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Derby County's Max Bird says he'll be 'forever grateful' as Punjabi Rams honour Sky Sports' Dev Trehan


Max Bird said he would be “forever grateful” to Derby County as he reflected on scoring on his 200th and final appearance for the club, and helping the Rams return to the Sky Bet Championship.

The midfielder, who is a product of Derby County’s academy, made his first-team debut at 16 and scored the opener in a 2-0 win at home to Carlisle on the last day of the season that sent the club back into the second tier of English football.

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Highlights from the Sky Bet League One clash between Derby and Carlisle.

Bird now heads back to Bristol City. He signed there earlier this year, before returning to Derby County for the second half of the campaign and enjoying a memorable end to the 2023/24 season.

“As soon as I came back on loan after joining Bristol City, there was one aim. That was to get this club promoted,” Bird said.

“To do it with the performances that I had and the team-mates and staff that I did it with was fantastic.

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Paul Warne was proud of his Derby side as they earned promotion back to the Championship after a final day win over Carlisle.

“The fans that have seen me grow since I was 16. They have been absolutely terrific.

Max Bird celebrates after scoring Derby's opening goal against Carlisle
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Max Bird celebrates after scoring Derby’s opening goal against Carlisle

“I’ve had bad games and I’ve had good games but they’ve stuck with me and to hear them sing my name on the last match of the season is something that will live with me forever.

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“I’m forever grateful to this football club and, maybe, one day I will be back.”

Punjabi Rams celebrate 10 years and honour Trehan

David Clowes (middle) Sky Sports' Dev Trehan and Punjabi Rams founder Pav Samra either side
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Sky Sports’ Dev Trehan, Derby County owner David Clowes and Punjabi Rams founder Pav Samra attend the group’s 10th anniversary celebrations

The Punjabi Rams have awarded journalist and scout Dev Trehan honorary membership status in recognition of his service to British South Asians in Football and his support for the group.

The Punjabi Rams are the first South Asian heritage supporters’ group formed under the Fans for Diversity banner.

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The Punjabi Rams and former captain Michael Johnson rejoice Derby County’s return to the Sky Bet Championship and the women’s team winning the FA National Plate.

The fans’ club celebrated their 10th anniversary with a fundraiser for local charities Umbrella Derby and Children First Derby at Pride Park at the weekend, which was attended by more than 200 people.

This season’s League One runners-up trophy and the FA Women’s National League Plate both went on display, with Derby County legends Roger Davies and Roy McFarland providing one of the highlights of the evening as they showed off their bhangra moves on the dancefloor in the Baseball Lounge.

Derby County's women's players wore traditional Indian outfits for the Punjabi Ram's 10th anniversary celebrations
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Derby County’s women’s players wore traditional Indian outfits for the Punjabi Rams 10th anniversary celebrations

West Ham academy graduate and former Fans for Diversity chief Anwar Uddin introduced the group to Trehan back in 2014, sparking a chain of events that would positively impact Derby County and create tangible change for South Asians in Football.

Punjabi Rams founder Pav Samra told Sky Sports News: “Dev has supported and tried to elevate us since day one and we’re very proud to make him our first honorary member.

Max Bird and Dev Trehan

“Our connection with the community and relationship with the club has grown immeasurably over the years, with two of our members also now part of matchday operations for the women’s team.

“Dev has also worked closely with our women’s team, particularly our winger Kira Rai, who has since been empowered to become a driving force for change for British South Asians in football.”

Trehan, who partnered with UCFB to launch the world’s first South Asians in Football Leadership scholarship, said: “I am truly humbled to be honoured like this by the Punjabi Rams, who are much more than a supporters’ group.

“They are a beacon of hope and inspiration, serving people across Derby and beyond, promoting a positive message for British South Asians and English football. I’m proud of their progress and excited for the future.”

Fans for Diversity campaign manager Nilesh Chauhan added: “This is a fantastic gesture that cements what has already been a great partnership.

“Dev has been very supportive of the Punjabi Rams, Kira Rai and the work of the Fans for Diversity campaign over the years and this is a great platform to build on.”

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