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Pride: The Inside Story of Derby County


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6 hours ago, LeedsCityRam said:

Just finished it. Its not just a very good book about Derby County, its a bloody good football book full stop. If you haven't bought it, you're missing out.

@HuddersRam that is a seriously impressive writing debut. The 25 years absolutely come to life with the extensive cast of characters recalling the events at the time but that's really well interwoven with wider narrative of the circumstances of the club & footballing world at the time. A very well paced book too with lots of detail on the move to PP, a lot of focus on 2002-2006 and the outstanding job that George Burley did (something that I feel gets often overlooked compared to McClaren in 13/14) and not excessive space given to the last 2/3 seasons.

Extra kudos to Adam Pearson & Peter Gadsby for contributing to the book - Gadsby's recollections in particular really valuable in fleshing out the greed & subsequent removal of the Three Amigos & the madness of Billy Davies. 

Obviously we all think our club is special or unique but there is something peculiarly self-destructive about Derby that marks us out as a bit of a special case. The constant turmoil, lack of continuity & financial mismanagement is a recurring theme - its telling that the quietest period is also the biggest improvement as Nigel Clough rebuilt the squad to have a serious tilt at promotion. Entirely typical of us to squander it 2.5 years after he left. The closing part of the book touches on this recurring theme - does it make us the club we are or is it the millstone round our neck? Not sure.

Like Cameron Jerome rightly said....'Don't you think Derby's a weird club?'

Had my heart in my mouth for a second there when I read 'Its not just a very good book', so I've calmed now! Thanks so much @LeedsCityRam& @Pearl Ram. I'm glad you enjoyed Pride! It's absolutely spurred me on to some new ideas. Can't announce anything yet (because I haven't actually written a word of them) but I'm working with the publishers on two new books which might be of some interest...watch this space.

Gadsby was fantastic to speak with. Of course some people had a little bit of a tinted memory on their time at the club, but Gadsby was interesting purely because a lot of what he told me contradicted some of the other stories I was told. Not in a negative way, just things like his take on Billy compared to the squad, complete polar opposites. Was a lovely chap though. Pearson too was good. I tried to get Mel but didn't manage to get anything tied down. Spoke over email with Jeremy Keith as well but he only wanted to contribute in case he was slandered at any point. There were a couple of Murdo Mackay bits which had to be removed as well before publication, following a check from the legal teams!

Interesting point, Pearl! I know he's done a couple of podcast interviews recently, so he might have addressed them there perhaps. Not had a chance to listen yet.

 

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Got this for xmas and it's just made it's way to the top of the reading pile. Currently half way through the Nigel Clough years and to be honest it's making me fall out of love with football even more than I was doing already

I should stress that I can't fault the writing, all really well told and the contributions of the interviewees are brilliant - just that it's made me realise how much terrible stuff we've been through and how much I'd blotted out. I'm genuinely thinking that the last 20 years of being a Rams fan has given me some kind of mild PTSD!

It's a compelling read for sure, but the best analogy I can come up with is it's like eating a big McDonalds. I really enjoy it at the time, but afterwards I feel a bit dirty and fat and wonder why I did it. If someone was to then take me behind the scenes and explain what really went on, from the way they treat the animals all the way through to their final journey into my mouth I know I would be sickened

But all this is my problem, not the author's. If it was fiction, you'd say it was too far-fetched!

Genuinely interested to know Ryan if you feel closer to the club as a result of your incredible journey writing the book or whether you shared some of the same feelings I have about it all once you'd seen what went on behind the curtain?

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Stive Pesley said:

Got this for xmas and it's just made it's way to the top of the reading pile. Currently half way through the Nigel Clough years and to be honest it's making me fall out of love with football even more than I was doing already

I should stress that I can't fault the writing, all really well told and the contributions of the interviewees are brilliant - just that it's made me realise how much terrible stuff we've been through and how much I'd blotted out. I'm genuinely thinking that the last 20 years of being a Rams fan has given me some kind of mild PTSD!

It's a compelling read for sure, but the best analogy I can come up with is it's like eating a big McDonalds. I really enjoy it at the time, but afterwards I feel a bit dirty and fat and wonder why I did it. If someone was to then take me behind the scenes and explain what really went on, from the way they treat the animals all the way through to their final journey into my mouth I know I would be sickened

But all this is my problem, not the author's. If it was fiction, you'd say it was too far-fetched!

Genuinely interested to know Ryan if you feel closer to the club as a result of your incredible journey writing the book or whether you shared some of the same feelings I have about it all once you'd seen what went on behind the curtain?

