Derby County Ladies Football Club

Main Stand Banter Blog

Main Stand Banter Blog - By Nigel Wright

To some of you, Nigel is known as the Club Announcer, and at every home match you will no doubt here him perform chants on the terrace for the Derby County Players.

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Hi Everyone! - I think that I have already mentioned that I find the close season a mix of emotions. On the one hand we say hello to Lia Kellogg and Jodie Redgrave,(I have a bone to pick with her after her exploits for Brighouse against us!!!!!) as well as someone called Cara Newton, can’t think why I know that name.
But we’ve also said goodbye to manager John Bennett, to whom you must place the blame for my goooooaaaaaallllllllll, I’m gonna miss him. Leanne De Silva a midfielder I hated before she joined us, well I could see how darned good she was and was jealous that she wasn’t playing for us.
Lastly the one that has torn me apart, Emily Jeffery. 20 years ago I was a student at the University of Derby with a Mr. John Jeffery. We were both on a creative writing component to our differing degrees and he would ask me to read some of his parts for him, usually vicars.
Anyway as time went on we got to know each other and when I told him that I was a supporter of the Ewes he told me of his granddaughter, one Emily Jeffery who at that time was rising through the ranks at DCLFC. I promised that I would keep an eye out for her and suspected that I may have already seen her for the reserves without knowing the players’ names.
Anyhow, it wasn’t long before Jeffo broke through to the first team as a very exciting winger, although my scant records show that the earliest mention I have of her was an East Midlands League game away to Belper Town where she came on as a sub in December 2004, a 5-0 win. She was saving her first goal for my birthday, opening the scoring against Sandiacre Town away, although the limelight that day was stolen on the opposite wing with Suzie Cunningham scoring a hat trick, the fifth coming from Jenny Simpson.
That season, Derby County completed the East Midlands League and League Cup double, sub Jeffo scoring the 2 winning goals in extra time against Chaffoteaux for a 3-1 victory. For me, the main excitement at that time were the two wingers, Cunningham and Jeffery, who had pace and control, got the balls in the danger area for striker Katie Willmott and midfielder Precious Hamilton and also scored a fair few themselves. I do regret not making notes to be able to tell you a fuller picture.
The following season in the Midlands Combination she broke into double figures for appearances, scoring 5 as we finished fourth, just three points off the title won by Crewe Alexandra. (Incidentally, this was the season Cara made her debut, I thought I knew the name).
In 2006-7 although I only know of 9 goals, I’m sure that she would have broken into double figures that year as the Ewes lost the inaugural Midland Combination League Cup final to Long Eaton Villa. In 2007-8 she did break the 10 goal mark with at least 11, one in the League Cup final win over Leicester City Women, a result that made me think that if we can beat the champions then we can go up and not be the bridesmaids. Jeffo would have had another v Hereford Pegasus as their goalkeeper saved her penalty, the ball squeezing through to stop in front of the line, however with Jeffo storming after it, the keeper turned over to knock the ball in herself.
2008-9 saw me proved right with victory at Pride Park Stadium over Crewe Alexandra in which Jeffery played a massive part, now in the attacking central midfielder role, just over a week later the League Cup was added with a 4-3 win over Copsewood (Coventry) in a remarkable season that almost saw us knock Chelsea out of the FA Cup but for a couple of interesting decisions.
In more recent years she has dropped back to the defensive midfield role and finally the central defence. She has captained the side but relinquished this feeling it took something out of her personal game. In whatever role asked of her, she has worn the shirt and been a leader showing how it should be done. She has a perfect footballing brain the likes of which I haven’t seen since Paul Gascoigne.
She has excelled in all positions, she has great passing akin to that of Beckham, good control a great eye for goal, remember the half way line scored at Moor Farm against Newcastle United? She most definitely has Derby County Ladies in her blood. Sadly the injuries and time have caught up wither her and she retires with an East Midlands League Championship, East Midlands League Cup, Midlands Combination League Championship, Midland Combination League Cup and 5 Derbyshire County FA Women’s Cup.
It was because of her dedication and talent that she became my DCLFC hero, apart from last season my DCLFC shirts have her number 6 on the back. When we bought two Electric Blue Rams fish, one was named Jeffo. I will miss her and I wish her all the best for the future and hope that she visits us a lot. Emily Jeffery THANK YOU for being a part of Derby County Ladies and for playing your part. It has cost you a lot of pain, and heartache I am sure, but I hope that you have enjoyed the journey from the East Midlands to now. You are a LEGEND.