Former Derby County defender has told Rams TV how Nigel Clough would only sign him on the basis that Burton Albion achieved promotion to the football league.
Clough left Burton to join Derby midway through the 2008-09 season. He succeeded Paul Jewell who resigned, while leaving Burton leading at the top of the Conference.
Buxton was at the time impressing as a regular with Burton. Clubs had shown an interest in him, regardless of whether Burton were to be promoted or not.
But Clough wanted the central defender at Derby. However, he warned Buxton via a phone call that he could only join the Rams on the basis he completes the job at Burton.
“I got a call around the end of April before we done it [getting promoted]. I’d obviously done ok, so I got a bit of interest. We had the conversation, and I agreed on joining Derby County in the April bearing in mind we had two games left. I was over the moon, but at the end of the conversation, he said ‘one condition – Burton Albion have to be in the Football League for you to come to Derby County’. It all come good. We got the promotion which we deserved over the course of the season.
Jake Buzton becomes an iconic figure at Burton Abion and Derby County:
Burton headed into the final game at Torquay United knowing victory would seal top spot and promotion to League Two. The Brewers lost 2-1, but it didn’t matter in the end as second place Cambridge United could only manage a draw at home to Altrincham.
Buxton jumped up the leagues to join Derby, but he wasn’t fazed by the Championship. He made over 130 league appearances for the Rams over the following seven seasons.
Most Derby supporters see Buxton as an iconic figure. A player who wasn’t blessed with natural ability, but one who worked as hard as any other to reach the level needed.
A couple of winning goals against Nottingham Forest and Leeds United also helped.
Now, Buxton is back at Burton under manager Nigel Clough following a season at Wigan Athletic. The 34-year-old is still going strong, and he remains as popular as ever.