Focus On; John McGovern

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Brian Clough and Peter Taylor moved to Derby County in May 1967. They signed 18 year old McGovern to Derby for a fee of £7,500 in September 1968. His first team debut arrived in a game for which there was an opening to play on the right side of midfield.

It was at Derby that Taylor then moved McGovern to central midfield to capitalise on McGovern’s playing strengths of vision and being able to pass and control the ball with both feet. By January 1969 he had established himself in the Derby side that won promotion to the First Division at the end of his first season there. Within an 18-month period and by the age of 19 he had played in all four divisions of the Football League.

Liverpool contesting a 1971-72 four-way league title fight lost 1–0 in their penultimate game to McGovern’s 62nd-minute goal at Derby County. He was 22 when Derby County lifted the league title. In the 1972–73 European Cup McGovern scored in a 3–0 home win against Benfica.

His final Derby first team game was at Manchester City on 6 February 1974. In all competitions he played in 227 first team games (including four as a substitute), scoring 20 goals.


  • Full Name: John Prescot McGovern
  • Position: Midfield
  • Date of Birth: 28.10.1949
  • Birthplace: Montrose
  • Nation: Scotland
  • Caps: –
  • Goals: –
  • Club Career: Derby County
  • Period: 1968-1974
    • League Games, 190
    • League Goals, 16
    • Previous Club: Hartlepool United
      • Transfer Fee: £7.500
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