Rams fan Steve Kitson was kind enough to send me the first two issues of his fanzine-sized, quarterly Derby County Memorabilia publication, which I’m happy to recommend to anyone with an interest in the history of our great club.
Kitson is an avid Rams’ programme collector and space in both issues of the magazine is devoted to programmes, both historical and more up-to-date. In Issue 1, there is an in-depth review of the Ram (or ProgRAMme) over the 2012/3 season. If you bought a copy at every home game, including the cup ties, you would have spent a total of £77.50, but developing a collection of older and rarer issues will set you back a lot more than that. A page about the sale of Derby County items on eBay reveals that a programme from a friendly between the Rams and the British Olympic XI in December 1970 was recently sold to an unknown local collector for £420.
Andy Ellis also contributes an article about the Derby County Collection, his plan to bring together items from the many private collections of Rams artefacts, with the support of the club, to form a single collection which can be used as the basis for exhibitions about the football club’s past. Don Amott is a trustee of this very worthy endeavour, which aims to ‘take the history out to the fans’. Follow them on Twitter for updates.
There are also some lovely tales from the club’s history, such as Moz Curtin’s article about the Rams’ 6-0 FA Cup Final defeat at the hands of Bury in 1903, plus a fascinating picture and accompanying text about Derby’s tour of Germany during the pre-World War II Nazi era.
During their four-game tour, the players were instructed by the British Embassy no less to take part in each pre-game salute to Hitler, which was enforced by the regime whether the evil psychopath was in the stadium or not. According to left back George Collin, the team did not want to comply, but under official pressure, most of them did. However, a picture taken at one of the games shows goalkeeper Jack Kirby rather magnificently refusing to do so and one, sadly unidentified, team member deliberately performing the salute wrongly, his arm jutting out at a right-angle from his shoulder.
Profits from the sale of the magazine, which would be a great pre-game or half-time read for any Rams fan, will be donated to charities. To request a copy of Issue 1 (£2.50 inc postage) or 2 (£3 inc postage), email Steve – firstname.lastname@example.org.