 

 

 

 

That's a really interesting point Pes and a good question that I've not really thought about. It's difficult to know because of the lockdown and the fact none of us have been able to actually be physically there in a year, but I absolutely agree with that McDonalds analogy.

It's not to do with the football or the players or anything, it's just the almost constant lack of comfort around the club which, when I stitched it all together, was almost fictional over such a long period of time. It just doesn't seem real in an odd way at the moment I think. On the last page I make the point that we just need normality, and to be honest, I'd gladly take that over a promotion, turmoil, millions spent and relegation.

Hopefully it's not just the book which has made you feel that way! I am working on something at the minute which is going to be a lot more upbeat, which should hopefully help that void!

Might set up a hotline for the book in the same way they do after serious topics on TV. If you've been affected by Derby County...

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Just finished the book. I have been reluctant to read it last few weeks because i knew the end was near and i just didn't want it to finish!

Reading books has never been my thing. Like mason mount and harry wilson i like my playstation (proof i have read it all 😄) so for me to enjoy this book speaks volumes. 

Congrats @HuddersRam really impressive. I certainly feel proud to be a ram after reading it despite all the shanningans and pain we have all had to endure as fans.

I am sure you will keep the forum posted of any future releases which seems a possibility reading this thread.

COYR

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2 hours ago, The_Sheriff said:

Just finished the book. I have been reluctant to read it last few weeks because i knew the end was near and i just didn't want it to finish!

Reading books has never been my thing. Like mason mount and harry wilson i like my playstation (proof i have read it all 😄) so for me to enjoy this book speaks volumes. 

Congrats @HuddersRam really impressive. I certainly feel proud to be a ram after reading it despite all the shanningans and pain we have all had to endure as fans.

I am sure you will keep the forum posted of any future releases which seems a possibility reading this thread.

COYR

Thank you, Sheriff!

Hopefully Pride has inspired the reader in you! There's a lot of decent reads out there. I've read a couple of the Clough biographies since Christmas which I'd absolutely recommend if you fancy them. And yeah, watch this space. Expected Pride to be a one-off and then I'd go back to my evenings of bad TV and the Xbox, but it's inspired me a bit!

Thanks again 🐏

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I managed to read it in just over 2 days over the Christmas week - yes, I know, its a bit “Johnny come lately”!

I actually bought a copy for my son. My wife and I had gone through one of those “what do you want for Christmas?” - “Dunno” - “What shall we get him?” - “Dunno” scenarios when I came across Pride, so I bought it, only for my wife to say “Look what I’ve got him”! 🙄.

So I quietly relegated it to birthday gift in March. Then I discovered that he’d bought the book for my Chrissy pressie - what a great son! He also dropped hints at his disappointment that the book wasn’t in his Christmas stocking! Ho hum!

It’s a great read, flows really well and generates a tremendous feeling of all of us being in this together, (unlike the Tory version of the phrase where we most definitely aren’t).

Some people have described the bad bits (should that be “lots”?) as painful, but to me it is all so real and enjoyable. I wish that there had been something this good about the Clough/Mackay years!

In the end, the book had brilliantly conveyed how Derby County has us all feeling like watching a Jim Smith / Mac 1 team ping 27 passes all over the pitch, ripping through the opposition, putting the striker through who scuffs his shot and the ball just slowly bobbles into the keeper’s hands.

Thanks for a superb piece of work, and here’s to many more. 

Edited by DavesaRam
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23 hours ago, DavesaRam said:

I managed to read it in just over 2 days over the Christmas week - yes, I know, its a bit “Johnny come lately”!

I actually bought a copy for my son. My wife and I had gone through one of those “what do you want for Christmas?” - “Dunno” - “What shall we get him?” - “Dunno” scenarios when I came across Pride, so I bought it, only for my wife to say “Look what I’ve got him”! 🙄.

So I quietly relegated it to birthday gift in March. Then I discovered that he’d bought the book for my Chrissy pressie - what a great son! He also dropped hints at his disappointment that the book wasn’t in his Christmas stocking! Ho hum!

It’s a great read, flows really well and generates a tremendous feeling of all of us being in this together, (unlike the Tory version of the phrase where we most definitely aren’t).

Some people have described the bad bits (should that be “lots”?) as painful, but to me it is all so real and enjoyable. I wish that there had been something this good about the Clough/Mackay years!

In the end, the book had brilliantly conveyed how Derby County has us all feeling like watching a Jim Smith / Mac 1 team ping 27 passes all over the pitch, ripping through the opposition, putting the striker through who scuffs his shot and the ball just slowly bobbles into the keeper’s hands.

Thanks for a superb piece of work, and here’s to many more. 

