The Vital Forest Fan Interview: The real Woody
Q - How long have you been following Forest and what was your first game?
My first game was in the late 60's, Forest playing Sheffield Wednesday up at Hillsborough and Alan Hill was making his debut. He pulled off a couple of fantastic saves and we won 1-0. I've been red ever since. Once its inside you there's nothing you can do about it.
Q - What are your most memorable moments as a Forest fan? Good and Bad.
I was fortunate enough to following Forest through the glory years so there are so many fantastic memorable moments from that era such as when Johnny McGovern lifted our first pot of note when we beat Liverpool 1-0 at Old Trafford in the league cup in 1978. Liverpool were thought to be all but invincible but we beat them with several key players cup tied. The European Cup days were magical and i witnessed a most remarkable game in 2979 at home to Cologne when it finished 3-3. The Germans had started printing their tickets for the cup final such was their confidence (Arrogance) but we pulled it off over at their place with a stunning 1-0 victory with an Ian (Bomber) Bowyer header. In more recent years, our time in league 1 would have to be the worst period of our history as far as Im concerned. never mind since I've been watching them. The football was dire and there seemed no hope at times. But out of bad things come good and my everlasting image of those days are the numbers of fans that still came through the turnstiles to roar the team on with the average staying very close to the 20000 mark and at the end of out third season in league 1 came one of my other favourite days following Forest with our final day victory against Yeovil and the clinching of promotion to the championship. It may have only been promotion from the third tier of English football but the joy on the faces of the fans was an image that will stay with me for many years to come.
Q - Since you have been following Forest, what would your best eleven be? And who is your all time favourite player?
4-4-2 formation: Shilton, Anderson, Walker, Burns, Pearce, Francis, Gemmil, Bohinen, Robertson, Sheringham, Collymore. Stanley would have to be my choice as my all time favourite. He really should have developed into being one of England's all time greats, what an absolute shame.
Q - In your opinion, what is the best goal you have seen Forest score?
There could be two or three from that game we played up at Sheffield Wednesday when we beat them 7-1 was it? There was also Stanley's when he beat around 5 or 6 Manchester United players to rocket a shot past a bewildered Peter Schmeichel (The best goalkeeper in the World at the time) in the year when the Trent End was being rebuilt or maybe even Reddy's perler against West Brom the season just gone. But for pure importance I have to go for Bomber Bowyer's header v Cologne which took us through to the 1979 European Cup final against all the odds.
Q - Best and worst away ground visited?
The Bernabeu back in '79 was magnificent even then, as was Bayern Munich's Olympic Stadium in 1980. Old trafford has always been a great ground to visit as was the old Wembley which we used to visit on an annual basis in Cloughies days. The worst was the old Baseball Ground.
Q - What are your thoughts on the proposed new stadium?
Magnificent. An amazing step forward for Nottingham Forest, which will help to attract the right people to the club. We are talking a World Class stadium here not just your cheap build Ikea Flat Pack stadium like our two near neighbours. Not only is it tremendous for Forest but for the city as a whole and I'm Nottingham through and through.
Q- Which player(s) would you like to see us sign this summer(realistically)?
Shorey, Adam, Boyd (and given a fair chance). With those three in the team I reckon we'd win the league.
Q - All seater stadia. Good thing, or a bad thing?
Personally I'd like to see a limited standing area re-introduced to English stadia. At the CG for example, the lower tiers of the Trent End and the Bridgeford Ends could be made standing area's. Not too much for the police/stewards to control and it would increase capacity by at least 5000, give cheaper, more affordable football to those people who cant afford £30 every two weeks and improve the atmosphere by a good amount. It's a win win change. For those teams who fans behave badly or those with reputations, limit the ticket sales to them as with the likes of Cardiff recently.
Q - What are your thoughts on how Forest did last season and how did it compare to your expectations?
Forest exceeded all my expectations last season. I always felt that we might be in with an outside shout of the play offs but what we saw was some of the best football we have witnessed at the City Ground for many years. The problem was that we were that good that by the end of the season and the play off disappointment, it felt like we had failed. Ive calmed down now after a couple of weeks and can see what spectacular progression we have achieved and if Nigel can sort out the behind the scenes mess that has developed during the season, we have a chance to realise our ultimate dream of returning to the best league in the World and rubbing shoulders with the aristocats of English football.
Q - What are your expectations for next season in the Championship?
This is actually now down to Nigel Doughty. If he can appease Billy and what funds he makes available to him if he stays. If all goes according to plan then we should realistically be looking at automatic promotion. The three teams that are on the way down are not as strong as the three that came down the previous season. Norwich may challenge as well as Leicester and Blackpool or Cardiff but we have the budget and the manager to out perform all of those.......so long as Nigel does his bit.
Q - What League position will Forest occupy at the end of the 2010/11 season?
First or second.
Q - What's your opinion of Billy Davies and what he's done at NFFC, since his arrival?
He's a brilliant manager at this level but he's a pain in the a***. Doesnt look like he's learnt anything from his previous experiences at Derby and Preston, but I do have some sympathy for him as he appears to be being undermined by our beloved Transfer panel. Responsibility lies with Nigel Doughty to sort this.
Q- Acquisitions Panel. Good thing or bad?
I totally understand GOD's reasons for having this in place. Who wouldn't be scarred and scared after having David Platt squander his millions in the transfer market. The problem would appear to be that we now have a manager in who resents its existence as being a lack of trust in his abilities and this is also understandable. The solution surely lies somewhere in between with Billy getting the bulk of the says in transfer matters, after all, it is his neck on the line.
Q - Where do you sit/stand at the City Ground?
Bridgford Upper, just to the right of the goal. Superb view and a brilliant atmosphere.
Q - Name the celebrity you would most like to bang.
Robbie Savage....bang his lights out. Kelly Brook.....just bang.
Many thanks to The real Woody for taking the time to answer the questions. If you would like to take part in the Fan Interviews, you can find a copy of the questions HERE. Just email the answers to firstname.lastname@example.org.