Derby County Ladies Football Club

“Proud Moment Becoming Ewe Rams Record Goalscorer” says Cara Newton

With the departure of Mel Johnson in 2017 and the retirement of Emily Jeffery earlier this year, Ewe Rams fans would have been forgiven in thinking that the all-time goalscoring record standing at 73 goals by both players, would never be broken 

Fast-forward to the beginning of this season and the thought of that record being broken was revived when the former Ewe Rams striker Cara Newton was signed by Manager Sam Griffiths to bolster the club’s attacking options, having spent 3 years with Long Eaton United Ladies.

In her earlier spell with the club, Newton fired in 72 goals in 113 appearances for the Ewes, with her first goal coming against Chesterfield Ladies in a 2-0 victory in 2006, whilst her 50th goal came with her hat-trick goal against St George’s in the Derbyshire Cup in 2013. (Stats by Nigel Wright)

Having equalled the record against Doncaster Rovers Belles back in September with her first goal since returning to the club, Sunday’s 2-1 defeat to Bolton Wanderers saw Newton smash home a consolation goal that would see her out on her own at the top of the pile, a moment she is incredibly proud of.

Newton said “It felt so amazing. I have so much love for the club and am so proud to be the current all-time record goal scorer and the ambition now is to hit the 100 goal mark, that would be a fantastic legacy for my career and a great moment for the club too.

“It’s changed so much at Derby since I was here last but I am enjoying it, it’s always hard to come into a new team but the squad have made it easy. On the pitch, I feel it takes time to find your feet and gel with a new team but with every game we play I feel we are getting stronger.

“The club has come on leaps and bounds and we have had a great start to the season and the potential in the team is huge. We all want the same thing we just need to continue our good run and work hard for each other and hopefully I can go on a run of goals to get us to where we want to be.”

Manager Sam Griffiths was a team-mate of Newton’s in her first spell with the club and having took over the managerial reins in the summer, she was quick to firstly scout and then sign the striker to her second spell with the club. Griffiths said

“I first met Cara back in 2008 when I joined Derby, Cara had just returned from a spell in America. Having played with and now managing Cara it’s no wonder she has broken the record of Derby County Ladies all time goalscorer.

“This was one of the reasons I signed Cara back to the club this season, she’s always scored goals and is a real threat when running at defenders. She’s proved already this season that she can play in a number of positions but her threat is definitely as a striker with nothing else to think about other than scoring goals. I’m really pleased she’s got a few under her belt this season and I know she’ll be looking to finish top goal scorer this season.

“I know she’ll be really proud of this achievement as she’s a true ram. I’m sure the whole club and especially her team mates will join me in congratulating her and we all hope there’s many more goals to come.”

Newton in action V Nottingham Forest LFC at Pride Park (Photo by Andy Clarke)

Though Newton’s first spell with the club was largely before CEO Duncan Gibb’s time with the club, he has got to know Cara well and always harboured hopes of a return having heard so much about the striker and paid tribute to her feat. Gibb said

“Whilst the result was far from ideal, having witnessed her goal against Bolton Wanderers, I will always be able to say that ‘I was there’ when in years to come, people talk about club legend and all time leading goalscorer Cara Newton; however at the same time I have to confess to being something of a phoney, in that my tenure as the clubs CEO has largely been aligned to the ‘Mel Johnson Years’ in terms of goal scoring, with Cara either being injured at at another club during that time!

“That said right from the outset of my time at the club, I’ve found Cara to be a hugely likeable person with whom I’ve been able to build and enjoy an excellent relationship with. Over the years we’ve had a few conversations about her potentially returning to the club which have always been honest, open, and pressure free. In my view this has created something of a mutual respect between us and I was delighted when she finally felt the time was right to ‘Come Home’ in the summer.

“Like myself, it’s fair to say that she ‘enjoys a good time’ and never more so when surrounded by that lovable, crazy, Rams mad family of hers! Jacqui and I enjoyed the unexpected privilege of sharing a flight with the ‘Newton Clan’ to Belfast last year, with them providing much of the on board entertainment!

“Women’s football in keeping with the men’s game is evolving rapidly, with players now migrating from one club to another as finances and facilities come to the fore. I like to think that Derby are a club very much on an upward trajectory moving away from its grass roots to a degree, and as such I do wonder if some of our appearance records will ever be broken, or if Cara’s goal scoring record will be beaten anytime soon. Like I say, I could be saying in years to come ‘I was there’ “.

“Enjoy this richly deserved moment Cara and here’s to many more. We both know that a very special man was looking on and grinning from ear to ear when that goal against Bolton went in!”

You can catch Cara in action this weekend as she looks to add to her tally with the Ewe Rams in action at home to Guiseley Vixens in the FA Women’s National League Northern Division in a 2pm Kick-Off. You can also purchase a copy of the Matchday Programme which features the record goalscorer in the Big Interview