Welcome to the Nottingham Forest F.C Team Guide.
Nottingham Forest Football Club is an English Association Football club based in West Bridgford, that plays in the Football League Championship. The club was founded in 1865 and became a founder member of the Football Alliance in 1889. Its first major success was winning the FA Cup in 1898. Forest 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, 2008 and 2010. 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 is 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 because 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. 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.
The Brian Clough Era
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, shortly after Clough's highly colourful, very controversial and ultimately disastrous 44 day tenure as manager of Leeds United. 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 FA Cup replay against Tottenham Hotspur, a 1–0 victory thanks to a goal by Scottish centre-forward Neil Martin.
Nottingham 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). In 1978–79, Forest went on to win the European Cup by beating Malmö 1–0 in Munich's Olympiastadion and retained the trophy in 1979–80, beating Hamburg 1–0 in Madrid, at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, 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 controversial circumstances. 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.
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.