Like Father, Like Son

RamsTrust member, Roy McHugh, with his son Milo, recalls his recent trip to Pride Park Stadium:

It all started at a ridiculously busy Dublin Airport, where it took over an hour to get halfway up the queue to get through to the security checkpoint, less said about that the better…A Friday evening flight from Dublin to East Midlands and the excitement was beginning to build, the last Derby County match I attended in person was in the FA Cup vs Northampton away, on 24th January, 2020, (which was also the last time I was on an airplane), this would be my son, Milo’s, first Derby County match, at 6 years old, I felt it was time.

There turns out to be a nice story behind this too, on the 2nd of April, 1994, I attended my first Derby County match, with my Uncle Paul, vs Barnsley at The Baseball Ground, some 27 years, 11 months and 3 days before I brought my son to the same fixture, for his first match, Uncle Paul also came to both, weirdly both matches ended up 2-0 too!

For a club on its knees, uncertain of its future, match day (especially for first time Rams- thanks to the Club SLO) isn’t just a formality, they bent over backwards to make this an occasion Milo wouldn’t forget, he had his photo taken pitchside, sat in Wayne Rooney’s seat in the dugout, held Festy Ebosele’s matchday shirt and had a walk down the tunnel, this is what separates Derby County from the crowd, this is what makes this club special, this is a proper football club. We then went to the club shop for Milo’s newest prized possession, a Louis Sibley shirt- unfortunately, we missed the chance for a photo with Louis when he arrived because we timed it all wrong, we’ll try next time…

Myself and Uncle Paul had a couple of well-deserved pints and made our way back to the stadium, we were met at the turnstile by a couple of supporter liaison officers, who welcomed Milo to Pride Park- I still don’t know how they knew who he was!!!!!!!!!!!!

As we took our seats, Milo was again the centre of attention and presented with a goodie bag.

We were treated to an excellent performance and a 2 nil win with 2 brilliant goals. It was a proud moment to see Milo stand up and join in with the songs and cheer Derby on to victory! If anyone spotted the Ireland flag hanging from the SW Corner- that was us.

He’s got the bug and we’re coming back as a family with his younger brother Conor, for the last match of the season vs Cardiff.

This club is too special, it’s a club that cares about its fans and welcomes them all new and old and a rogue owner doesn’t change that.  I desperately hope to see our club survive, it quite simply, cannot be allowed to die.