As part of a Know Your History series with Derby County News, we will take a look at the Rams’ record goal scorers this side of the millennium.
Derby’s best success came in the 70s, with fellow decent top-flight spells also coming under Arthur Cox and later under the guidance of Jim Smith towards the end of the 90s.
Since Derby’s relegation in 2002, the Rams have managed to return to the Premier League just once, culminating in a record 11 points in an ill-fated campaign.
Still, the club have enjoyed some good moments over the past 20 years, and here we look at the five leading scorers at Pride Park this side of the millennium.
Jamie Ward joined Derby initially on loan in February 2011, helping the Rams preserve their Championship status before signing for the club permanently later that summer.
The Northern Ireland international became a leading figure during Nigel Clough’s side. He could operate out wide or through the middle, scoring 12 goals in the 2012-13 campaign.
Ward played over 120 Championship games for Derby in four full seasons, scoring a total of 34 goals for the club before joining Nottingham Forest on a free transfer.
Johnny Russell made a name for himself up in Scotland with Dundee United, attracting the interests of Derby who signed the Scotland international in the summer of 2013.
Russell was one of Nigel Clough’s last signings for Derby, with Clough losing his job after just nine games into the 2013-14 campaign following a defeat to rivals Forest.
The 30-year-old played under five different manages in five years at Derby, scoring a total of 35 goals before surprisingly leaving to join Kansas City in the MLS.
Tom Ince is the only player in the top five who wasn’t signed by Nigel Clough.
The former Liverpool man arrived for a club record fee almost immediately after Mel Morris became owner, with Derby making his move permanent after a loan spell.
Ince scored 37 Championship goals in two-and-a-half seasons at Pride Park.
The 29-year-old, however, has struggled to replicate that form following moves to Huddersfield Town, Stoke City and Luton Town over the past few years.
Craig Bryson will go down as one of Derby’s best signings of the past 20 years.
The energetic midfielder moved to Pride Park in 2011 and spent eight years at the club.
Bryson’s 2013-14 campaign was arguably the best individual season from a Derby player this side of the millennium, posting an amazing 16 goals and 13 assists.
The Scot wrote himself into Derby folklore with a hat-trick in the 5-0 win over Nottingham Forest that year. Promotion, however, eluded him with three playoff defeats.
Bryson scored a total of 42 goals during his time at Pride Park.
Nigel Clough signed Chris Martin on a free transfer in the summer of 2013.
The former Norwich City man was an absolute bargain as he topped the club’s scoring charts for three successive seasons following his arrival.
Martin scored 53 Championship goals between 2013-16.
Failure to secure promotion, however, later saw Martin lose his place at Derby as injuries and illness stumped his progress before returning to the side in 2019-20.
Martin finished with a tally of 76 goals in all competitions during seven full seasons at the club. He will go down as Derby’s best striker of the past 20 years.
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