 42 19 13 10 63 42 1.500 51
7 Chelsea 42 18 12 12 58 49 1.184 48
8 Manchester United 42 19 10 13 69 61 1.131 48
9 Wolverhampton Wanderers 42 18 11 13 65 57 1.140 47
10 Sheffield United 42 17 12 13 61 60 1.017 46
11 Newcastle United 42 15 11 16 49 52 0.942 41
12 Leicester City 42 13 13 16 41 46 0.891 39
13 Ipswich Town 42 11 16 15 39 53 0.736 38
14 West Ham United 42 12 12 18 47 51 0.922 36
15 Everton 42 9 18 15 37 48 0.771 36
16 West Bromwich Albion 42 12 11 19 42 54 0.778 35
17 Stoke City 42 10 15 17 39 56 0.696 35
18 Coventry City 42 9 15 18 44 67 0.657 33
19 Southampton 42 12 7 23 52 80 0.650 31
20 Crystal Palace 42 8 13 21 39 65 0.600 29
21 Nottingham Forest 42 8 9 25 47 81 0.580 25
22 Huddersfield Town 42 6 13 23 27 59 0.458 25

Results[edit]

First Division[edit]

Date Opponents H / A Result
F – A
Scorers Attendance
14 August 1971 Manchester United H 2–2 Hector, Wignall 35,386
18 August 1971 West Ham United H 2–0 O'Hare, Wignall 30,783
21 August 1971 Leicester City A 2–0 Hector, Hinton (pen) 35,460
24 August 1971 Coventry City A 2–2 O'Hare, Wignall 27,759
28 August 1971 Southampton H 2–2 McGovern, Hector 28,498
31 August 1971 Ipswich Town A 0–0 18,687
4 September 1971 Everton A 2–0 Hector, Wignall 41,024
11 September 1971 Stoke City H 4–0 Todd, O'Hare, Hinton, Gemmill 32,545
18 September 1971 Chelsea A 1–1 McFarland 42,872
25 September 1971 West Bromwich Albion H 0–0 30,628
2 October 1971 Newcastle United A 1–0 Hinton 32,077
9 October 1971 Tottenham Hotspur H 2–2 Todd, McFarland 35,744
16 October 1971 Manchester United A 0–1 53,247
23 October 1971 Arsenal H 2–1 O'Hare, Hinton (pen) 35,480
30 October 1971 Nottingham Forest A 2–0 Hinton (pen), Robson 37,170
6 November 1971 Crystal Palace H 3–0 Bell (og), Wignall, Hector 30,388
13 November 1971 Wolverhampton Wanderers A 1–2 O'Hare 32,957
20 November 1971 Sheffield United H 3–0 Hector, Hinton 2 (2 pens) 35,326
27 November 1971 Huddersfield Town A 1–2 McGovern 15,329
4 December 1971 Manchester City H 3–1 Hinton (pen), Webster, Durban 35,384
11 December 1971 Liverpool A 2–3 O'Hare 2 44,601
18 December 1971 Everton H 2–0 Hinton 2 27,895
27 December 1971 Leeds United A 0–3 44,214
1 January 1972 Chelsea H 1–0 Gemmill 33,063
8 January 1972 Southampton A 2–1 O'Hare, Durban 19,321
22 January 1972 West Ham United A 3–3 Hinton, Durban, Hector 31,045
29 January 1972 Coventry City H 1–0 Robson 29,385
12 February 1972 Arsenal A 0–2 52,055
19 February 1972 Nottingham Forest H 4–0 Hinton 2, O'Hare, Hector 31,801
4 March 1972 Wolverhampton Wanderers H 2–1 Hinton (pen), McFarland 33,456
11 March 1972 Tottenham Hotspur A 1–0 Hinton (pen) 36,310
18 March 1972 Leicester City H 3–0 O'Hare, Durban, Hector 34,019
22 March 1972 Ipswich Town H 1–0 Hector 26,738
25 March 1972 Stoke City A 1–1 Durban 33,771
28 March 1972 Crystal Palace A 1–0 Walker 21,158
1 April 1972 Leeds United H 2–0 O'Hare, Hunter (og) 38,611
3 April 1972 Newcastle United H 0–1 38,119
5 April 1972 West Bromwich Albion A 0–0 32,439
8 April 1972 Sheffield United A 4–0 Gemmill, Hector, Durban, O'Hare 38,238
15 April 1972 Huddersfield Town H 3–0 McFarland, Hector, O'Hare 31,414
22 April 1972 Manchester City A 0–2 55,023
1 May 1972 Liverpool H 1–0 McGovern 39,159

Football League Cup[edit]

Date Round Opponents H / A Result
F – A
Scorers Attendance
8 September 1971 Second Round Leeds United H 0–0 36,023
27 September 1971 Second Round Replay Leeds United A 0–2 29,132

Texaco Cup[edit]

Date Round Opponents H / A Result
F – A
Scorers Attendance
15 September 1971 First Round First Leg Dundee United H 6-2 Durban, Hector, Walker, O'Hare, Hinton, Robson 20,059
29 September 1971 First Round Second Leg Dundee United A 2-3 Hinton, Butlin 6000
20 October 1971 Second Round First Leg Stoke City H 3-2 O'Hare 2, Hector 21,487
3 November 1971 Second Round Second Leg Stoke City A 1-1 Wignall 23,461
24 November 1971 Semi-Final First Leg Newcastle United H 1-0 O'Hare 20,021
8 December 1971 Semi-Final Second Leg Newcastle United A 3-2 Walker, McGovern, Todd 37,140
25 January 1972 Final First Leg Airdrieonians A 0-0 16,000
26 April 1972 Final Second Leg Airdrieonians H 2-1 Hinton (pen), Davies 25,102

FA Cup[edit]

Date Round Opponents H / A Result
F – A
Scorers Attendance
15 January 1972 Third Round Shrewsbury Town H 2–0 Hector 2 33,463
5 February 1972 Fourth Round Notts County H 6–0 Robson, Hector, Durban 3, Hinton (pen) 39,450
26 February 1972 Fifth Round Arsenal H 2–2 Hinton (pen), Durban 39,622
29 February 1972 Fifth Round Replay Arsenal A 0–0 63,077
13 March 1972 Fifth Round Second Replay Arsenal N 0–1 40,000

References[edit]