|City or region||Scottish Highlands|
|Teams involved||Inverness CT and Ross County|
|Most wins||Inverness CT (23)|
|Stadiums||Caledonian Stadium, Inverness and Victoria Park, Dingwall|
The Highland derby is a football rivalry that is based in the Scottish Highlands. It is contested between the only two senior league clubs in the Highland council area, Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Ross County. The city of Inverness and town of Dingwall are only 14 miles apart, whereas the nearest professional clubs (Aberdeen, Dundee United and St. Johnstone) are over 100 miles away from either club. The fixture is the most northerly professional football derby in the UK.
The rivalry first arose in 1994, when Inverness CT were formed out of the merger between Inverness Caley and Inverness Thistle. Both the new Inverness club and County had been accepted as new teams into the Scottish Football League, starting a trend of Highland League clubs entering the SFL. The first match between the sides was a Third Division contest, played on 27 August 1994 at Victoria Park, won 3–1 by Inverness.
Since that historic first match, the encounter has grown from strength to strength to the extent that both teams are now competing near the top of the Scottish football league system. Both teams have significant fanbases that have grown from both clubs successes since their inclusion in 1994. Often, attendances at the derby matches surpass the 5,000 mark, making the match itself a popular attraction. The clubs met in the top flight of Scottish football for the first time during the 2012–13 Scottish Premier League season.
In head-to-head matches, the teams have played each other in 47 games, with Inverness Caledonian Thistle winning 23 times, compared to Ross County's 11. A total of 13 matches have ended in a draw. Inverness have won more league, Scottish Cup, League Cup and Challenge Cup matches.
- As of 31 January 2015
|Team||League||Scottish Cup||League Cup||Challenge Cup||Total|
|Inverness Caledonian Thistle F.C.||19||1||1||2||23|
|Ross County F.C.||11||0||0||0||11|
|Inverness CT v. Ross County||Ross County v. Inverness CT|
|1994–95||Third Division||29.10.1994||Telford Street Park||
|06.05.1995||Telford Street Park||
|1995–96||Third Division||30.09.1995||Telford Street Park||
|23.01.1996||Telford Street Park||
|1996–97||Third Division||16.11.1996||Caledonian Stadium||
|2000–01||First Division||16.09.2000||Caledonian Stadium||
|2001–02||First Division||17.11.2001||Caledonian Stadium||
|2002–03||First Division||24.08.2002||Caledonian Stadium||
|2003–04||First Division||14.11.2003||Caledonian Stadium||
|2009–10||First Division||29.08.2009||Caledonian Stadium||
|2003–04||Challenge Cup||Quarter-final||26.08.2003||Caledonian Stadium||
|2004–05||League Cup||2nd Round||24.08.2004||Victoria Park||
|2009–10||Challenge Cup||Semi-final||04.10.2009||Caledonian Stadium||
|2012–13||Scottish Cup||4th Round||01.12.2012||Victoria Park||
|4th Round Replay||11.12.2012||Caledonian Stadium||
Players with 3 or more goals in the Highland derby.
- As of 31 January 2015
|Scorer||Team(s)||League||Scottish Cup||League Cup||Challenge Cup||Total|
|Dennis Wyness||Inverness Caledonian Thistle||9||-||-||-||9|
|Iain Stewart||Inverness Caledonian Thistle||7||-||-||-||7|
|Billy McKay||Inverness Caledonian Thistle||4||3||-||-||7|
|Aaron Doran||Inverness Caledonian Thistle||5||-||-||-||5|
|Jamie McPherson||Ross County||4||-||-||-||4|
|Iain Vigurs||Ross County||2||2||-||-||4|
|Steven Ferguson||Ross County||3||-||-||-||3|
|Brian Grant||Ross County||3||-||-||-||3|
|Barry Robson||Inverness Caledonian Thistle||3||-||-||-||3|
|Marley Watkins||Inverness Caledonian Thistle||3||-||-||-||3|
|Barry Wilson||Inverness Caledonian Thistle||3||-||-||-||3|
|Steve Hislop||Inverness Caledonian Thistle
|Richie Foran||Inverness Caledonian Thistle||1||2||-||-||3|
Notable players and managers of both clubs
A surprising number of players have played for both clubs. Craig Brewster is a former player and manager of Inverness, who then played for and coached Ross County. John Robertson has had spells as manager at both clubs.
Among the players who have featured for both sides are:
- Andrew Barrowman
- Graham Bayne
- Mark Brown
- Don Cowie
- Lionel Djebi-Zadi
- Russell Duncan
- Michael Fraser
- Les Fridge
- Stuart Golabek
- Richie Hart
- Richard Hastings
- Steven Hislop
- Roy McBain
- Mark McCulloch
- Gary McSwegan
- Alan Morgan
- Grant Munro
- John Rankin
- Antonio Reguero
- Hugh Robertson
- Ross Tokely
- Iain Vigurs
- Nicky Walker
- Steven Watt
- Barry Wilson
- Garry Wood
- Bannerman, Charles (30 March 2010). "Inverness CT 3–0 Ross County". BBC Sport. Retrieved 16 October 2010.
- McLeod, Graeme (12 April 2008). "Highland clubs reluctant to join SFL ranks". The Scotsman. Retrieved 16 October 2010.
- "Highlands 'buzzing' ahead of first SPL derby of the season". BBC Sport (BBC). 5 October 2012. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
- "Inverness C T 3 Ross County 1: Clubs' first competitive meeting in the top flight proves worth the wait". heraldscotland (Herald & Times Group). 6 October 2012. Retrieved 21 March 2013.
- "McKay settles Cold Firm clash". PA Sport. Yahoo! and Eurosport. 11 December 2012. Retrieved 21 March 2013.
- Fraser, Alasdair (5 May 2010). "Highland football has never had it so good after County's Cup run and Caley promotion, say Wilsons". Daily Record. Retrieved 16 October 2010.
- "Highland Football Academy launched". Scottish Government. 10 April 2002. Retrieved 16 October 2010.
- "About Us". Highland Football Academy. Retrieved 16 October 2010.
- "All time results between Inverness CT and Ross County". Soccerbase. Retrieved 2008-02-18.
- "Ross County sign Brewster at 42". BBC Sport. 5 February 2009. Retrieved 16 October 2010.
- "Hislop in Highland switch". BBC Sport. 13 February 2003. Retrieved 16 October 2010.
- "Reguero Joins". Ross County website. 16 June 2014.
- "Inverness pair join Ross County". BBC Sport. 3 June 2009. Retrieved 16 October 2010.