Old grey whistle test
I remember clearly the first time I saw Shaun Derry; my first thoughts were, 'Oh my God, we've signed a pensioner!' It was at the club's 'family day' and even my kids asked if he was a player or the manager!
Of course I welcomed him to the club and asked him, "What do you think our chances are of going up?"
"That's what I've come here for," he replied.
Don't get me wrong, he isn't the best player in the world but he makes the defence more solid. He hasn't got the pace to keep up with the younger players but he'll freely admit he isn't the fastest in the world but then again he never has been. What he does have is a good football brain and can read a game very well; that is his pace!
Derry and Faurlin could be together in the Championship again.
I think he is a very important part of the team set up for this campaign. He knows the Championship well and with respect, it's slower for him! The thing with Derry is you know what you're going to get; he'll play with desire and heart and he'll give one hundred per cent every game. I doubt he'll be an automatic starter or even be able to play two games a week but a good player to bring on to reinforce the back line or just 'park the bus.'
It's going to be interesting to see who is chosen as Captain this season and while I don't think Lord Derry will get it I do beleive he'll be in the running for it.
Always gives his all
This could well be his last season as a player and having met him on a couple of occasions I don't think you could meet a nicer fella. His attitude is always spot on and I can see a career in management for the silver fox.
People will always remember him scoring against Liverpool and I'll always remember his song, 'Shaun Derry my lord, Shaun Derry! Shaun Derry my lord Shaun Derry, Shaun Derry my lord Shaun Derry, oh lord Shaun Derry,'
A fans favourite; I met him at the game we played Leeds when we won the Championship. I reminded him of the question I asked him at the family day, his reply, "What I meant to say was going up as Champions!" be nice if we could do it again!
(Photos one and two by Andy Barratt)