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Played for both: Derby County

18 October 2016

Look back on the careers of four players who represented both us and Derby County

Deon Burton: Brentford 50 appearances, 10 goals; Derby County 143 appearances, 31 goals

Deon cost the Premier Division Rams £1 million in August 1997 after impressing for Portsmouth. His first 18 months at Pride Park yielded just five goals but, after a short loan spell at Barnsley, the goals began to flow. He netted seven times in the final 13 games of the 1998/99 season as Derby finished eighth, their highest finishing position in Premier League history. He found the net another 16 times over the next four seasons before a nomadic period culminated in his arrival at Griffin Park in 2004. A goal on his home debut against Doncaster Rovers, coupled with his hold-up play and close control, quickly endeared Deon to The Bees faithful. Perhaps his most memorable goal in a Bees shirt was the winner away at Sheffield Wednesday as The Bees played 70 minutes with ten men only to come from behind to win 2-1. He ended the season with ten goals, helping Martin Allen’s side to the FA Cup Fifth Round and the League One Play-Off Semi-Finals.

Dave McCulloch: Brentford 123 appearances, 90 goals; Derby County 35 appearances, 16 goals

Any conversation about Brentford’s greatest ever goalscorers must include the name of Dave McCulloch. The Scot joined The Bees in November 1935 with the club second from bottom in the First Division. Over the next 26 games he found the net 26 times, including three hat-tricks, to propel Harry Curtis’ side up to a fifth placed finish, still the highest in the club’s history. The next season was just as profitable with 33 goals in 43 games and he added another 29 goals in his final full season, The Bees finishing sixth on both occasions. Dave earned six Scotland caps while at Griffin Park before a near-British record move to Derby in October 1939. At The Baseball Ground he found the net 16 times in 31 matches before the advent of World War Two cut short his League career.

Darren Powell: Brentford 154 appearances, 8 goals; Derby County 8 appearances, 0 goals

Snapped up from the non-league scene by Ron Noades in the summer of 1998, Darren’s first season at Griffin Park saw him pick up the Brentford ‘Player of the Year’ Award as well as a Division Three Championship medal after making 37 appearances in the title-winning campaign. Darren made a further 43 appearances the following year before an injury-hit third season. His best form returned in his final season as he formed a formidable defensive partnership with Ivar Ingimarsson as The Bees made it to the Division Two Play-Off final. After defeat in Cardiff, Darren joined Crystal Palace, helping them earn promotion to the Premier League, and then Southampton before a eight game spell with Derby.  Darren finished his professional career back at Griffin Park, earning his second Bees promotion, playing four games at the end of the 2008/09 League Two title winning season.

Tommy Smith: Brentford 32 appearances, 1 goal; Derby County 99 appearances, 21 goals

Best known for his years at Watford, Tommy joined The Rams in 2004 and found the net 11 times in his first season as Derby lost out to Preston North End in the Play-Offs. He netted a further ten goals the season after as The Rams narrowly avoided relegation but soon found opportunities limited at Pride Park. With Derby achieving promotion to the Premier League in 2007, Tommy returned for a second spell at Watford before moves to Portsmouth, Queens Park Rangers, and Cardiff City preceded his arrival at Griffin Park in 2014. Tommy scored his only Bees goal on his debut as a late equaliser against Charlton Athletic. 27 of his 28 league appearances came off the bench as he helped Mark Warburton’s side reach the Sky Bet Championship Play-Offs before announcing his retirement at the end of the season. 

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