Former Rangers striker Waghorn shrugged off a sickening clash with the goalframe just ten minutes into the relegation decider to score twice and keep Wayne Rooney’s side up at their opponents’ expense.
Wednesday, who included Scotland internationals Barry Bannan, Liam Palmer and Callum Paterson in the starting line-up, as well as Jordan Rhodes, drop to the League One alongside Rotherham United and Wycombe Wanderers after finishing bottom.
Paterson scored the Yorkshire side’s equaliser shortly after the hour-mark to make and end-to-end game 2-2 after Waghorn had levelled shortly after half-time and former Celtic winger Patrick Roberts fired the home side in front. The Yorkshire side went in front again with 20 minutes to play – but Waghorn’s second before being substituted was enough to salvage Derby’s season at Pride Park.
Wayne Rooney’s side finished with 44 points, one above the drop-zone, and featured a significant Old Firm flavour throughout the side. As well as Waghorn and Roberts representing each side of the Glasgow divide, George Edmondson also played on loan from Steven Gerrard’s side and was joined by former Celtic striker Colin Kazim-Richards in the Pride Park line-up. Scots Graeme Shinnie and Craig Forsyth also started and were substituted in the second half.
Ex-Rangers winger Josh Windass also lined up for the Owls who were managed by interim manager Jamie Smith while Darren Moore recovers from illness.