Greatest European Nights

My greatest European Night

Derby County fan Andrew Swinburne remembers the Rams' 4 – 1 win over Real Madrid in the first leg of the second round of the 1975/76 European Cup. It was his first game watching the Rams and the performance set the bar impossibly high

My family moved to Derby when my dad got a job at the local council. He was a Sunderland fan, but would go and watch Derby County play. He never invited me along until we’d moved again, this time 150 miles south to Wiltshire in the west country. It was 1975 and Derby County were champions of England. One of his former colleagues called to say he had a couple of tickets to see Real Madrid in the second round of the European Cup at the Baseball Ground. I was only nine and it was on a school night, but for some reason my dad took me with him for my first game.

It’s a bit of a blur, but I do vividly remember the brightness of the lights, the noise, the colour – Real Madrid in blue – the packed old stadium and the incredible swearing all around me. I’d never heard adults swear like that. We were at the back of the old Ossie End and it was so rowdy. The final goal was a penalty right in front of us, but I was angry because everyone stood up and I couldn’t see it. But Derby won. 4-1. Charlie George (shooting above) scored a hat-trick. The six-time European champions beaten by the Mighty Rams.

I’ve been a Derby fan ever since. I’m 54, and nearly 45 years on, that first game is still my high point. We lost the return 5-1, which seemed to mark a turning point for the club. We were relegated four years later and even dropped into the third division. By then I was travelling to watch us home and away. Cambridge, Tranmere, Reading. Nothing has hit that high since. But what a night.

This article appeared in the first issue of Champions Journal. Let us know your favourite game watching your team in the European Cup/Champions League by mailing us at info@champions-journal.com

Penalty Pedigree

Etiam erat velit scelerisque in dictum non. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at. Scelerisque felis imperdiet proin fermentum leo. Nibh tortor id aliquet lectus proin nibh nisl. Nulla at volutpat diam ut venenatis. At urna condimentum mattis pellentesque id nibh tortor id aliquet. Leo a diam sollicitudin tempor id eu nisl nunc mi. Dui vivamus arcu felis bibendum ut. Pharetra convallis posuere morbi leo urna molestie. Adipiscing at in tellus integer feugiat scelerisque. In arcu cursus euismod quis. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at lectus urna duis. Facilisi nullam vehicula ipsum a arcu cursus. At tempor commodo ullamcorper a lacus vestibulum sed arcu non. Ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit pellentesque habitant. Vitae sapien pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus. Eget nullam non nisi est sit amet facilisis. Ipsum consequat nisl vel pretium lectus quam. Elit sed vulputate mi sit amet mauris commodo quis. Pretium fusce id velit ut tortor pretium viverra suspendisse potenti.

My family moved to Derby when my dad got a job at the local council. He was a Sunderland fan, but would go and watch Derby County play. He never invited me along until we’d moved again, this time 150 miles south to Wiltshire in the west country. It was 1975 and Derby County were champions of England. One of his former colleagues called to say he had a couple of tickets to see Real Madrid in the second round of the European Cup at the Baseball Ground. I was only nine and it was on a school night, but for some reason my dad took me with him for my first game.

It’s a bit of a blur, but I do vividly remember the brightness of the lights, the noise, the colour – Real Madrid in blue – the packed old stadium and the incredible swearing all around me. I’d never heard adults swear like that. We were at the back of the old Ossie End and it was so rowdy. The final goal was a penalty right in front of us, but I was angry because everyone stood up and I couldn’t see it. But Derby won. 4-1. Charlie George (shooting above) scored a hat-trick. The six-time European champions beaten by the Mighty Rams.

I’ve been a Derby fan ever since. I’m 54, and nearly 45 years on, that first game is still my high point. We lost the return 5-1, which seemed to mark a turning point for the club. We were relegated four years later and even dropped into the third division. By then I was travelling to watch us home and away. Cambridge, Tranmere, Reading. Nothing has hit that high since. But what a night.

This article appeared in the first issue of Champions Journal. Let us know your favourite game watching your team in the European Cup/Champions League by mailing us at info@champions-journal.com

Read the full story
Sign up now to get access to this and every premium feature on Champions Journal. You will also get access to member-only competitions and offers. And you get all of that completely free!