Thank you @DavesaRam! I'm glad you enjoyed it as much as possible. I really just wanted to get it across from a fan perspective as well and spoke to a few who have followed the club over the years to help with some of the prose, mainly so it wasn't any of my opinions in there.

A Clough/Mackay type of book would have been fantastic, although there are some good books out there on the subject if you've not given them a bash yet!

Massive thanks as well, @Philmycock! The trials and tribulations of Youl Mawene is a bit of a contrast to Ulyses, although I guess it's a natural next step, right?!

It's strange because I've read and enjoyed a lot of Derby books previously, but there are plenty of other clubs where there is almost no backlog of books on them. Even those unmentionables in red, there's barely a jot on them. Not that there's an audience for it, but still... I'm working on something new which I'm probably going to look to get some fan perspectives on, so I might be asking to borrow a bit of brainpower and memories of a few of you.

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  • 3 weeks later...

So I finally got round to finishing Pride this week despite getting it months ago.

I first became aware of Pride last year when my girlfriend dropped into conversation that she’d dated a Derby fan before and that he was writing a book about the club. Now it’s come out to deservedly rave reviews and @HuddersRam is a bit of a star, I do wonder if I’d swap the girlfriend for the publishing deal. To be fair, she’s probably thinking that she’d definitely swap “Leicester Ram” for a ducking bestselling author.

I’ve always found it difficult consuming media/content about Derby because it’s something that I’m so passionate and opinionated about, I barely listen to any of the numerous DCFC Podcasts because they just end up pissing me off. I think it’s an incredibly hard job to be a Derby fan writing about the club because you are bound to ruffle feathers because we’re all so in love with Derby, which is why Pride is such a triumph. 

After initially flying through the first half of the book I flung it across the room halfway through the Zamora chapter and didn’t read it again for at least a month. It’s not something I’m usually bothered about and have been known to yell ZAMORA when hitting a volley but reliving that day in detail really re-emphasised how traumatic of an injustice it was.

When I started reading again the same thing happened with Mac II, that undeserved sacking still doesn’t sit right with me and that season was such a headache from start to finish that it makes for particularly grim reading. Mel having Pearson explain himself to him in his office was particularly cringe inducing and the book flew across the room once more.

Despite all that, it’s a masterpiece. I’m 24 so I’m most familiar with 2009 onwards and I learned so much about DCFC that I never knew before. I went in expecting to trudge through the 90’s and 00’s to get to the chaos of 2013-2020 but every chapter was simply a banger regardless of his familiar I was with whichever season it was covering. I think as a fanbase we’re incredibly lucky to have a book on the clubs history written at such a high standard. It’s packed with the inside scoops and details (that lesser writers would perhaps get bogged down with) but maintains a slick pace, all while artfully handling the multiple legal landmines surrounding the club. It’s somehow both a comprehensive history of DCFC and a page turning tragedy that you could easily finish in a day.

Ryan’s articles are also excellent, the interview he did with Lewin Nyatanga is well worthy of The Athletic/Independent etc. It shows how much brilliant stuff must have not even made it into Pride. I can’t recommend it enough: https://thederbybook.wordpress.com/2020/07/12/sitting-down-with-lewin-nyatanga/

I’ll forgive what I think is an egregiously generous treatment of Gary Rowett (his off brand trainers were poo long before he went to Stoke) and say that if you haven’t read it yet, order Pride on Amazon immediately. Reading it is an incredibly cathartic experience and it’s exciting to see there’s another book coming too.

Huge thanks to Ryan who I can confirm is a top bloke and really kindly hooked me up with a Bryson signed copy of the book for my uncle.

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On 04/03/2021 at 14:23, Leicester Ram said:

So I finally got round to finishing Pride this week despite getting it months ago.

I first became aware of Pride last year when my girlfriend dropped into conversation that she’d dated a Derby fan before and that he was writing a book about the club. Now it’s come out to deservedly rave reviews and @HuddersRam is a bit of a star, I do wonder if I’d swap the girlfriend for the publishing deal. To be fair, she’s probably thinking that she’d definitely swap “Leicester Ram” for a ducking bestselling author.

I’ve always found it difficult consuming media/content about Derby because it’s something that I’m so passionate and opinionated about, I barely listen to any of the numerous DCFC Podcasts because they just end up pissing me off. I think it’s an incredibly hard job to be a Derby fan writing about the club because you are bound to ruffle feathers because we’re all so in love with Derby, which is why Pride is such a triumph. 

After initially flying through the first half of the book I flung it across the room halfway through the Zamora chapter and didn’t read it again for at least a month. It’s not something I’m usually bothered about and have been known to yell ZAMORA when hitting a volley but reliving that day in detail really re-emphasised how traumatic of an injustice it was.

