Derby is like England's football team - the underdog with a fighting spirit

Derby has the same fighting spirit as the England football squad Derby has the same fighting spirit as the England football squad
Derby has the same fighting spirit as the England football squad | Getty Images
We also know what it’s like to be underestimated!

Throughout the Euros tournament, the England team has faced ample criticism about how they play.

But fast forward to Sunday (July 15) and they will be going to head-to-head against Spain in the final.

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Sounding out negative noise is something The Three Lions have become all too familiar with during the Euros - and here in Derby, we can relate.

In recent months, Derby has been berated by the nation’s press as a ‘rundown dump’ and labelled as the UK’s ‘worst city’.

Just this weekend, another piece published by a red-top title detailed grim ‘crack dens and knife crime’ in the city.

Locals - me included - have been left dismayed by these adverse stories.

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They help no one, least of all businesses who work so hard to make the city a great place to be.

Derby, like other places, is not perfect.

I don’t think any place on earth is perfect.

But that does not give people carte blanche to openly bash our city that has so much going for it.

Derby may have the badge of a city and a heart of a town, but there is plenty going on.

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Just in the last few weeks, I attended three community-led festivals.

Celebrate Sadler Gate was a fabulous carnival event that treated people to live music and an ace shopping experience.

Furthest From The Sea was a cultural festival that brought together families with a boatload of free activities throughout the day.

Six Streets Arts Trail saw artists throw open their doors to welcome the public into their homes and give talks and demonstrations about their work.

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I could go on. There are events galore popping up in the city and wider Derbyshire, making Derby a city that is a fun place to be.

My inbox is jam packed with information about events, asking DerbyWorld to come along and cover. (I am working hard on that, so please bear with me.)

But there are big things happening on Derby’s landscape that will continue to put the city in the spotlight.

Becketwell Performance Venue and Derby Market Hall are just two big projects that will come to fruition in 2025.

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My message to people slating Derby… just stop it. You’re not helping anyone.

Why Derby city is like England football team

England’s performance has not been perfect.

They have faced criticism from high-profile bodies, yet in the face of all the negativity, they have soldiered on.

Last night’s Oliver Watkins gave an interview post-match after that amazing goal.

Reflecting on the negativity that England has faced throughout the tournament, Oliver said: “Look, there’s been a lot of criticism, but at the end of the day we’re in the final. And that’s all that matters.

“So, forget all the outside noise. We’re in the final.”

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I know Derby is not gearing up for any final. But the sentiment - of ‘ignoring outside noise’ still stands.

There is much to love, and celebrate about Derby, from its fierce fighting spirit to its capacity to be a welcoming home to all.

I’m a positive soul, so I guess I have to thank all the Derby bashers, from the publishers of the Which? poll, to The Sun, who have galvanised support in the city and brought locals together.

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