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Can Wayne Rooney’s Rams add their name to this list of miracle escapes?

Derby County are languishing at the bottom of the Championship table after receiving an additional points deduction – but can they survive? Graeme Bailey looks at previous great escapes.

Wayne Rooney's Derby side had 12 points deducted after entering administration in September, plunging them into the Championship's bottom three.
Hope still remained, though, after an encouraging start to the season which saw them win three and draw four of their opening ten fixtures.

However, after admitting breaches of EFL rules, a further deduction of nine points has hit them hard. Despite Sunday's stunning win over Bournemouth they sit on 0 points at the foot of the table, 15 points from safety.

A seven-match winless streak didn't help their cause and Sunday's freak result aside, many believe Rooney's hopes of keeping Derby up are gone.

Nevertheless, Planet Sport Bet are offering a glimmer of light, giving the Rams a 7/2 chance of producing one of the greatest survival acts of all time, if not the greatest.

"Many believe it is impossible, but we are not writing off Rooney's Rams just yet," said Planet Sport Bet spokesperson Mike Grenham. "There are an awful lot of points to play for and Derby aren't the worst team in the Championship by a long chalk."

The Rams do have history - only last season they stayed up on a dramatic last day after beating Sheffield Wednesday.

But just how special would this Derby story be? We looked back nearly half a century to chart some of the most memorable relegation survivals from the top flight down to the old Division Four.

Luton Town 1983

Luton Town produced one of the most unlikely survival acts during the 1982/83 Division One season.

The Hatters took 15 points from their last nine games to survive on the final day of the season. Raddy Antic's 86th-minute goal secured a 1-0 win at Maine Road, relegating hosts Manchester City in the process and resulting in David Pleat's famous run across the pitch in his beige suit.

Torquay United 1987

Torquay were on their way out of the Football League in 1987 but seven points from their last four games saw them maintain their place in the old Division Four.
Their safety was assured in the final game thanks to a 2-2 draw against Crewe Alexandra and owed much to a police dog named Bryn.
The home side were trailing 2-1 going into the latter stages of the game when Torquay's Jim McNichol was bitten by the dog as he chased a ball up the touchline.
McNichol needed lengthy treatment and with the results of the other games now decided, Torquay knew exactly what they needed to do in the time added on.
Paul Dobson duly came up with an equaliser in injury time and it was Lincoln City who were relegated on goal difference.

Everton 1994

With two relegation spots still undecided, four teams were in danger of going down on the final day of the 1993/94 season. One of those was the powerhouse that is Everton who had never been relegated from the top flight.

Their final game was against Wimbledon at Goodison Park, and it was not going well. After going 2-0 down early on they still trailed 2-1 with more than an hour played.

Barry Horne levelled in the 67th minute but with Sheffield United leading Chelsea 2-1 the Toffees were still going down.

Graham Stuart, who had earlier bagged Everton's first from the spot, then produced the match-winner nine minutes from time to preserve the Toffees' top-flight status.
But while there was joy for Everton, there was despair for Sheffield United who conceded a last-minute Mark Stein winner to succumb to a 3-2 defeat and relegation.

Hull City 1999

One the most famous relegation rescue acts came when goalkeeper Jimmy Glass scored an unlikely injury time-winner for Carlisle United against Plymouth to send Scarborough out of the Football League on the final day of the 1998/99 season.
However, what is often overlooked is that at the turn of the year, it was Hull City who were bottom of the division, six points adrift of safety with only 15 points from their opening 24 games.
Warren Joyce had been brought in to replace Mark Hateley but there was no quick fix as the Tigers lost six of their next seven.
They then went on a remarkable run, losing just three of their next 21 games to finish five points clear of the trapdoor.

West Brom 2005

Up until 2005, no team who was bottom of the Premier League at Christmas had ever survived - that was until Bryan Robson's West Brom.
The Baggies looked doomed but three wins out of four in March and April gave them a chance of survival going into the final day.
Nevertheless, they began the final day at the bottom of the division with their fate out of their own hands.

They did their part with a 2-0 win over Portsmouth, with Geoff Horsfield and Kieran Richardson on target. And, with Southampton and Norwich losing and Charlton drawing, it was enough for West Brom to stay up at the expense of those three clubs. It remains the closest ever finish to a Premier League campaign, with two points separating the bottom four.

West Ham United 2007

Another famed Premier League finish. Ten points adrift of safety in March, Alan Curbishley's Hammers managed to cling onto their top-flight status.

They came into the final day needing to secure a point at champions Manchester United to guarantee safety or hope Wigan failed to beat Sheffield United.

However, West Ham had a potent threat in Carlos Tevez. The Argentinian had been signed alongside Javier Mascherano at the start of the campaign in a move found to have breached Premier League rules.

Coming into the game in a rich vein of form, he grabbed the only goal of the game to give West Ham the unlikeliest of wins - his seventh goal in 10 games.
Wigan beat Sheffield United who were relegated on goal difference.
The fall-out was to rumble on for some time, with Sheffield United filing arbitration proceedings against the Premier League in a bid to overturn the decision not to deduct points from West Ham for the rule breaches.
West Ham and Sheffield United later reached an out-of-court settlement to end the dispute.

Leicester City 2015

No we are not talking about the miracle of Leicester's title win, this is the story of 12 months earlier.

Seven points adrift of safety and rock-bottom in the Premier League, the Foxes produced a remarkable run of form, winning seven and drawing one of their last nine games.
The sequence pushed them up to the table to eventually finish 14th and laid the platform for the 5000/1 miracle the following season. But that's another article altogether.

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