When I started reading again the same thing happened with Mac II, that undeserved sacking still doesn’t sit right with me and that season was such a headache from start to finish that it makes for particularly grim reading. Mel having Pearson explain himself to him in his office was particularly cringe inducing and the book flew across the room once more.

Despite all that, it’s a masterpiece. I’m 24 so I’m most familiar with 2009 onwards and I learned so much about DCFC that I never knew before. I went in expecting to trudge through the 90’s and 00’s to get to the chaos of 2013-2020 but every chapter was simply a banger regardless of his familiar I was with whichever season it was covering. I think as a fanbase we’re incredibly lucky to have a book on the clubs history written at such a high standard. It’s packed with the inside scoops and details (that lesser writers would perhaps get bogged down with) but maintains a slick pace, all while artfully handling the multiple legal landmines surrounding the club. It’s somehow both a comprehensive history of DCFC and a page turning tragedy that you could easily finish in a day.

Ryan’s articles are also excellent, the interview he did with Lewin Nyatanga is well worthy of The Athletic/Independent etc. It shows how much brilliant stuff must have not even made it into Pride. I can’t recommend it enough: https://thederbybook.wordpress.com/2020/07/12/sitting-down-with-lewin-nyatanga/

I’ll forgive what I think is an egregiously generous treatment of Gary Rowett (his off brand trainers were poo long before he went to Stoke) and say that if you haven’t read it yet, order Pride on Amazon immediately. Reading it is an incredibly cathartic experience and it’s exciting to see there’s another book coming too.

Huge thanks to Ryan who I can confirm is a top bloke and really kindly hooked me up with a Bryson signed copy of the book for my uncle.

Apologies for not replying sooner mate! A mixture of travel nightmares back into Germany and working on something new has absorbed me. Well, that and our recent form anyway. Leicester Ram > Hudders Ram, everyday of the week. I'm not even in Hudders anymore, an absolute fraud.

That above post means the world. I was guilty of probably getting too absorbed in the book and boring everyone who will listen about it, and now it's six or so months since it went live, it seems a world away since the pre-Christmas excitement. But the above has taken me right back to it.

Articles wise, you've nailed it! I could honestly have made the book 800 pages or so if I'd included everything. Quickly realised my initial prediction of 80,000 words would barely take me past 2010. So it was good to actually do something a bit more focused on the people who gave up their time. People like Nyatanga and even Johnny Russell I struggled to squeeze into the book. Not because they didn't have anything interesting to say, because they did, but just because there was so much more chaos to get stuck into.

Thank you again mate. And apologies for what was probably a really poor signature in the book. Knew I should have practiced them first!

Working on something new as well which might interest a few of you on here. Will keep you all in the loop/bore you to tears with it soon enough. I promise this one is a bit more feel good though, if that's possible with Derby.

 

Edited by HuddersRam
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2 hours ago, HuddersRam said:

Working on something new as well which might interest a few of you on here. Will keep you all in the loop/bore you to tears with it soon enough. I promise this one is a bit more feel good though, if that's possible with Derby.

 

Tricky move into fiction, hope you nail it!

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  • 1 month later...

Evening all - cautious to not even acknowledge that the current situation is a reality and not a dystopian nightmare, I'm working on a second book at the moment that will build off the back of Pride (available in all standard book stores, probably)

A few interviews deep now (The Mac is coming up shortly...) I just wanted to put it out there that if anyone has any questions for:

  • Robin van der Laan
  • Igor (no, really. I'm not sure how either)
  • Spencer Prior

I'd love to be able to put a few to them during the conversations I've got planned. Feel free to either drop a post below or DM with anything you'd like me to ask them.

Here's to Saturday. I think. 

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52 minutes ago, Ramslad1992 said:

Could you ask Van der Laan and Igor what they’re doing on Saturday? 

Had a chat with Seth Johnson last week and asked him the same - he said he's happy to start on the bench if needed. Even with dodgy knees

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just reading this, brilliant stuff. Just got past the Wesley sacking (I never realised Karen Brady was employed by us)! Also didn't realise just how positive the Billy Davies dressing room was. Makes you wonder what might have happened?

There are so many similarities in past mistakes to the situation we find ourselves in now though. 

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On 12/05/2021 at 11:40, BaaLocks said:

I think you could do a whole follow up called 'Tuesday 11th May' - there was enough went on to fill a few pages.

And I also want to know about the shared girlfriend, that one slipped by way too easily.

Thought I'd managed to handily avoid that one, was expecting it to be picked up sooner...

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