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Local derby

In many countries the term derby is used (often in the form "local derby") to mean a sports (often Association football (soccer), rugby union, rugby league or Australian Rules Football) match between local rival teams. To name two examples, the "North London Derby" is Arsenal versus Spurs and in Australian Rules, the "Western Derby" (pronounced "dur-bee") is the Fremantle FC versus the West Coast Eagles. 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 contested annually between the two halves of the town of Derby in England. This match has been discontinued, but would have been similar to the Royal Shrovetide Football Match still played every year in nearby Ashbourne.

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 political rivalry is the derby between FC Barcelona and Espanyol in Barcelona in Spain. FC Barcelona represents the population loyal to Catalan nationalism and Espanyol represents the population of Barcelona loyal to a united Spain (the name Espanyol "Spanish" in Catalan), especially those who migrated to Catalunya from other parts of Spain in the Franco era. An example of sectarian rivalry is in the Old Firm derby between the two leading clubs of Glasgow in Scotland. In the matches between Celtic v Rangers, Celtic represents the catholic population, and Rangers the protestant population of Glasgow.


List of Derby matches



  • Western Derby - Fremantle FC v West Coast Eagles - Aussie Rules
  • The Showdown - Adelaide Crows v Port Adelaide FC - Aussie Rules


  • The Vienniese City Derby - Austria Wien v Rapid Wien - Football







New Zealand

  • Battle of the Bridge - Auckland v North Harbour - Rugby union
  • Southern Derby - Otago v Southland - Rugby union




United Kingdom

  • Auld Enemy - Scotland v England - Football (world's first ever international football match)




International derbies

Contests between neighbouring nations also frequently take on derby status. This is particularly the case with the following pairs of countries and particular sports:

Last updated: 02-26-2005 05:08:48