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Last Updated: Friday, 26 January 2007, 07:56 GMT
Were you there...

Derby's Archie Gemmill and Colin Todd and Bristol Rovers' Bruce Bannister and Alan Warboys - AKA "Smash and Grab"

By Jonathan Stevenson and Dan Warren

Fans of Derby have every reason to remember the early 1970s with fondness.

It was a golden era at the Baseball Ground, with two league titles in quick succession for a team peppered with big names like Bruce Rioch, Colin Todd, Archie Gemmill and Franny Lee.

606 VIEW
Bristol Rovers have never quite reached those glittering heights - but their fans also have reason to cherish the early 70s.

Their deadly striking combination of Alan Warboys and Bruce Bannister - AKA "Smash and Grab" - fired them to promotion to Division Two in 1974 amid a team of Rovers stalwarts, many of whom have gone down in club folklore.

The two clubs were paired together in the fourth round of the FA Cup in the 1974-75 season - and face a rematch this season, exactly 32 years to the day after that famous encounter.

Back then Division One high-flyers Derby were 2-0 winners, with goals from Kevin Hector (16) and Bruce Rioch (pen, 82) and although they lost to Leeds in the fifth round, they went on to lift the title that season. Division Two Rovers fared less well, but ensured survival.

These days both teams are further down the league ladder, but both harbour hopes of promotion, with Derby atop the Championship and Rovers eyeing the League Two play-offs.

But what do you remember of the Derby and Rovers teams of the 70s? Were you at this tie? And do you have other memories of the players involved?

Here BBC Sport finds out what happened to Rioch, Todd, "Smash and Grab" and the rest.

Derby County

Dave Mackay
Manager - Dave Mackay After an illustrious playing career he became Derby boss in 1973 and guided them to the title in 1975. Sacked in 1976, had spells with Walsall and Birmingham among others before retiring in 1991. Inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2002.

Colin Boulton A solid, reliable custodian who made 344 appearances for the Rams before moving to America where he played for Tulsa Roughnecks and Los Angeles Aztecs. He now works in sports retail in Staffordshire. "I sell footballs instead of saving them," he says.

Bruce Rioch
Bruce Rioch Ended a second spell at Derby by joining Seattle Sounders in 1980, before embarking on a nomadic managerial career that included a season at Arsenal and the signing of Dennis Bergkamp. Currently with Danish outfit Odense.

David Nish Derby broke the British record to spend 225,000 on this elegant defender in 1972, before a serious injury to his right knee and three unsuccessful operations curtailed his career. Has most recently been helping out with the academies at Derby and Leicester.

Peter Daniel
Peter Daniel An understudy at the Baseball Ground until Roy McFarland got injured in 1974 and Daniel helped the club to the 1975 title, winning the fans' player of the year. Now runs a Post Office in Derbyshire, watching the Rams occasionally.

Rod Thomas The Welsh right-back joined the Rams for 100,000 in 1973 from Swindon and won a reputation as a no-nonsense defender. Became a pub landlord after he quit before getting into computers. Had a seven-month spell as Derby director of football in 2003 and now works for a press agency covering, among others, Derby.

Colin Todd One of the finest centre-backs of his generation, Todd somehow only picked up 27 England caps. Has managed Middlesbrough, Bolton, Swindon, Derby and now at in charge at Bradford. "The best player I ever played against," said Kenny Dalglish.

Archie Gemmill
Archie Gemmill Club captain for the 1975 title win, he left for Nottingham Forest in 1977 and scored a wonder goal for Scotland at the 1978 World Cup. Coach at Brian Clough's Forest in the 1980s, now in charge of the Scotland Under-19 side.

Henry Newton A midfielder who could fill in at left-back, Newton signed from Everton in 1973 for 110,000 - Clough's last signing at the Baseball Ground, before later joining Dave Mackay at Walsall. Has suffered from arthritic hips and works as a Postmaster in Normanton, Derby.

Kevin Hector
Kevin Hector A striker with devastating pace and natural finishing ability, it was ludicrous he won only two England caps - both as sub. Returned to Derby in 1980 for a successful second spell and is now - surprise, surprise - a postman in the east midlands.

