Together, We Are All Derbyshire: Palladino reveals 2012 prankster

Saturday 11th April 2020
Written by Tom Skinner
Photography by: David Griffin

During these challenging times for all, we want to help keep everyone associated with the club and wider community positive and engaged. We’re in this together and Together, We Are All Derbyshire. 

Throughout 2020, Derbyshire will be producing a variety of content tailored to what supporters want to read, watch or discuss, including answering your questions about the club. 

Greg Watts got in touch to ask “Who are the pranksters in the squad?” As a long-standing member of the team who has witnessed the high jinks in professional sport, Tony Palladino gives two of his favourite examples.

A season-long effort in 2012

“In 2012 a Twitter account was created ‘@DerekKered’ and it followed a load of the lads, then started making comments at each of them,” says Palladino.

“Nothing nasty, but definitely spraying them. Things like ‘Palladino bowls pizzas’ on and off throughout the season.

“Some of the lads were getting a bit wound up by it, but we were all thinking ‘who is this bloke?’

“We needed to beat Hampshire in the last game of the season to win Division Two and one of the lads got a message from this Twitter account saying if we win the league ‘Derek’ would come to the ground and reveal himself.

“We knock off the runs and everyone’s celebrating in the changing room afterwards and Edwin [Changing Room Attendant] hands me an envelope addressed to me.

“I open it and it’s a letter from Derek Kered. It was congratulating the lads, but saying unfortunately I can’t be there today and apologising for missing the victory as we’re a great bunch of lads.

“Then right at the end ‘P.S. my alter ego, Usman Khawaja, is in the room.’

“And it turns out that Uzzy had opened this account and had been doing this all season, watching the lads get wound up and chuckling to himself.

“He’s a bit of a practical joker and that’s one of the best – the length of time and commitment to the prank was brilliant.”

Andy Flower’s not laughing…

“One that I did which didn’t go down as well as that was when I was at Essex,” laughs Palladino.

“One of the net bowlers bowled Andy Flower, it cleaned him up and actually broke a stump.

“Me being a young kid, I picked up the stump and wrote a note which read ‘Hi Andy, I really enjoyed getting you out today, can you sign this stump for me?’

“I thought he’d laugh at that, but he went absolutely mental!

“He threw it down and was swearing, shouting ‘who’s done this?!’ and I just shrivelled up in the corner of the changing room!

“Until now, he had no idea who that was.”

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