Football: Derby's debt to Coventry manager

Sidelines: The Ex-Files
Click to follow
The Independent Online
Shame on Pride Park if the name Harry Storer means little to most of those who gather for today's meeting of Derby and Coventry. In the second of two lengthy spells as manager at Highfield Road, Storer influenced a young goalkeeper called Peter Taylor so profoundly that he later claimed he and Brian Clough owed their "creed" to him.

The duo who would make Derby champions met when both were with Middlesbrough; only when Taylor started quoting Storer did Clough begin thinking deeply about the game. Their mentor had also played and managed at Derby, though he advised his proteges against the Baseball Ground job (because of misgivings about the board) before his death in 1967.

The young Taylor had left Coventry because of the emergence of Reg Matthews, who was capped by England as a Third Division player and later joined Derby. Ray Straw, still the Rams' joint record scorer with 37 goals in a season, and ex-England No 9 Jack Lee went to Coventry in the 1950s, Storer taking Martin McDonnell the opposite way.

In the fallow years Derby recruited Barry Powell, Keith Osgood and Mick Coop from Coventry and sold them Gerry Daly, while Paul Williams visits his old club at their new home today. None has matched the impact of Arthur Bacon, a colleague of Storer's at Derby. In 1933, after signing for Coventry, he bagged 14 goals in five games over 15 days.