Whether it’s Year 10 v Year 11 on the school playing field, England v Germany in the world cup finals, or Forest v Derby in the championship. Games against your rivals mean significantly more than just the points on offer.

They’re an opportunity to be granted permission by all to have an extra spring in your step on the morning commute. How long this lasts is often just before the next Derby fixture creeps onto the horizon, and the nerves begin to jangle once again.

The final few days preceeding match day are deemed irrelevant in many minds. Fully focused on match day without much care for what comes before it. Deal with that afterwards.

Sporting rivalries can often temporarily destroy relationships which are otherwise rock solid away from the beautiful game. More than just a couple of my very good friends have the unfortunate infection of following that mob down the A52. To chat all things football over a beer with them is great for most of the year, but when Derby week is upon us, we keep a mutually respectful distance.

When match day finally arrives, alarms are ringing early and long established plans are put into action. No matter what the kick off time, ample drinking hours are always allowed.

All this building towards a crescendo of noise and emotion within the stands. A blend of nerves, tension & hopefully joy creates a somewhat hallucinogenic experience. Often leaving people needing to watch the game back to remember the vast majority of what the bloody hell went off! Regardless of the result, these games really are knackering!

I won’t be the only person who is deeply upset about Saturdays game not going ahead. The opportunity for more shredded shins, sore throats and banging heads the morning afterwards will just have to wait. The country’s, and indeed the world’s health, is of far greater importance right now.

It’s instead an opportunity for some reflection of our time spent as fans following the beautiful game, the season to date, and in particular this week: Derby days. We all hope you enjoy reading the great memories of past clashes with Derby that people have kindly shared, and that we will be posting throughout the upcoming week.

Stay safe, Reds. We will be back.

Thomas Robinson

Photo credits again go to @Ourgloriousbanners – For¬†those who don’t already follow the account on Instagram & Twitter. Do your eyes a favour and hit that button!¬†