Ex-keeper Colin Boulton honoured for part played in title-winning Derby County seasons
COLIN Boulton collected the Merit Award at the Derby County Former Players' Association annual dinner held at Pride Park.
Boulton was the Rams' goalkeeper in the two League championship successes in 1971-72 and 1974-75.
He was the only player to be ever-present in both seasons and he made 344 appearances during his time at the club.
Boulton had been a police cadet in his native Cheltenham when Tim Ward signed him in 1964.
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"I came up to Derby for a week's trial and the rest is history," said Boulton, who received the Merit Award from current Derby manager Nigel Clough.
Roy McFarland, as centre-half, played in front of Boulton in the Championship triumphs.
"Colin was a great keeper, and the record shows that. He was as solid as a rock," said McFarland.
"I think the word that best sums up Colin is resilient.
"He was already at the club when Brian Clough and Peter Taylor arrived and they went out and signed Les Green.
"But Colin stuck at it and once he got in the team, he made the most of it."
Boulton joins a list of Merit Award winners that includes McFarland, Dave Mackay, John O'Hare, Ron Webster, Jack Stamps and Gordon Guthrie.
The award is presented annually for services to Derby County or the Derby County Former Players' Association.
Nigel Clough and members of his coaching staff attended the dinner.
Clough took part in an informative and entertaining "Who'd be a Football Manager" question and answer session along with McFarland and Alan Durban, both experienced former managers.
Chairman Andy Appleby was at the dinner, as was Sam Rush, who takes up his role as the Rams' new chief executive next month.
In a Q&A, Rush was reminded of his rugby-playing days when he was a double blue for Oxford University at Rugby Union and Rugby League.
There was a video celebration of Derby's Second Division title win in 1987, now 25 years ago, when Arthur Cox guided the Rams to back-to-back promotions.
Durban, a past winner of the Merit Award, is chairman of the former players' association.
This was the 22nd annual dinner and Durban said: "The dinner is about meeting up again with old playing colleagues and friends who come together to make us what we are – one of the strongest and most successful former players' associations.
"I would like to thank the corporate businesses as they are vital to our financial health, supporting us not only in our golf day and annual dinner but also with their contributions to the raffle and auction.
"Without them, we could not hope to make the generous gestures we do to local charities.
"This year, we have chosen the Royal Derby Hospital breast cancer unit as our charity."