My family moved to Derby when my dad got a job at the local council. He was a Sunderland fan, but would go and watch Derby County play. He never invited me along until we’d moved again, this time 150 miles south to Wiltshire in the west country. It was 1975 and Derby County were champions of England. One of his former colleagues called to say he had a couple of tickets to see Real Madrid in the second round of the European Cup at the Baseball Ground. I was only nine and it was on a school night, but for some reason my dad took me with him for my first game.

It’s a bit of a blur, but I do vividly remember the brightness of the lights, the noise, the colour – Real Madrid in blue – the packed old stadium and the incredible swearing all around me. I’d never heard adults swear like that. We were at the back of the old Ossie End and it was so rowdy. The final goal was a penalty right in front of us, but I was angry because everyone stood up and I couldn’t see it. But Derby won. 4-1. Charlie George (shooting above) scored a hat-trick. The six-time European champions beaten by the Mighty Rams.

I’ve been a Derby fan ever since. I’m 54, and nearly 45 years on, that first game is still my high point. We lost the return 5-1, which seemed to mark a turning point for the club. We were relegated four years later and even dropped into the third division. By then I was travelling to watch us home and away. Cambridge, Tranmere, Reading. Nothing has hit that high since. But what a night.

This article appeared in the first issue of Champions Journal. Let us know your favourite game watching your team in the European Cup/Champions League by mailing us at info@champions-journal.com

Penalty Pedigree

Etiam erat velit scelerisque in dictum non. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at. Scelerisque felis imperdiet proin fermentum leo. Nibh tortor id aliquet lectus proin nibh nisl. Nulla at volutpat diam ut venenatis. At urna condimentum mattis pellentesque id nibh tortor id aliquet. Leo a diam sollicitudin tempor id eu nisl nunc mi. Dui vivamus arcu felis bibendum ut. Pharetra convallis posuere morbi leo urna molestie. Adipiscing at in tellus integer feugiat scelerisque. In arcu cursus euismod quis. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at lectus urna duis. Facilisi nullam vehicula ipsum a arcu cursus. At tempor commodo ullamcorper a lacus vestibulum sed arcu non. Ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit pellentesque habitant. Vitae sapien pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus. Eget nullam non nisi est sit amet facilisis. Ipsum consequat nisl vel pretium lectus quam. Elit sed vulputate mi sit amet mauris commodo quis. Pretium fusce id velit ut tortor pretium viverra suspendisse potenti.

Greatest European Nights

My greatest European Night

Derby County fan Andrew Swinburne remembers the Rams' 4 – 1 win over Real Madrid in the first leg of the second round of the 1975/76 European Cup. It was his first game watching the Rams and the performance set the bar impossibly high

My family moved to Derby when my dad got a job at the local council. He was a Sunderland fan, but would go and watch Derby County play. He never invited me along until we’d moved again, this time 150 miles south to Wiltshire in the west country. It was 1975 and Derby County were champions of England. One of his former colleagues called to say he had a couple of tickets to see Real Madrid in the second round of the European Cup at the Baseball Ground. I was only nine and it was on a school night, but for some reason my dad took me with him for my first game.

It’s a bit of a blur, but I do vividly remember the brightness of the lights, the noise, the colour – Real Madrid in blue – the packed old stadium and the incredible swearing all around me. I’d never heard adults swear like that. We were at the back of the old Ossie End and it was so rowdy. The final goal was a penalty right in front of us, but I was angry because everyone stood up and I couldn’t see it. But Derby won. 4-1. Charlie George (shooting above) scored a hat-trick. The six-time European champions beaten by the Mighty Rams.

I’ve been a Derby fan ever since. I’m 54, and nearly 45 years on, that first game is still my high point. We lost the return 5-1, which seemed to mark a turning point for the club. We were relegated four years later and even dropped into the third division. By then I was travelling to watch us home and away. Cambridge, Tranmere, Reading. Nothing has hit that high since. But what a night.

This article appeared in the first issue of Champions Journal. Let us know your favourite game watching your team in the European Cup/Champions League by mailing us at info@champions-journal.com

Penalty Pedigree

Etiam erat velit scelerisque in dictum non. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at. Scelerisque felis imperdiet proin fermentum leo. Nibh tortor id aliquet lectus proin nibh nisl. Nulla at volutpat diam ut venenatis. At urna condimentum mattis pellentesque id nibh tortor id aliquet. Leo a diam sollicitudin tempor id eu nisl nunc mi. Dui vivamus arcu felis bibendum ut. Pharetra convallis posuere morbi leo urna molestie. Adipiscing at in tellus integer feugiat scelerisque. In arcu cursus euismod quis. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at lectus urna duis. Facilisi nullam vehicula ipsum a arcu cursus. At tempor commodo ullamcorper a lacus vestibulum sed arcu non. Ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit pellentesque habitant. Vitae sapien pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus. Eget nullam non nisi est sit amet facilisis. Ipsum consequat nisl vel pretium lectus quam. Elit sed vulputate mi sit amet mauris commodo quis. Pretium fusce id velit ut tortor pretium viverra suspendisse potenti.

