Colin Todd is one of the legendary names that will forever be associated with Derby County, no matter how many years and generations pass.

Two First Division titles with the Rams in the 1970s would be enough to elevate any player to iconic status with fans and within the city.

Even more impressive, though, is that he was recognised as the best player in the country as Derby finished top of the pile in 1975, as he joined the selection of greats to be named PFA Player of the Year.

“For me, that (the PFA Award) was the pinnacle of my career,” Todd told RamsTV Meets.

“That is some achievement to have won that, voted for by your peers, because you look at the calibre of players to have won that.

“In this era we’ve seen players like Mohamed Salah and Cristiano Ronaldo, and other top players, win it.

“I know the money in the game now is tremendous but I can look back on my career with two Championship medals, England caps and that treasured PFA trophy.”

He added: “The Derby fans are always great with me when talking about my time at the club and some of the things that they say make me feel very humble. I regard the time I had at Derby as great.”

Todd also gained 27 England caps during a long and successful career, all of which came during his time at Derby, and he also later went on to play for Everton, Birmingham City, Nottingham Forest, Oxford United, Vancouver Whitecaps and Luton Town before retiring in 1984.

Looking back, it would be simple to say that the achievement was the culmination of a journey that kicked into life when he was signed by Brian Clough from Sunderland in 1971.

In order to secure his services, Derby paid a British transfer record of £170,000 to Sunderland.

It would be more accurate to say that his road to the top of English football began when Clough told the country that he would not be signing Todd, on the same day that he put pen to paper.

Todd recalled: “That is how he worked; he would never reveal anything to the media. Or he would, but he would lead them up the garden path!

“Derby signed Archie Gemmill, Roy McFarland and nothing came out in the media until it was done.”

The 71-year-old, who also won the Texaco Cup and Charity Shield during his time at the Baseball Ground, revealed how the legendary Clough got the best out of his players.

Todd, of course, knew Clough better than most as the legendary manager had previously been his youth team coach at Sunderland.

He explained: “He was terrible to me - on the training ground he would kick, kick and, kick me in training and I would never react.

“It went on for a couple of weeks and I thought: ‘I’m going to have to do something about this’.

“He did it the next morning in training and I turned around and had a right blast at him, swearing.

“All he did was stand and laugh in my face because he got what he wanted - a reaction from me.

“From that day on, it made me come out of my shell. He was very clever as a manager.

He added: “I have to say, Brian’s man-management was excellent.”

Todd, admittedly, made his name as a professional during a very different era, and with very different habits to what we are used to hearing about now.

Although judging by results, it didn’t stop the Derby boys performing on matchday.

He recalled: “We used to go down to the Midland Hotel on a Friday night. It was a ritual, every Friday night for a home game.

“One night I had my dinner, played some cards, and went to bed. No sooner had I got into bed and the phone rang and I was told ‘get your backside downstairs, you are going to sweat tomorrow so get some of that ale down you!’.

“That was ritual, to relax more than anything, and every Saturday morning we had to be up at 10:30am and walk down to the Baseball Ground for our pre-match meal.”

Todd admits that the Baseball Ground will always hold a special place in his heart.

Derby’s old home was unique, and renowned, for its special atmosphere and he believes the European nights took everything up a notch.

“That Baseball Ground was something special,” he said.

“Whatever people say about it, the nostalgia it had was fantastic. The atmosphere was great and on those European nights, it was something special.

“With about 40,000 fans, real Derby supporters, it was amazing and I don’t think we’ll see anything like that again.”

After retiring as a player, Todd chose to go into coaching and management.

As a manager, his first position came at Middlesbrough in 1990 and he went on to have further spells in the hotseat at Bolton Wanderers and Swindon Town.

He returned to Derby in November 2000 to become Jim Smith’s assistant after Steve McClaren had moved to Manchester United in a similar position alongside Sir Alex Ferguson.

Todd replaced Smith as the Rams’ manager in October 2001, but it was a shortlived period following four wins in 17 games and he parted company with the club in early 2002.

He returned to management at Bradford City in 2004, over a two-and-a-half year period, before heading out to Denmark to manage Randers for 18 months. He returned to England to manage Darlington for 11 matches, which was followed by a return to Randers in July 2012.

Todd remained in charge until May 2016, during which time he underwent heart surgery, and his last spell in management came during a 21-game spell in charge of Esbjerg FB between July and December in 2016.

He said: “I’m a man of leisure now and although I miss it, I’m enjoying my life.

“Derby County has a special place in my heart and it always will.”

Want to hear more from Colin Todd as he takes a trip down memory lane with Colin Gibson to look back on his playing days with the Rams? Just watch the RamsTV Meets videos embedded within this article.