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Notts County leaves fans stunned as David McGoldrick joins from Derby

Notts County leaves fans stunned as David McGoldrick joins the League Two newcomers from impressing at Derby County.

The 35 year old striker had an impressive season at the Rams, as they narrowly missed out on a League One playoff place for 2022/23.

He made 45 in total (39 in the league) and scored 25 goals (22 in the league, meaning he was the third highest-scorer in the third tier as well as producing six assists.)


We’re delighted to announce the homecoming of academy graduate David McGoldrick, who has signed a two-year contract.

The 35-year-old returns to Meadow Lane having enjoyed a phenomenal 2022-23 campaign with Derby County, scoring 25 goals and being named Fans’ and Players’ Player of the Season as the Rams narrowly missed out on the Sky Bet League One play-offs.

Unsurprisingly, McGoldrick was offered the chance to stay at Pride Park but he has instead decided to fulfil his long-held ambition of returning to his boyhood club.

And our board of directors, along with head coach Luke Williams, are thrilled to welcome a player who was widely regarded as one of the third tier’s top performers.

A statement reads: “We’re over the moon to welcome someone of David’s immense quality and experience.

“He joins us on the back of his best-ever goalscoring season, but anyone who’s followed his career knows his talents extend far beyond his ability in front of goal.

“David’s an incredibly intelligent and intricate footballer who also boasts tremendous physicality, so we believe he can be hugely effective in a number of attacking roles.

“He’s been a leader and top professional at several big clubs, including recently in the Premier League with Sheffield United, and we believe his know-how and willingness to impart knowledge on to younger players will be invaluable.

“As you would suspect, David hasn’t made this decision for financial reasons. His love and respect for the club have brought him home and he’s going to be a talismanic figure as we commence this exciting new chapter.”

Nottingham-born McGoldrick progressed through our academy and made his senior debut aged just 16 in a 2-1 home defeat to Swindon Town in 2004. He went on to make another three appearances that season, which ended in relegation, before then-Premier League side Southampton signed him for an undisclosed fee.

After returning to us on loan in 2005-06, he went on to establish himself at St Mary’s and finished the 2008-09 season as the Saints’ top scorer with 14 goals as they were relegated from the Championship.

That paved the way for a £1million move to Nottingham Forest and, while his City Ground career never really got going, a loan move to League One outfit Coventry sparked his goalscoring into life as he finished the first half of the season with 16 from 22 appearances.

He returned to the Championship in the new year with a loan to Ipswich Town, a move which was made permanent the following season. He went on to score 45 goals in 159 appearances for the Tractor Boys before signing for Sheffield United ahead of the 2018-19 campaign.

His performances soon earned him an extension to his initial one-year deal and he repaid the Blades with a total of 15 goals to help fire them into the Premier League, scooping the Fans’ Player of the Season award in the process.

McGoldrick went on to rack up 63 Premier League appearances for United, scoring 10 top-flight goals including a delightful finish against Arsenal which saw him win the club’s 2020-21 Goal of the Season award.

A beacon of light in a Blades side that suffered relegation to the Championship, McGoldrick’s team-mates voted him their Players’ Player of the Season and, despite the following campaign being hampered by injury, he continued to have a positive influence at Bramall Lane as a mentor to younger team-mates.

McGoldrick departed at the end of that season, with manager Paul Heckingbottom describing him as ‘a great bloke and a winner’, qualities recognised by Derby as they brought him in on a one-year contract last summer.

And it proved to be an outstanding piece of business for our near neighbours as he notched an incredible three hat-tricks on his way to scoring 22 goals in League One.

McGoldrick also boasts international experience having won 14 caps for Republic of Ireland.

His contributions on the national stage were recognised when he was voted the FAI’s Senior International Player of the Year in 2020, shortly before he retired to focus more on family and his club career.


David McGoldrick will leave Derby County at the end of his contract this summer.

The 35-year-old striker had been in talks over the possibility of extending his stay at Pride Park Stadium in recent weeks.

Those discussions have now respectfully concluded after McGoldrick informed the club that he wishes to fulfil the ambition of re-joining his boyhood club Notts County, where he began his playing career, when his contract expires at the end of June.

