Tyson, who agreed terms on a three-year deal with the Rams last summer, had a difficult first campaign at Derby after suffering numerous setbacks with a recurring groin injury in the first half of last season.
However, the striker came off the substitutes’ bench to net an 89th minute eqauliser against Premier League side Sunderland in the Rams’ penultimate warm-up fixture ahead of the new season on Wednesday night, and the 30-year-old forward was keen to pay tribute to his friend and former manager.
He told Rams Player: “To score was just an amazing feeling really, especially for it to come today of all days because I had some bad news back home; one of my friends’s Dad passed away.
“He was my Sunday League team’s football coach as well, so the goal is for him and for his family.
“It has been very upsetting; I spoke to one of my friends and told him that I would wear a black armband out of respect because I owe Malcolm a lot; he made football fun and enjoyable for me.”
The former Nottingham Forest forward made a total of 24 appearances for the Rams last season, with the majority of those coming as a substitute, and after a difficult 12 months at Pride Park Tyson says he is eager to put his injury woes behind him, ahead of the 2012-13 npower Championship campaign.
He added: “Last pre-season here against Aston Villa I suffered a groin injury which was basically the start of a downward spiral. But when you are at rock bottom, the only thing you can do is bounce back and hopefully today is the start of something.
"I feel really confident and in really good shape, and that has just been down to me having a full pre-season.
“Last year was very stop start and then I literally spent the whole season playing catch-up. By the time I started feeling good about myself, against Peterborough at home, the season had ended.
"It was like tonight, I didn’t want the game to end. I have got a spring in my step now and I cannot wait for Saturday at Chesterfield."
Watch the full interview with Nathan Tyson exclusively on Rams Player.