Date:Wednesday September 19 2007
As we all know by now the original game was abandoned at half time after City player Clive Clarke suffered heart failure. Forest were 1-0 up at the time and looking good for the win, but after both clubs had discussed the matter during the break it was agreed to abandon the match.
It has to be said, that this was in fact a great sporting gesture on the part of NFFC, that I must admit thought had been lost amongst all the talk about Clarke and how serious his illness was at the time. Things were indeed very serious for Clarke, because he was having not one, but two heart attacks! Only swift intervention by paramedics saved his life. The good news on that front, is that thankfully the guy is recovering well.
Cancelling the game there and then was the right thing to do morally, but the Reds would have been perfectly within their rights to insist the game continued. Fair play to them for seeing the human side in all this though, as I don't think for once the likes of Mark Arthur and CC have been praised highly enough for this.
Onto last nights extraordinary events then and it caught everyone in the 15,519 crowd off guard, when keeper Paul Smith ambles up the pitch with the ball and unchallenged by a single City player hit an unstoppable shot past the hapless Fulop (more like stroked the ball gently over the line). 23 seconds on the clock and it's Christmas and your birthday rolled into one. It was apparently the brainchild of City chairman Milan Mandaric to 'gift' us the goal. Megson told the Leicester Mercury . 'In view of how well Forest had done in their help in dealing with the Clive Clarke situation, we felt it was only right and fair that we did this. I told Forest our plan only a few minutes before the game, and we had to keep it under wraps until then because, with people betting on first goalscorers and all these other things in football now, it would have been a problem. So that Forest could not be accused of anything, it was left to me to pick the goalscorer and that is why their goalkeeper (Paul Smith) got the goal.'
Fine words and indeed a fine gesture that should give heart to cynics like myself who think the game is only concerned with winning and money. Reds boss Colin Calderwood probably hit the nail on the head when he said he hoped that football was the winner. In the aftermath of the game though, I couldn't help but think that they may have gifted us a goal, but we more than paid them back after we gifted them two at the end.
Date:Wednesday September 19 2007
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