In many countries the term local derby, or simply just derby (pronounced 'dur-bee' in American English and 'dar-bee' in British English after the city of Derby) means a sporting fixture between two (generally local) rivals, particularly in association football. In North America, "crosstown rivalry" is a more common term. The term is sometimes also used to describe major rivalries in which both clubs have substantial regional or national followings.
The phrase may have originated from an all-in football game (Royal Shrovetide Football) contested annually between the two halves of the English town of Ashbourne, Derbyshire. This match has been and still is played on Shrove Tuesday. Another theory is that it originated from The Derby, a horse race in England, founded by the 12th Earl of Derby in 1780. Yet another theory is that the 'derby match' saying arose from when Liverpool played Everton. Their two grounds were separated by Stanley Park, owned by the Earl of Derby. This latter suggestion can be discounted, however. The Widnes Weekly News of 9 March 1889 describes a game between the (rugby) football team of that town and the touring Maoris as 'the local Derby'. This usage was three years before Liverpool FC came into existence.
Another widely reported, and somewhat more plausible theory (although not accepted by the Oxford English Dictionary) is that the phrase came about from the city of Derby itself. The traditional Shrovetide football match was also common place in the city. It was renowned as a chaotic and exuberant game which involved the whole town and often resulted in fatalities. The goals were at Nuns Mill in the north and the Gallows Balk in the south of the town, and much of the action took place in the Derwent river or Markeaton brook. Nominally the players came from All Saints' and St Peter's parishes, but in practice the game was a free for all with as many as 1,000 players. A Frenchman who observed the match in 1829 wrote in horror, 'if Englishmen call this play, it would be impossible to say what they call fighting'.
Another theory is that the term applies, not to the match itself but to the size of the crowd. In the early years of the twentieth century, the largest sporting crowd in England was at the annual Derby horserace meeting where in excess of half a million people would pack Epsom Downs to watch the race. At that time football matches were attended entirely by 'home' supporters - the concept of the 'away supporter' lay many years into the future as the largely working class crowds could not afford to follow their teams around the country. Supporters watched the first team and reserves who were 'at home' on alternate Saturdays. The only exception came when two teams from the same town played one-another. Then the 'home' supporters of both teams would turn up, producing the largest gate of the season. The term 'local derby' was coined by the press as an analogy to the Derby race crowd. In time the expression came to refer to the match rather than the size of the crowd.
The only thing that is generally accepted is that the term is in some way linked to the county of Derbyshire.
Derbies usually have a much more heated atmosphere between the fans and often the players of the two clubs. For some derbies, an added source of tension between the two clubs can be political or sectarian rivalry.
An example of sectarian rivalry is in the Old Firm derby between the two leading clubs of Glasgow in Scotland. The Old Firm Derby is arguably the biggest derby match in sport, due to the profile of the clubs and their historic rivalry. It should be noted that the Old Firm normally takes place four times per season in the Scottish Premier League, thereby making it a more common fixture than other major derbies. In the matches between Celtic and Rangers, the two clubs are widely perceived as respectively representing the Catholic and Protestant populations of Glasgow.
'Derby' is commonly used to signify matches between teams in the same town or region, however historical national rivalries, such as Ajax Amsterdam v Feyenoord are sometimes also considered derbies as well as major football rivalries. Though the term is rarely applied to international matches, matches between any two of the four British national teams (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) are sometimes referred to as a "British derby", the most recent of which took place during the 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifying stage when England, Wales and Northern Ireland were all drawn in the same group.
Ironically Derby itself does not have a football rivalry within the City as there is only one major club Derby County F.C.. At one point there was a rivalry within the city between Derby County and Derby Midland, however the two clubs merged. Their main football rival is generally seen as Nottingham Forest, a team from the nearby city of Nottingham.
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This is by far the deadliest derby on the Maltese Islands. Floriana is a suburb city of Valletta and generally Floriana fans are taunted about being the "carpet" to the capital city(Valletta). However, the Floriana supporters ('ta' l-Irish') always taunt Valletta about the fact that a few years back, Valletta was full of British and Allied Militars frequenting the city. The 'Lilywhites'(Valletta) ara also taunted because in the past there was an infamous area with lot of poverty and lack of social awareness(Mandragg). There is also a hot argument over the Mascots chosen. Ironically both clubs hold a lion as their mascot since there is a statue of a lion looking at Valletta in Floriana. However this lion was built by Manoel de Vilhena and Floriana is also known as 'Borgo Vilhena'.
These two club are the most successful on the Maltese Islands. Floriana have won 25 championships and Sliema have won 26. This rivalry was more intense in the past due to the fact that lately these clubs were't confronting each other in decisive matches. Lately, due to Floriana's revival, this derby became more interesting and recent mathces have became more interesting and fiercely fought. The last match ended 1-0 for Floriana, with the latter scoring the crucial goal late in the match.
This was not an intense match in the past but suddenly, against all odds, Mr. Victor Zammit became the chairman of Birkirkara FC in the 90s and this side transformed into a deadly team, competing for the major honours in Malta. Valletta was the most feared side in the Premier League but suddenly Birkirkara managed to win 4-1 in one of the best matches ever played under the helm of Victor Zammit and Joe Caruana Curran. The 2 May 1998 was the title decider and Birkirkara FC needed just 1 point to clinch their first ever title.
The defunct Metropolitan Basketball Association which had teams representing locales, had some notable derbies: