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Nottingham Forest
Nottingham Forest.svg
Full name Nottingham Forest Football Club
Nickname(s) Forest, The Reds, The Tricky Trees[1]
Founded 1865
Ground City Ground
(Capacity: 30,576[2])
Chairman Nigel Doughty
Manager Billy Davies
League The Championship
2008–09 The Championship, 19th
Home colours
Away colours
Current season

Nottingham Forest Football Club are an English professional football club based in Nottingham. Founded in 1865, Forest became founder members of the Football Alliance in 1888 and their first major success came when they won the FA Cup in 1898. They spent much of the first half of the 20th century playing in the Second Division and their next major trophy came when they again won the FA Cup in 1959. Their most successful period came under the management of Brian Clough, between 1975 and 1993, during which time they won the English league championship, two consecutive European Cups and four League Cups. They played in the first season of the newly formed Premier League in 1992 and have subsequently suffered a number of promotions and relegations between the top three divisions of English football.

Forest have been based at the City Ground since 1898 and its current capacity is 30,602. The ground was used as a venue for games during Euro 96 and hosted the FA Women's Cup final in 2007 and 2008. Contrary to popular belief the name "Forest" does not originate from Sherwood Forest, but from the Forest Recreation Ground just north of Nottingham City Centre which is where the club first played upon its formation in 1865 (though the name of the Forest Recreation Ground does in turn derive from a time when that ground was part of Sherwood Forest). The club are often referred to simply as Forest the name the club carries on their crest. Forest fans have a deep dislike of their club being referred to as Notts Forest. This is due to the fact that Notts is the abbreviation of Nottinghamshire, hence Notts County, and not of Nottingham itself. The team are also called the Reds, due to the colour of their strip. Their fiercest local rivals are Derby County. Matches between the two sides in recent seasons have seen violence both on and off the field. Forest's nearest neighbours and city rivals are Notts County. County's Meadow Lane and Forest's City Ground are the closest grounds in English League football. The record number of appearances for the club is 692 by Bob McKinlay and the record number of goals scored for the club is 217 by Grenville Morris.



Forest were founded in 1865 by a group of shinty players[3] as Nottingham Forest Football and Bandy Club[4] shortly after their neighbours Notts County, (thought to be the world's oldest surviving professional football club), in 1862. They joined the Football Alliance in 1888, and won the competition in 1892.[5] They were then allowed entry to The Football League. In 1890, Forest played in the first ever match to use goal nets. [6]

The 1898 FA Cup-winning team

Forest claimed their first major honour when they won the 1898 FA Cup, beating Derby County 3–1 at Crystal Palace.[7] However, for much of the first half of the 20th century the club spent life in the Second Division (and had to seek re-election in 1914 after finishing bottom). In 1949 the club were relegated to the Third Division, but bounced back two years later as champions of the Second. A brief period of glory followed at the end of the 1950s, as they regained First Division status in 1957 and won the FA Cup for a second time in 1959, despite losing Roy Dwight, uncle of pop icon Elton John, through a broken leg[8] and becoming the first team to defeat the Wembley 'hoodoo'. By this time Forest had become the biggest team in Nottingham, overtaking Notts County. But after reaching the high of runners-up spot and cup semi-finalists in 1967, Forest were relegated from the First Division in 1972.

The club's crest from the mid-1950s until 1972

Forest were considered a moderate club by English league standards until the mid 1970s, when Brian Clough and his assistant Peter Taylor took the helm at the club. Clough became the most successful manager in the history of Nottingham Forest. He had won the league title with Forest's neighbours Derby County in 1972, and came to Nottingham Forest on 6 January 1975, after a 0–2 home defeat by Notts County, on Boxing Day, prompted the committee (Forest had no board of directors then) to sack the previous manager Allan Brown. Clough's first game in charge was the third round F.A. Cup replay against Tottenham, a 1–0 victory thanks to a goal by Scottish centre-forward Neil Martin.

Forest won promotion to the top division at the end of the 1976–77 season after finishing third in the Second Division, but no-one could have predicted how successful Clough's team would be over the next three seasons. Nottingham Forest became one of the few teams (and the most recent team to date) to win the English First Division Championship a year after winning promotion from the English Second Division (1977-78 season).[9] In 1978–79, Forest went on to win the European Cup by beating Malmö 1–0 in Munich's Olympic Stadium and retained the trophy in 1979–80, beating Hamburg 1–0 in Madrid thanks to an outstanding performance by goalkeeper Peter Shilton. They also won the European Super Cup and two League Cups. Beside Shilton, key players of that era included right-back Viv Anderson (the first black player to play for the England national team), midfielder Martin O'Neill, striker Trevor Francis and a trio of Scottish internationals: winger John Robertson, midfielder Archie Gemmill and defender Kenny Burns. The club reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup in 1983–84 but were knocked out by Anderlecht in dishonest circumstances in which a Forest goal by Paul Hart was controversially disallowed as well as Anderlecht being awarded a penalty kick which clearly should never have been. It later emerged that in the second leg, the Belgian club had bribed the referee but the referee in question had since died in a car accident and was hence not able to be held accountable. [10]

Nottingham Forest's next significant trophy came in 1989 when they beat Luton Town 3-1 in the League Cup final. For most of the season they had been hopeful of completing a unique domestic treble, but were beaten into third place in the League by Arsenal and Liverpool and lost to Liverpool in the replay of the FA Cup semi-final, originally held at Hillsborough, where 96 Liverpool fans were crushed to death on terracing, the match was abandoned after 6 minutes. When football resumed they captured the Full Members Cup with a 4–3 victory over Everton. Clough's side retained the League Cup in 1990 when they beat Oldham Athletic 1–0. There was chance for more success in 1991 when Forest reached their only FA Cup final under Brian Clough and went ahead after scoring an early goal (Stuart Pearce free kick) against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley, but ended up losing 2–1 in extra time after an own goal by Des Walker.

Forest beat Southampton 3–2 in the Full Members Cup final in 1992, but then lost to Manchester United in the League Cup in the same season, both finals being played by a Forest team much weakened by injuries.

Brian Clough's 18-year reign as manager ended in May 1993 when Forest were relegated from the inaugural Premier League after 16 illustrious years of top flight football which had seen a league title, two European Cups and four League Cups.

Frank Clark, who had been a left-back in Nottingham Forest's 1979 European Cup winning team, returned to the club in May 1993 to succeed Brian Clough as manager. His management career had previously been uneventful, although he had won the Fourth Division promotion playoffs with Leyton Orient in 1989. Having inherited most of the players from the Clough era, Clark was able to achieve an instant return to the Premier League when the club finished Division One runners-up at the end of the 1993–94 season. Forest's return to the Premier League was impressive as they finished third in 1994–95 and qualified for the UEFA Cup - their first entry to European competition in the post-Heysel era. The club notably reached the quarter-finals as the longest-lasting English club in European competition that season. The 1996–97 season became a relegation battle and Clark was sacked in December. 34-year-old captain Stuart Pearce was installed as player-manager on a temporary basis and he inspired a brief upturn in the club's fortunes. He was tipped to become manager on a permanent basis, but the Forest directors wanted someone more experienced so in March 1997 they turned to Crystal Palace manager Dave Bassett. Forest were unable to avoid relegation and finished the season in bottom place. They won promotion back to the Premier League at the first attempt, being crowned Division One champions in 1997–98.

Bassett was sacked in January 1999, with Ron Atkinson replacing him. However, he was unable to prevent them from once again slipping back into the Football League with a succession of poor results, most noticeably the 8–1 defeat by Manchester United.

David Platt succeeded Atkinson and spent approximately £12 million on players, including the Italian veterans Moreno Mannini, Salvatore Matrecano and Gianluca Petrachi.[11] Platt managed two mid-table finishes before departing for the England U-21s when Forest were in financial difficulties.

Paul Hart became the Reds' new boss just two hours after the departure of Platt[12] and endured a difficult two and a half years as Forest manager. They finished 16th in his first season in charge with a very young team at the time of ITV Digital's collapse which left Forest with a substantial level of debt. However, in the 2002–03 season, Forest finished in sixth place and in the play-offs before losing to Sheffield United in the semi-finals. A poor league run the following season, following the release of key players, led to the sacking of Hart in February 2004 in order to prevent relegation.

Joe Kinnear was subsequently appointed and was able to bring out the best of his inherited side, leading the club to 14th place in the final league table. The 2004–05 season saw Forest drop into the relegation zone once more, leading to Kinnear's resignation in December 2004. Following the brief caretaker stewardship of Mick Harford, Gary Megson took charge of Forest in January 2005 but failed to stave off relegation as the club ended the season second in 23rd place, becoming the only European Cup-winners ever to fall into their domestic third division.

In Forest's first season in the English third tier in 54 years, a 3–0 defeat at Oldham Athletic in February 2006 led to the departure of Megson by "mutual consent" leaving the club only four points above the relegation zone.[13] Frank Barlow and Ian McParland successfully took temporary charge for the remainder of the 2005–06 season, engineering a six-match winning run and remaining unbeaten in ten games, the most notable result a 7–1 win over Swindon Town. Forest took 28 points from a possible 39 under the two, narrowly missing out on a play-off place, as they finished in 7th place.

Colin Calderwood was appointed as the twelfth manager of Forest in thirteen years in May 2006 and became the longest-serving manager since Frank Clark. The Calderwood era was ultimately one of rebuilding. In his first season he led the club to the play-offs, having squandered a 7-point lead at the top of League One which had been amassed by November 2006. Forest eventually succumbed to a 5–4 aggregate defeat in the semi-finals against Yeovil Town.[14] Calderwood achieved automatic promotion in his second year at the club, following an impressive run which saw Forest win six out of their last seven games of the season, culminating in a dramatic final 3–2 win against Yeovil at the City Ground. The Reds kept a league record of 24 clean sheets out of 46 games, proving to be the foundation for their return the second tier of English football. Calderwood's side struggled to adapt to life in the Championship in the 2008–09 campaign, following the signings of Robert Earnshaw, Paul Anderson, Guy Moussi and Joe Garner to replace the likes of Grant Holt, Sammy Clingan, Junior Agogo, Matt Lockwood and Kris Commons, who signed for Derby County having left Forest. Having been unable to steer Forest out of the relegation zone, Calderwood was sacked following a Boxing Day 4-2 defeat to the then-bottom of the table Doncaster Rovers.[15]

Under the temporary stewardship of John Pemberton, Forest finally climbed out of the relegation zone, having beaten Norwich City 3–2.[16] Billy Davies was confirmed as the new manager on 1 January 2009[17] and watched Pemberton's side beat Manchester City 3–0 away in the FA Cup, prior to taking official charge. Under Davies, Forest stetched their unbeaten record in all competitions following Calderwood's sacking to six matches, including five wins. He also helped them avoid relegation as they finished 19th in the Championship, securing survival with one game to go.

In preparation for the 2009–10 campaign, Forest signed nine players, five of whom were on loan at the club in the previous season and returned on permanent deals. The returnees Lee Camp,[18] Chris Gunter,[19] Joel Lynch[20] Paul Anderson[21] and Dexter Blackstock[22] have been joined by Paul McKenna,[19] David McGoldrick,[23] Dele Adebola[24] and loanee Radosław Majewski.[25]


Garibaldi, complete with trademark red shirt

Nottingham Forest have worn red since the club’s foundation in 1865. At the meeting in the Clinton Arms which established Nottingham Forest as a football club, the committee also passed a resolution that the team colours should be ‘Garibaldi Red’.[26] This decision was made in honour of Giuseppe Garibaldi, the Italian patriot who was the leader of the redshirts party. At this time, clubs identified themselves more by their headgear than their shirts and a dozen red caps with tassels were duly purchased, making Forest the first club to ‘officially’ wear red, a colour that has since been adopted by a significant number of others. Forest are the reason behind Arsenal's choice of red, having donated a full set of red kits following Arsenal's foundation in 1886.


The City Ground

Nottingham Forest originally played at the Forest Recreation Ground where they remained until 1879 when they relocated to the Meadows.[27] Following this move, Forest began playing their more important matches at Trent Bridge due to its larger capacity. By 1880, all of Forest's matches were taking place at Trent Bridge but the club secured a site of its own in Lenton in 1882, naming it Parkside[27]. The inadequate facilities necessitated the building of an improved ground in the next field in 1885 at a cost of £500. In 1890, Forest relocated once more, this time with the intention of drawing larger crowds in a location closer to the centre of Nottingham. The Town Ground, on the banks of the River Trent, was built in 1890 at a cost of £1,000 before growing success led to a final move across the Trent to the current City Ground site in 1898[27]. Since then the ground has undergone extensive redevelopment, resulting in the 30,602-seater Euro 96 venue which we know today.

The City Ground is the tenth largest football stadium outside the Premier League, behind Newcastle United, Middlesbrough, Sheffield United, Leicester City, Leeds United, Southampton, Coventry City, Derby County and Sheffield Wednesday.

On 20 June 2007, Forest announced plans to relocate to a 50,000-seater new stadium in either the Clifton area of the city or a site near to the current City Ground in Holme Pierrepont.[28][29] The club has since decided upon Gamston as its preferred location for the planned stadium which is part of the FA's bid to host the 2018 World Cup.



Domestic honours

FA Premier League and predecessors (Level 1 of English Football League System)

  • Winners: 1978
  • Runners-up: 1967, 1979

Football League Championship and predecessors (Level 2 of English Football League System)

  • Winners: 1907, 1922, 1998
  • Runners-up: 1957, 1994

League One and predecessors (Level 3 of English Football League System)

  • Winners: 1951
  • Runners-up: 2008

FA Cup

League Cup

FA Community Shield

  • Winners: 1978
  • Runners-up: 1959

European and International honours

European Cup

UEFA Super Cup

Intercontinental Cup

  • Runners-up: 1980

Minor honours

Anglo-Scottish Cup

  • Winners: 1977

Brian Clough Trophy

  • Winners: 2009

Dallas Cup

  • Winners: 2002

Full Members Cup

  • Winners: 1989, 1992

Football League Centenary Tournament

  • Winners: 1988

Football Alliance

  • Winners: 1892

Nuremberg Tournament

  • Winners: 1982

Trofeo Colombino Cup

  • Winners: 1982, 1983


Name Reign Achievements
Scotland Billy Davies 2009-present
England John Pemberton* 2008
Scotland Colin Calderwood 2006-2008 1 League One (Level 3) Runners up 2007-08
Scotland Ian McParland*
England Frank Barlow*
England Gary Megson 2005-2006
England Mick Harford* 2004-2005
Republic of Ireland Joe Kinnear 2004
England Paul Hart 2001-2004
England David Platt 1999-2001
England Ron Atkinson 1999
England Micky Adams* January 1999
England Dave Bassett 1997-1999 1 First Division (Level 2) Championship 1997-98
England Stuart Pearce* 1996-1997
England Frank Clark 1993-1996 1 First Division (Level 2) Runners up 1994-95
England Brian Clough 1975-1993 1 Division One Championship, 2 European Cups, 1 UEFA Super Cup, 4 Football League Cups, 2 Full Members Cups, 1 Charity Shield
Scotland Allan Brown 1973-1975
Scotland Dave Mackay 1972-1973
Scotland Matt Gillies 1969-1972
Republic of Ireland Johnny Carey 1963-1968 1 First Division Runners up 1966-67
Scotland Andy Beattie 1960-1963
England Billy Walker 1939-1960 1 FA Cup, 1 Third Division Championship, 1 Second Division (Level 2) Runners up 1956-57
England Harold Wightman 1936-1939
England Noel Watson 1931-1936
Stan Hardy 1930-1931
England John Baynes 1925-1929
Bob Masters 1912-1925 1 Second Division Championship
Fred Earp 1909-1912
Harry Haslam 1897-1909 1 Second Division Championship
England Harry Radford 1889-1897 1 FA Cup

* = Caretaker manager


Most appearances for the club (in all competitions):

  1. Bob McKinlay: 692
  2. Ian Bowyer: 564
  3. Steve Chettle: 526
  4. Stuart Pearce: 522

Most goals for the club (in all competitions):

  1. Grenville Morris: 217
  2. Nigel Clough: 131
  3. Wally Ardron: 124
  4. Johnny Dent: 122

Current longest-serving player: Wes Morgan Debut 12 August 2003

Highest attendance: 49,946 Vs. Manchester United in Division 1, 28 October 1967

Lowest attendance: 2,013 Vs. Brentford in the Football League Trophy, 31 October 2006

Record receipts: £499,099 Vs. FC Bayern Munich in UEFA Cup quarter final 2nd leg, 19 March 1996

Longest sequence of league wins: 7, wins from 9 May 1922 to 1 September 1922

Longest sequence of league defeats: 14, losses from 21 March 1913 to 27 September 1913

Longest sequence of unbeaten league matches: 42, from 26 November 1977 to 25 November 1978

Longest sequence of league games without a win: 19, from 8 September 1998 to 16 January 1999

Quickest goal: League: 14 seconds, [6] , Jack Lester vs Norwich City, 8th March 2000

League Cup: 23 seconds [7], Paul Smith Vs Leicester City, 18 September 2007 in the Carling Cup

First Football League game: 3 September 1892 Vs. Everton (away), 2-2

Record win (in all competitions): 14–0, Vs. Clapton (away), 1st round FA Cup, 17 January 1891

Record defeat (in all competitions): 1–9, Vs. Blackburn Rovers, Division 2, 10 April 1937

Most league points in one season: 94, Division 1, 1977-1978

Most league goals in one season: 101, Division 3, 1950-1951

Highest league scorer in one season: Wally Ardron, 36, Division 3 (South), 1950-51

Most internationally-capped player: Stuart Pearce, 76 for England (78 total)

Youngest league player: Craig Westcarr, 16 years , Vs. Burnley 13 October 2001

Record transfer fee paid: £4,800,000 for Pierre van Hooijdonk from Celtic, March 1997.

Record transfer fee received: £8,500,000 for Stan Collymore to Liverpool, June 1995

¹ By agreement with Leicester City. The game was a replay as the original match three weeks previous was abandoned at half time, due to the collapse of Leicester player Clive Clarke, with Forest leading 1–0 .

Shirt sponsors

1981-83: Panasonic

1983-84: Wrangler

1984-1986: Skol

1986-1987: Home Ales (subdidiary of Scottish & Newcastle)

1987-1991: Shipstones

1992-1997: Labatts

1997-2003: Pinnacle

2004-2009: Capital One

2009-2010: Victor Chandler


As of 24 December 2009.[30]

Current squad

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 England GK Lee Camp (vice-captain)
2 England DF James Perch
4 England DF Luke Chambers
5 England DF Wes Morgan
6 England DF Kelvin Wilson
7 England MF Paul Anderson
8 England MF Lewis McGugan
9 Nigeria FW Dele Adebola
10 Wales FW Robert Earnshaw
11 England FW Nathan Tyson
12 England MF Garath McCleary
14 England FW Joe Garner
15 England MF Chris Cohen
No. Position Player
16 Wales DF Chris Gunter
17 England FW David McGoldrick
18 England MF Paul McKenna (captain)
19 France MF Guy Moussi
20 Scotland MF George Boyd (on loan from Peterborough United)
21 England GK Paul Smith
23 England FW Dexter Blackstock
28 Poland MF Radosław Majewski (on loan from Polonia Warsaw)
29 England DF Julian Bennett
33 England DF Joel Lynch
37 Republic of Ireland DF Brendan Moloney
38 England GK Karl Darlow
39 England DF Jordan Fairclough

Out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
24 Republic of Ireland MF Mark Byrne (on loan to Rushden & Diamonds)
26 England MF Matt Thornhill (on loan to Cheltenham Town)
40 Republic of Ireland GK Shane Redmond (on loan to Darlington)

Youth Academy

For the academy squad, see Nottingham Forest F.C. Youth Academy.

