Date:Wednesday May 16 2007
Despite starting about an hour late and thus causing me to drink yet more beer on a school night, a good evening was had by all as 'young` Nigel regaled us with stories from his playing days, spoke candidly about former team mates and of course, provided us with a few anecdotes relating to his rather famous father. It has to be said that Nigel seemed a little nervous at the start of the night as you would expect but by the end of the evening he seemed more relaxed with his surroundings and everyone left happy.
In the first half of the evening Fraser Nicholson (who some will know as the bloke from Forest World) interviewed Nigel whilst the second half of the proceedings was more of a public Q and A with questions invited from the floor. Nigel spoke of desire to re-join Forest, a move that was curtailed by Dave Bassett in the late 90`s and of the ludicrous managerial merry go round at Manchester City during his not so happy time at Maine Road. There was of course mention of the infamous boardroom rumblings that forced both himself and his father out of the club.
Question of the night had to be 'who was the fastest player you ever played with?` a real belter I am sure you will agree, though there were a number of other interesting questions asked and of course the predictable 'who did Brian prefer, Forest or Derby?`. Nigel quite rightly sat on the fence with his reply prompting Fraser Nicholson to ask if he ever fancied a career in politics. There was of course the obligatory 'when are you coming home?` question asked at the end of the evening to which Nigel replied that Forest 'already had a manager`. He also added that of course he would love the job but there is still much work to be done at Burton Albion. He is right of course, as much as it would be great to see Cloughie and Psycho at the helm it is perhaps just a nice dream at the moment but you never know in football.
The evening brought back a lot of very good memories of happier times at the City Ground with legendary names and multiple cup finals being discussed. It was a timely reminder that we could do with a few more memories like that for those a bit younger than I, who did not witness those great times and hopefully the play-offs just might provide some of that. The fact that Derby proceeded to reach the final of the play-offs on the very same night was more than a little coincidental and caused a few groans from the throng. I don`t think Nigel appreciated being told of the result as he was sky+ing it although he must have been happy with the result even if we were not.
We all know Nigel will never be a shouter or a big 'ed like his dad and public speaking will never be his first love as I`m sure he would admit, but he still retains an admirable level of integrity and comes across as a very genuine and likeable man. He is an example of the kind of footballer you don`t really see any more, humble and respectful. I mean, who would celebrate a goal with a hand shake nowadays?
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