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  • Simon Truckle

Truly 'Madley' Deeply

Updated: May 10

A story of grief, loss, and ghosts of the past with the soundtrack of the Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine anymore, with the original star Alan Rickman replaced by Robert Madely playing The Referee.

The scene opens on two teams playing a game of football. Derby are unbeaten in seven and have won the last three to take them within two points of their opponents Burnley in second. A win takes the Rams into the top two and with the momentum behind them and a young George Thorne on the bench waiting to take over for the run in, they are looking good for automatic promotion.

All good narratives need a villain and this one has Mr Madely playing the role of referee. As the story develops it becomes apparent that Madely doesn’t like the Derby centre forward Chris Martin. This is hinted at early on when Martin is booked for no good reason, a pointer to the big scene just before half-time.

But before we get to that, enter the ghost in the form of ex Derby favourite Dave Jones who scores a looping volley. To be fair, Davey Jones always had that in his locker.

One down but undaunted, our heroes take the game to the opposition and just before half-time Martin is felled in the box as he is about to shoot, the chance looks to have gone but no matter, Forsythe is on hand to sweep it into the net and we are all square. This story is only going one way, with the momentum behind them, Derby are going on after half-time to sweep away Burnley, powering to victory and irreparably damaging their oppositions confidence in the process.

Mr Madely is having none of it. If this film is about anyone it is about him. In his mind this is the wedding scene in Kill Bill 2 and Chris Martin is about to get a good Uma Thurmanning.

He decides that Martin hasn’t been fouled but has dived, gives him a red card, disallows the Derby equaliser and blows for half-time.

Despite gamefully battling against the odds in the second half Derby concede a second and go down two nill. Instead of being two points above Burnley and in the automatics we find ourselves five points behind in third

This is very much the definition of a sliding door moment. If you are Burnley the doorman waves you through into the nice shiny VIP area, where you can look forward to bucketloads of cash and buying a pint of Hendricks washed down with a bottle of vintage Vydra. Or you can have it slammed in your face and be left reeling on the floor with blood and mucus on your chin and a mild concussion.

When the final credits roll the director responsible for where Derby County are right now is not Mel, Sam Rush, Keogh or Bobby bloody Zamora its Madely. Truly, Madely Deeply fucked us up.

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