Rams title heroes would be worth millions today
FORTY years ago today Derby County were crowned kings of English football.
They finished ahead of Leeds United and Liverpool to win the League Championship for the first time in the club's history.
And Jimmy Walker, a member of the squad at the time, believes the Rams' 1971-72 title-winning team would be worth millions of pounds in today's transfer market.
"Roy McFarland and Colin Todd were the best centre-back pairing in the world and that's no exaggeration. Roy would be worth £40m today, so would Toddy," said Walker, who spent six years with the Rams and was one of the players who helped point Derby back to the First Division under Brian Clough and Peter Taylor.
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He played in the 1968-69 Second Division championship team and made six appearances in the 71-72 success, scoring a valuable winner at Crystal Palace in the March.
After playing, Walker found a new career in physiotherapy.
He was Aston Villa physio for 16 years until 2003 and was in a good position to compare players past and present.
"Alan Hansen and Mark Lawrenson formed an excellent partnership in Liverpool's defence but for me McFarland and Todd were better," said Walker.
"The Derby team was full of top players.
"John O'Hare was centre forward and the player who comes closest to John is probably Mark Hughes, the ex-Manchester United and Chelsea striker.
"As for Alan Hinton, I have not seen anyone cross a ball better, not even David Beckham.
"If you want goals from midfield, Alan Durban was either close to double figures or well into double figures most seasons."
Walker, a midfielder, later played at Brighton & Hove Albion, Peterborough United and Chester.
He had a spell as assistant manager to Paul Merson at Walsall in 2004.
Now 64, he runs a sports injury clinic at The Belfry.
SOUVENIR SPECIAL: A 24-page supplement "When we Were Kings" celebrating the 40th anniversary of Derby County's first League title in 1972 is free in today's Derby Telegraph.