The Army Ram Leading Derby FC Out The Tunnel
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This Is The Army Ram That Led Derby County FC Out The Tunnel

Technically, despite being an animal, it is a serving soldier – getting a wage for its rations, and an Army number.

The Army Ram Leading Derby FC Out The Tunnel

At just 18 months old The Mercian Regiment's latest mascot has already led Derby County Football Club out onto the pitch.

Private Derby XXXII featured as the Rams took on Bristol City.

The regiment’s newest mascot was picked from the Duke & Duchess of Devonshire's Chatsworth flock.

Technically, despite being an animal, it is a serving soldier – getting a wage for its rations, and an Army number.

Here you can see its predecessor’s ID card.

He may just be 18 months old but The Mercian Regiment's latest mascot has been put through his paces this weekend, leading Derby County Football Club onto the pitch.jpg

The new mascot’s debut at Pride Park Stadium was the start of a bright career, with the young ram expected to represent The Mercian Regiment up to 80 times this year.

Cpl Phil Thornton, Ram Major said: “I really enjoy it, it’s totally different to army life as such.

“We still wear the kit, but we get to do a lot of other different things… I’ve met most of the royal family to be honest with you.”

Private Derby XXXII’s jacket shows the colours and battle honours of its antecedent regiments, including 5 medals for some of the places they have served.

Cpl Thornton said: "It actually started in 1858, during the Indian Mutiny War at the siege of Kotah with the 95th Derbyshire Regiment.

“What happened at the time, was the commanding officer ordered a Pte O’Sullivan to take a fine looking ram into battle with them.

“The ram marched nearly 3,000 miles and subsequently fought numerous battles himself with other rams.

“Therefore, on the 2nd of August 1862, he was awarded his first medal which was the Indian Mutiny Medal.

“Ever since then, he became the mascot of the regiment.”