Roger Davies The 6ft 4in striker was an imposing sight for defences and once scored all five goals in a 5-0 thrashing of Luton, before ending his career via Club Bruges and Tulsa Roughnecks, among others. Now the match summariser of the club's VisionRams tv channel on matchdays.

Francis Lee
Franny Lee The barrel-chested forward gained a reputation for diving but won 27 England caps, scoring 10 goals. Became a businessman and made a fortune owning racehorses and selling toilet roll - they called him "The Bog Roll King". Manchester City chairman between 1994 and 1998, ending in relegation.

Jeff Bourne Replaced Franny Lee on 85 minutes
Unlucky to be behind so many fabulous players, Bourne was largely a bit-part player during the halcyon days at the Baseball Ground. Went to Crystal Palace and had several spells in America too. Last seen as coach at non-league Gresley Rovers, but still lives in Derby.

Bristol Rovers

Manager - Don Megson Megson made his name as a player at Sheffield Wednesday where he made 442 appearances. He took over at Rovers in 1972, and oversaw their promotion from Division Three in 1973-74 in which he masterminded a 27-game unbeaten run. Megson, whose son Gary managed Nottingham Forest, left in 1977.

Jim Eadie
Jim Eadie A robust Scotsman, the "flying pig" (as he was affectionately known by the club's hardcore "Gasheads") is a cult hero. He spent four years at the club and was voted the Pirates' second greatest goalkeeper - behind Nigel Martyn - in an online poll in 2006.

Phil Bater
Phil Bater Cardiff-born defender Bater made more than 300 appearances for Rovers in two stints with the club. A true club man, he has also managed the youth team, been first-team coach and twice been caretaker boss of the Pirates. Now manager of non-league Clevedon Town.

Lindsay Parsons Parsons has a classic defender's career record - he never scored in 13 years with the Pirates. Close friends with fellow Rovers stalwart Tony Pulis, Parsons is now assistant boss to Pulis at Championship high-flyers Stoke.

Peter Aitken Aitken is arguably more famous for his time across the River Avon at rivals Bristol City, where he was one of the "Ashton Gate Eight", who tore up long-term contracts in order to help save the Robins from bankruptcy in 1982. Now community officer with Rovers.

Stuart Taylor
Stuart Taylor Rovers' most loyal servant, Taylor made a club-record 546 appearances between 1966 and 1980. Nearly left for Bill Shankly's Liverpool in 1969, but Shankly opted to sign Taylor's defensive partner Larry Lloyd instead.

Frankie Prince Another Rovers stalwart, tough-tackling Prince made 362 league appearances in 13 years. Despite his no-nonsense style, Prince had a softer side - he allegedly bought the woman who swept the terraces at Eastville stadium a cuddly toy koala bear as a present. Now a community officer at Torquay.

Tom Stanton One of the unsung heroes of the Rovers team of the mid-70s, Stanton was a hard-working midfielder - but one whose qualities rarely caught the eye.

Jeff Coombes
Jeff Coombes A graduate of Rovers' Welsh nursery, Coombes never quite fitted in at Eastville and the Derby match was one of only 10 full appearances he made in three seasons before leaving for Ton Pentre.

Alan Warboys
Alan Warboys Warboys formed one half of Rovers' famed "Smash and Grab" frontline along with Bruce Bannister. A tall, uncompromising centre-forward, "Smash" scored 53 goals in 144 appearances for Rovers before joining Fulham. Scored four goals in Rovers' famous 8-2 win over Brian Clough's Brighton in December 1973 - "Grab" got three.

Bruce Bannister
Bruce Bannister "Grab" was Rovers' record signing when he joined for 23,000 from Bradford in 1971. Bannister thrived by picking up the pieces after "Smash" laid waste to the opposition defence. It yielded 80 goals in 202 appearances for him. Now runs a successful shoe company in the north of England.

Gordon Fearnley The winger spent seven years at Rovers but evidently decided that the sport was not for him. Fearnley now works as an attorney in Florida, USA.

Dave Staniforth
David Staniforth replaced Parsons
Striker Staniforth, who sported one of the great 1970s football beards, netted 32 goals in 135 appearances between 1974-79. He retired from football in 1984.

  • Many thanks go to Derby County historian Mike Wilson and Bristol Rovers press officer Keith Brookman.


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