My family moved to Derby when my dad got a job at the local council. He was a Sunderland fan, but would go and watch Derby County play. He never invited me along until we’d moved again, this time 150 miles south to Wiltshire in the west country. It was 1975 and Derby County were champions of England. One of his former colleagues called to say he had a couple of tickets to see Real Madrid in the second round of the European Cup at the Baseball Ground. I was only nine and it was on a school night, but for some reason my dad took me with him for my first game.

It’s a bit of a blur, but I do vividly remember the brightness of the lights, the noise, the colour – Real Madrid in blue – the packed old stadium and the incredible swearing all around me. I’d never heard adults swear like that. We were at the back of the old Ossie End and it was so rowdy. The final goal was a penalty right in front of us, but I was angry because everyone stood up and I couldn’t see it. But Derby won. 4-1. Charlie George (shooting above) scored a hat-trick. The six-time European champions beaten by the Mighty Rams.

I’ve been a Derby fan ever since. I’m 54, and nearly 45 years on, that first game is still my high point. We lost the return 5-1, which seemed to mark a turning point for the club. We were relegated four years later and even dropped into the third division. By then I was travelling to watch us home and away. Cambridge, Tranmere, Reading. Nothing has hit that high since. But what a night.

This article appeared in the first issue of Champions Journal. Let us know your favourite game watching your team in the European Cup/Champions League by mailing us at info@champions-journal.com

Read the full story
Sign up now to get access to this and every premium feature on Champions Journal. You will also get access to member-only competitions and offers. And you get all of that completely free!

My family moved to Derby when my dad got a job at the local council. He was a Sunderland fan, but would go and watch Derby County play. He never invited me along until we’d moved again, this time 150 miles south to Wiltshire in the west country. It was 1975 and Derby County were champions of England. One of his former colleagues called to say he had a couple of tickets to see Real Madrid in the second round of the European Cup at the Baseball Ground. I was only nine and it was on a school night, but for some reason my dad took me with him for my first game.

It’s a bit of a blur, but I do vividly remember the brightness of the lights, the noise, the colour – Real Madrid in blue – the packed old stadium and the incredible swearing all around me. I’d never heard adults swear like that. We were at the back of the old Ossie End and it was so rowdy. The final goal was a penalty right in front of us, but I was angry because everyone stood up and I couldn’t see it. But Derby won. 4-1. Charlie George (shooting above) scored a hat-trick. The six-time European champions beaten by the Mighty Rams.

I’ve been a Derby fan ever since. I’m 54, and nearly 45 years on, that first game is still my high point. We lost the return 5-1, which seemed to mark a turning point for the club. We were relegated four years later and even dropped into the third division. By then I was travelling to watch us home and away. Cambridge, Tranmere, Reading. Nothing has hit that high since. But what a night.

This article appeared in the first issue of Champions Journal. Let us know your favourite game watching your team in the European Cup/Champions League by mailing us at info@champions-journal.com

Penalty Pedigree

Etiam erat velit scelerisque in dictum non. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at. Scelerisque felis imperdiet proin fermentum leo. Nibh tortor id aliquet lectus proin nibh nisl. Nulla at volutpat diam ut venenatis. At urna condimentum mattis pellentesque id nibh tortor id aliquet. Leo a diam sollicitudin tempor id eu nisl nunc mi. Dui vivamus arcu felis bibendum ut. Pharetra convallis posuere morbi leo urna molestie. Adipiscing at in tellus integer feugiat scelerisque. In arcu cursus euismod quis. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at lectus urna duis. Facilisi nullam vehicula ipsum a arcu cursus. At tempor commodo ullamcorper a lacus vestibulum sed arcu non. Ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit pellentesque habitant. Vitae sapien pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus. Eget nullam non nisi est sit amet facilisis. Ipsum consequat nisl vel pretium lectus quam. Elit sed vulputate mi sit amet mauris commodo quis. Pretium fusce id velit ut tortor pretium viverra suspendisse potenti.

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