I THOUGHT, just maybe, by today my anger at Nigel Clough's sacking may have dissipated somewhat.
It hasn't. At around 8pm last Saturday I quit as a Rams fan.
It's a purely symbolic gesture but some of my more sensitive colleagues noted I had removed the DCFC sticker from the back of my car. They tiptoed round me on Monday, even the Forest fan.
Didn't the powers that be at the club have the faintest inkling that it's tough enough going to work when you're on the receiving end of a defeat by your local rivals? Giving them even more to gloat about increases our pain to unbearable levels.
But that's not why I am angry. My innate sense of justice and fair play has been mortally wounded by the treatment meted out to Nigel Clough.
I have supported Derby all my life. From a kid of eight when I was utterly intoxicated by my first trip to the Baseball Ground.
Then along came Nigel. I was so proud of the fact Derby had one of the longest serving managers in the league at the helm. It made us different from the rest. Better than the rest.
Most clubs were hooked on the hapless manager-in, manager-out merry-go-round. Gaffers come and go and it's back to square one.
But the Rams were building gradually, with little in the way of cash but lots in the way of intelligent thought and dedication.
The academy was blossoming and superb players were emerging like Mark O'Brien, Mason Bennett and the remarkable Will Hughes. I thank Nigel Clough for this.
The "Clough out" brigade may have been vocal. What many failed to realise – until this week – was that they were in the minority. Most Rams fans wanted Clough in. In my opinion, he worked miracles. He had to slash wages, move on poor signings and find new players on a budget tighter than Superman's pants.
But he was stoical, determined and loyal to the last. Never-say-die, talented but humble people earn my deepest respect. I wish there were more of them.
Fortunately, the city of Derby has one in the dependable Mr Clough, a great advert for the county and what down-to-earth Derbyshire folk are about. He understands more than anybody what football means to this city. He is one of us.
His modesty was admirable, too. When the Rams enjoyed a spectacular win Nigel often dispatched one of his lieutenants to do the post-match interviews. But when the team lost he always took the flak. He was the polar opposite of some of the egos in the game. I am sure there were times when he felt like walking away. But he cared too much.
What he has discovered this week is that thousands of people have deep respect for him, value everything he did and are grateful.
I, for one, want to say a huge thank-you.
Nigel delivered stability, long-term vision, good football and found players with stupendous attitudes.
I hope Cloughie goes on to great things. People like him deserve all the success in the world.
I've bought a new sticker for my car, by the way. It says "Up the Brewers".
Whether this is the case or not, a similar reaction does happen to many people and it can be very difficult to overcome. Life is never the same after you lose your mother. We wish you well Simon and we sincerely hope that Derby County are also doing everything that they can to help.