Jantzen Derrick blazed a trail to Paris St Germain . . . and then back to Bath City
David Beckham was not even born when the first English player to join Paris St Germain made his debut for the French club.
It was 1971 and Edward Heath was Prime Minister, the Daily Mail appeared as a broadsheet for the final time and Arsenal won the league and FA Cup double.
Also that year, Jantzen Derrick moved from Bristol City to PSG, but without the fanfare that Beckham’s signing made around the world last week.
The move – in which the former England captain has donated his salary to a children’s charity in Paris – is in stark contrast to Derrick’s journey over the English Channel.
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“When I left Bristol City I was on a basic salary of about £30 a week and I went to Paris St Germain and from memory I doubled my wages so I was on £60 a week,” he said from his home in Bristol.
Derrick, 70, still works three days a week in the motor trade after retiring 40 years ago. Before joining PSG he had made 259 appearances for Bristol City, then played for a year in France before returning to Bath for a season.
And while the former winger always believed PSG would become a powerhouse in Europe, Derrick wishes he had his time again in this more lucrative era.
“Paris St Germain were formed in 1970 and I joined them in their first season in the first division of the French league,” he said. “They were a very new, young club then. I was there a year and played a few games and was in the squad. It was a lovely city, Paris, and I loved the place dearly. I really enjoyed it.
“I knew that Paris St Germain would become a major club in Europe. I had that gut feeling, being the capital of France as well. I wish I was starting again but Paris deserve all the success.”
Derrick remembers he was surprised by the quality of the game in France.
“It was quite advanced. They got a lot of top French players; Jean Djorkaeff, he was the captain of France at the time. They had three or four French internationals playing there at the time and the football was quality.”
Even though his wages doubled during his year across the channel, it was never an option for Derrick to make a grand gesture like Beckham and donate his wages to charity.
He believes the Beckham move will make the French people take the former Manchester United, Real Madrid and AC Milan midfielder to heart.
Derrick said: “David is a great ambassador for football and a great player. In all fairness he’s a very wealthy man but what he has done is brilliant. French people will certainly be attracted to that.”