Today: 20 years of supporting Nottingham Forest

Nottingham Forest L.F.C.

Image via Wikipedia

As of today, it’s the 20th anniversary of my love affair with the Garibaldi Reds. Over the years, I’ve been asked the same question by many different kinds of people, “Why Forest?”. I remember being asked that by a West Ham fan several months back after he struck up a conversation with me when he noticed I was wearing a Forest jersey. I think he was surprised at meeting an Asian dude that didn’t support MU, Liverpool, Arsenal, or Chelsea (incidentally, not many people in Malaysia supported Chelsea until Russian money came into the picture…).

Recently, I was encouraged by one of my Twitter pals (or Twitpal? or Twipal?) @nattrass79, to retell my tale of how I started supporting Forest.

That fateful day
It started with the 1991 FA Cup Final. My cousins, Alfred and Adrian, were talking about the game and suddenly asked me who I wanted to support. Back then, I was just a 12 year old kid who knew next to nothing about football and was more interested in badminton and basketball (and soon, girls), but answer them I did.

My first question I threw back at them was, “who are the star players?” Reflecting back on it now, it was a pretty silly question due to already-mentioned lack of football knowledge. Their response?

“Well Tottenham Hotspur has Paul Gascoigne and Gary Lineker, while Nottingham Forest has Stuart Pearce“.

It’s strange to say it now. Back then, I didn’t know who they were so I chose the underdogs, Forest, because they had one less star player than Spurs.

We Forest fans know how the game went. Heartbreak for Cloughie, who would never reach another cup final again and sadly ended up bringing us down in 1993 (He relates his profound regret for this in his wonderful book – Clough The Autobiography). For me, I was enraptured by the spirit of the Forest players playing that day. I felt the elation of seeing the net bulge from a Psycho thunderbolt. I felt puzzlement at how Paul Gascoigne got himself injured so badly by one silly tackle. I felt hope soar when Mark Crossley became the second man to save a penalty in an FA Cup Final after Dave Beasant (who would go on to be our No.1 in the later stages of his career). And I felt despair after Des Walker scored an own goal in extra time.

Love grows

The later years after the final haven’t been kind for any Forest fan. Experiencing relegation in 1993, watching the club get promoted in 1994, and achieving European qualification in our first season back before getting relegated back down again in 1996, only to take Division One by storm a to win promotion in 1997, before going down down down just a couple of short years later.

Over that time, I only grown more and more in love with my chosen club, Nottingham Forest and little experiences have only added to it. Me watching at the City Ground when we thumped QPR 4-0 back in that glorious 1997 promotion season, my dad finding an original Nottingham Forest away jersey in a shop in Sri Lanka, me finding a Nottingham Forest t-shirt in Malaysia in the early years of our stay in Division One, watching a Forest game with my dad earlier this year, and following four painful playoff defeats culminating in this season’s loss to Swansea (We wuz robbed by the ref!).

I love you Forest, I do.
I love you Forest, I do.
I love you Forest, I do.
Oh Forest I love you. ;p


2 thoughts on “Today: 20 years of supporting Nottingham Forest

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