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is also generally one of the fixtures that we remember best, for better or for worse. And there have been plenty of both in Derby County's history.

But opening day memories aren't always about the good times. One that really stands out is the first day of the 1982 83 season.

birthday, so, in all honesty, I can't remember much more than the general impression of a big crowd less than 13,000 as it turned out and the smell from Ley's foundry.

Nike Lebron 11 Low Sprite

My Rams "debut" came halfway through a season, in December 1952 a home win over Bolton Wanderers but it was only my eighth Nike Lebron Price

Nike Lebron 11 Low Sprite

Only two years separate that from my next outstanding memory. Indeed, who would forget Derby County's first home game in the top flight for 16 seasons?

Nike Lebron 11 Low Sprite

Nike Lebron 11 Low Sprite

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Nike Lebron 11 Low Sprite

There is one other bad opening day that sticks in the mind, even though it was away from home and I wasn't there to see it. On August 27, 1983, I was watching Derbyshire reach 337 9 against Yorkshire at Chesterfield they were the days when news came through that the Rams had lost 5 0 at Chelsea. Peter Taylor's magic touch had run its course. That was the start of a relegation season.

first game is Nike Lebron 11 Low Sprite often memorable

Nike Lebron 11 Low Sprite

A crowd of just under 30,000 many of whom sat in the new Ley Stand saw a goalless draw even though Burnley lost their goalkeeper, Peter Mellor, injured during the game. The Rams team was: Green; Webster, Robson, Durban, McFarland, Mackay, McGovern, Carlin, O'Hare, Hector, Hinton.

Supporters have always talked about the "Baseball Ground atmosphere" but it is people who make atmosphere and there were some pretty dreadful days when the old stadium seemed, well, sad.

New manager Brian Clough had brought in new faces and in his first match in charge, he saw one of them young forward, John O'Hare, who joined Derby from Sunderland for score the Rams' final goal as they beat Charlton Athletic 3 2 before an encouraging attendance of 19,412 at the Baseball Ground. It wasn't a great win but the improvement, the sharpness, was there for all to see.

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I first watched the Rams in 1952, so that is 61 years' worth of memories. And like most supporters of a certain vintage, while I can name the line up from half a century ago, sometimes I struggle to recall who we played last week.

Nike Lebron 11 Low Sprite

Nike Lebron 11 Low Sprite

day came in August 1982 when barely 11,000 saw the Rams go down 3 0 at home to Carlisle United. It heralded the start of a season that began with John Newman in charge and ended with Peter Taylor as manager. Taylor, it was, who engineered a 15 match unbeaten run that saved the Rams from relegation to Division Three.

The Rams' return to Division One in August 1969 was marked by a visit from Burnley.

I'll have to jump 11 years for my next clear memory of an opening day, to August 1967.

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A crowd of just over 19,000 saw Woodhead (2), Parry (2) and Ackerman, who was to move to Carlisle United in November, score the goals. And, of course, the Rams went on to win the title, scoring 111 goals in the process.

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