Notable former players

Club officials

Board of Directors

Role Name
Chairman: England Nigel Doughty
Chief Executive: England Mark Arthur
Finance Director: England John Pelling
Associate Director: England Eric Barnes
Associate Director: England Graham Cartledge
Associate Director: England Tim Farr
Associate Director: England Sir David White

Technical staff

Role Nat Name
Manager: Scotland Billy Davies
Assistant Manager: Republic of Ireland David Kelly
Goalkeeping Coach: England Peter Williams
First Team Coach: England Julian Darby
Assistant First Team Coach: England Chris Fairclough
Head Physiotherapist: England Andrew Balderston
Physiotherapist: Northern Ireland Steve Devine
Physiotherapist: England Andy Hunt
Youth Academy Director: England Nick Marshall
Youth Academy Coach: England Russell Lovett
Youth Academy Coach: England Tony Cook
Head Academy Scout: Greece Tasos Makis
Medical Consultant: Republic of Ireland Dr Frank Coffey
Performance Coach: England Darren Robinson
Kit Manager: England Terry Farndale
Chief Scout: England Keith Burt
Football Analyst: England John Harrower
Club Consultant: England David Pleat

Nottingham Forest songs

  • Nottingham Forest supporters have two main anthems, snippets of both of which are played on the tannoy before each half of a match begins at the City Ground. One of them is "City Ground", sung to the tune of Mull of Kintyre by Paul McCartney and Wings. Forest fans have adapted the verses, and the anthem features lyrics such as "Oh mist rolling in from the Trent" and "Far have I travelled, much have I seen, Goodison, Anfield are places I've been".
  • Another Trent End favourite is: "I never felt more like singing the blues, when Forest win, and Derby lose", sung to the tune of Guy Mitchell's Singing the Blues.
  • 'The Forest March' ('We've Got the Whole World in Our Hands', Warner K17110) was released in February 1978 on 7-inch vinyl. This was a joint collaboration between the group Paper Lace and Nottingham Forest Football Club and features the fans singing as well as the team of the time. Changes to the lyrics included "We're the best team, in the land / We're the best damn team, in the land" amongst others.
  • An older anthem from the City Ground terraces is the fans' adaptation of Lee Marvin's 1970 number one hit Wand'rin' Star, with such lyrics as: "I was bo-rn, under a Trent End goal" and also slight changes in the verses where Marvin describes what wheels and mules were made for, to how certain implements were made for inflicting injuries on fans of fierce rivals Derby County.
  • The Nottingham punk band Resistance 77 recorded a song called 'You Reds' on a 1990 EP of the same name.[31] BBC Radio Nottingham used the song for a while as part of their coverage of Forest matches.


  1. ^
  2. ^,,10308,00.html
  3. ^ Top football clubs played host to Scots sport of shinty
  4. ^ Encyclopedia of traditional British rural sports
  5. ^ England - Football Alliance
  6. ^
  7. ^ FA Cup Final Results
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ The others were Liverpool in 1906, Everton in 1932, Tottenham in 1951 and Ipswich in 1962. Forest remain the only club to achieve this feat having not been promoted as champions.
  10. ^ BBC News | Football | Forest sues Anderlecht over '84 bribery scandal
  11. ^ [ Platt hires Italians
  12. ^ BBC Sport - Hart named new Forest boss
  13. ^ [2] Manager Megson leaves Forest
  14. ^ BBC SPORT | Football | League One | Nottm Forest 2-5 Yeovil
  15. ^ [3]
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Forest confirm Davies as boss". 1 January 2009.,19528,11095_4728820,00.html. Retrieved 1 January 2009. 
  18. ^,,10308~1712426,00.html
  19. ^ a b,,10308~1727387,00.html
  20. ^,,10308~1729888,00.html
  21. ^,,10308~1707715,00.html
  22. ^,,10308~1729214,00.html
  23. ^,,10308~1705124,00.html
  24. ^,,10308~1705596,00.html
  25. ^,,10308~1730467,00.html
  26. ^ [4] The Official History of Nottingham Forest
  27. ^ a b c [5] Nottingham Forest's venues.
  28. ^ BBC NEWS | England | Nottinghamshire | Forest consider City Ground exit
  29. ^
  30. ^ "Player Profiles". Nottingham Forest F.C..,,10308,00.html. Retrieved 2008-08-13. 
  31. ^

External links


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