Derry is known to Blackwell who coached him the during his time at Sheffield United where he made 83 appearances. Derry was a key part of Palace's promotion winning side, playing 44 games including cup and play-off games. But similarly to Sean Gregan's situation at WBA, he has been left in the cold after promotion, making only ten appearances this season, most of them as a substitute.
That is the one reason why Derry would drop down a division, a desire to play regular first team football again, and after over 320 career games he will help the youngsters by providing more valuable experience to the midfield. A role that Sean Gregan has played to the deteriment of his own game until recently.
But Kevin Blackwell is well aware of other characteristics that have put Derry top of his most wanted list. "He's been involved in this division for a few years now and is a battler. He is a fierce competitor, while he is also powerful, strong and at 26 going on 27, he is coming up to the right age for a midfielder. I know he will give everything for us, which is why I'm pleased we have beaten off good competition in Ipswich and Nottingham Forest to sign him."
Alluding to the need for Derry's experience he went on, "I have got to add more [players] because behind the eleven who are doing everything they can for me at the moment we have a lot of talented youngsters, but they are just youngsters. They haven't got the knowledge we require of them yet.
"I nearly put Matthew Spring on the bench against QPR even though he hasn't played for weeks because he's all we really had. A few injuries or suspensions and we're still very light - this signing will help."
Derry stands five feet ten inches tall, was born 6th Dec, 1977 in, despite his Irish name, Nottingham! He began his career at local club Notts County, who after 94 games, sold him for £700,000 to Sheffield United in January 1998. After 83 games for the Blades he moved to Portsmouth in March 2000 for just £300,000. He made 55 appearances for Pompey in two-and-a-half years before a £400,000 move to Selhurst Park in August 2002. Hopefully he will be pulling on a white shirt this week after another move to Yorkshire!