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Willie Carlin

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Went round to his house with a mate of mine to ask if he would sign a banner we had made for winning the second division .

Thought he might be a bit annoyed us turning up like we did ,but he was fantastic about it invited us in for a while and seemed honoured in a strange way that we wanted his name on  it.

We led the parade though town with it it was quite large,a memory ill never forget and a quality player and gentleman ill never

forget either........WILLIE..WILLIE..LA..LA..LA.

RIP Sir.

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As @Animal is a Ram and @oldtimeram have said he was the player that turned a good side into a very good side that got promoted in 68/69. As much as his playing ability it was his attitude, his toughness that changed that side. Archie was of similar stock but a better footballer. Ignore Willie’s goal and appearance stats because his contribution to our successes was far, far greater than they would suggest. It is not too fanciful to say that without him we wouldn’t have gone so far so quickly he was that important a player. 

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He was being man marked all over the pitch in one game, so went and stood alongside their left back, taking his original marker with him. 
The press said he had a “poor game”, “was never in it” etc, but everyone else had an absolute field day with the space he had created!!

Thanks for the memories “ you belligerent little scouser” (as BC once described him. 

RIP and “sleep well young man.”

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He was only 5' 4" tall but no player that has ever pulled on the Rams' shirt has ever had a bigger heart than Wee Willie Carlin; although his captain, Dave Mackay, matched him in that department. Clough and Taylor had tried to sign him from Carlisle in 1967, shortly after they arrived at Derby but Carlisle, managed by our previous manager, Tim Ward, refused to sell and reported Derby for making an illegal approach to their player. Clough appeared at an EFL tribunal and the case was chucked out after just 10 minutes. By then, Willie had been sold to Sheffield United.Asked about that after he retired years later Clough said "Of course we tapped him up, that's how we worked and we tapped him up again when we signed him from Sheffield United. That's how we got in and signed players before other clubs knew they were available."

The week before he joined the Rams, Willie had run the show at Bramall Lane when the Blades beat us 2-0, Willie scored the second after putting Colin Addison in for the first. With the Rams sitting winless in the relegation zone, Taylor implored Clough to go in again for Willie. Arthur Rowley had joined the Blades from Shrewsbury as manager in the close season. Taylor knew that Rowley and Carlin had 'previous history';A couple of seasons before, when playing for Halifax at Shrewsbury, the two had clashed near the dugouts and Willie had kicked a bucket of water over Rowley. Taylor knew that Rowley would never forgive that and would let Carlin go if the offer was right and so it proved. When the transfer was complete, Taylor advised the Derby fans that Willie was the final piece of the jigsaw and they should back Derby to win the Second Division that season; he was spot on with that bit too.

On the run in to the season we secured promotion on Easter Saturday by beating Bolton 5-1 at home with Willie on the score sheet. We took revenge against Sheffield United with a 1-0 home win two days later. The next Saturday we went to Millwall and little Willie  headed us to a 1-0 win beating the giant Barry Kitchener to a cross; it clinched the championship for the Rams with two games still to go.

Having helped the Rams to fourth place in Division One in the first season back up Willie's sudden departure broke his heart and at the time many of us felt the same way. But in just two years he had become a Rams Legend forever; a key player on the rapid path to the club becoming Champions in 1972.

RIP Willie - reunited with his Captain tonight.



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