Throughout talks over his future McGoldrick remained transparent that the option to follow his heart and return to Meadow Lane was something that greatly appealed to him at this stage of his career.

McGoldrick will leave Derby after spending the 2022/23 season with the Rams. The former Republic of Ireland international netted 25 goals in 45 appearances and claimed the Jack Stamps Player of the Season award.

McGoldrick said: “It has been a difficult decision for me to leave Derby County, but it has been a huge ambition of mine to play for Notts County again before the end of my career.

“I’ve been honest and open with both Paul Warne and the club about it in recent weeks and they’ve been supportive and understanding.

“If it wasn’t for the fact that I had the chance to return to Notts, it would have been a no-brainer to stay at Derby – regardless of interest from any other club. I really enjoyed working under the gaffer and his staff, playing alongside the lads and, of course, performing in front of the brilliant fans at Pride Park. I want to thank everyone for making me feel so welcome in the last year.

“I had a wonderful season with Derby and to score 25 goals and three hat-tricks made it such an enjoyable time, the best in terms of goals for me personally in the season, and actually made the decision such a difficult one.

“I’ve had many conversations with the gaffer over the last few weeks and he really did do everything he could to keep me at Derby but, in the end, I have decided to go with my heart and return to Notts.”

He added: “I wish the club the very best of luck moving forward and I’ll be willing Derby on next season. They’re in good hands both on the pitch with the gaffer, Richie Barker, Matt Hamshaw and Andy Warrington, as well as off it too.”

Derby County would like to wish ‘Didzy’ every success in the next chapter of his career with Notts County and thank him for his contribution over the last year.

As mentioned, Notts County leaves fans stunned as David McGoldrick joins from Derby…

@KieranDCFC1592: We Would Like To Wish ‘Didzy’ Every Success In The Next Chapter Of His Career With Notts County And Thank Him For His Contribution Over The Last Year 🖤🤍🐑

@_Bish___: that gotta be the best player to ever play in league 2


@PeteNCFC1862: That’s quality well done all involved, and David Mcgoldrick welcome home my friend can’t wait to see you in the beautiful Black and White stripes of Notts County next season 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👏👏👏🖤🤍🖤🤍

@jbeals1966: I think I have just shit myself

@WallySpire: What a signing. Fair play

@IpswichBuh: That’s one hell of a signing for you. Best wishes David

@dcfc_h005: Good luck, Didzy. Gave us some special moments this season. Once a ram always a ram.

@SueFox79767092: Good luck Didzy, we’ll miss you! Bring some of that Didzy-magic to Notts County. All the best for the season 🖤🤍

@Turkey_Twizzler: Howwww the duck have we pulled this off

@HDavies1804: He’d make it into most League One teams, never mind League Two. Unbelievable signing and such a classy footballer and great guy. All the best, Didz 🙌

@lankylibero14: Wow, one of the signings of the summer. Expect him to rip up League Two if he stays fit.

@benthorpe178: What a signing, the pull of this club is unrivalled

@e45twp: All the best Didzy, you were brilliant for DCFC, gutted you’ve gone but thanks for memories!

@Splash1967: That’s a fantastic signing, welcome home David!

@NewRamMan: Can’t fall out with Didzy’s decision, if anything it makes me like him more. Going for love not money. I’m not sure how closely Notts County fans have followed him but he was a different class in League 1. Saw things others couldn’t see. You’ve got yourself a great signing.

@bromtomley: I’d still have him back at Sheffield United. Top player, top man, one of my all time greats. Was making fools of Premier League players 20/21 season with his brain and close control, so that’s some signing. He’ll boss it. Good luck Didzy.

@dcfcg02: This makes me very sad but you have yourself a fantastic player who works very hard for the team and will score loads of goals. All the best with the L2 season County fans 🐏

@RdotLOL: Omg the day I bought my Season ticket aswell!!!! BLOODY LOVE THIS CLUB ⚫️⚪️⚫️⚪️⚫️⚪️

@AWJThompson: Great guy, gutted he has gone but fully understand, I can only wish him the best for next season.

@midlandno4: Best of luck Dizzy, was brilliant for us!

@davo261088: That’s an absolutely unbelievable signing for you. Congratulations!

@SkripekMathew: This guy outclassed league 1. He will absolutely walk this league. What a signing

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