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First we had the Brian Clough trophy, now we have the Steve Bloomer Trophy....

Derby County is thrilled to confirm that it will be taking on Spanish side Real Unión for the Steve Bloomer Trophy this October.



A Derby County XI will head over to Irun in Spain to contest a game against the Segunda División B club at their Stadium Gal home, which has a 5,000 capacity and is only a short distance from the French border, on Tuesday 3rd October (kick-off 8pm local time - 7pm BST).

The game will be shown live on RamsTV and will be the first of an annual competition between the two clubs.

Real Unión were one of the founding members of La Liga in 1928 alongside the likes of current European champions Real Madrid and Barcelona.

In the present day, they play in Group 2 of Segunda División B, which is the third tier of Spanish football. The league is split into regionalised groups and Group 2 contains the B teams of Osasuna, Real Sociedad and Sporting Gijón.

They ended a 44-year wait to return to the Segunda División, albeit for one season, after securing promotion in the 2008/09 season, in addition to knocking Real Madrid out of the Copa del Rey on away goals following a 6-6 aggregate draw. It was the first time in history that the Spanish giants had been knocked out by a Segunda División B team at home.

Officials from both Derby County and Real Unión have been in talks for several months on how to celebrate the history that the legendary Steve Bloomer made for both clubs.

The name of Steve Bloomer needs little introduction to Derby supporters after he scored 331 goals in 525 games for the club between 1891–1906 and 1910-14.

His goalscoring exploits were so impressive that he has been the Rams’ all-time leading goalscorer for over a hundred years.

Upon ending his playing career, Bloomer had a brief spell in charge of Berliner SV 1892 in Germany before he took over as the manager of Real Unión in 1923.

He memorably guided them to a famous 1-0 Copa del Rey Final win over Real Madrid in 1924, after defeating Barcelona 7-2 on aggregate at the Semi-Final stage.

Supporters interested in attending the game will be able to purchase tickets from the Derby County Ticket Office at Pride Park Stadium in due course.

The nearest airport to Real Unión’s stadium is Biarritz in France, located 20 miles away, but flights do not head there on a daily basis. Instead supporters may wish to fly to Bilbao, which is 75 miles away but flights arrive each day.



* Due to the international break the Derby County XI will predominantly feature the club’s Under-23 players, supplemented by some senior players dependent upon availability.

Derby County’s Chief Operating Officer, John Vicars, said: “The club were contacted earlier this year by Real Unión who reminded us of the link that Steve Bloomer had with both clubs. They, like us, are very proud of the Bloomer association and still have the Copa del Rey Trophy that the team won under his guidance back in 1924.

“They invited us over to Irun last month and after speaking with their officials we have decided to hold a game each year between the two clubs in honour of Steve Bloomer’s achievements and are looking forward to the inaugural game for the ‘Trofeo Steve Bloomer’ on 3rd October.

“Northern Spain and in particular the Basque country is a beautiful part of the world and is a very popular tourist destination and I think that our fans will look forward to the opportunity of making the trip to enjoy both the area and the football whilst helping establish the game as an annual event.”
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I'm well read on Steve Bloomer, so knew of his exploits in Spain. It's a nice idea, I'd like to make the trip over to a game one day, won't be this year though. Would be good to have it during pre season in future too, so we can put a stronger team out.
 

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2-1 win for Derby and the trophy comes back to England :D

The usual u23 team was played.
 
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