The new owners have tapped into this idea and it’s also something that has stuck a chord with me. I fell in love with Forest when I caught glimpses of this revolutionary team and their maverick manger on brief TV clips and then when immersed in a full World Cup campaign in the summer of ’78 as a paper Scotland fan saw that magical goal from wee Archie Gemmill - the club became forever mine and associated with everything that was good about the game. This naive tween then enjoyed the miracles that followed as if that was de rigueur and was spoilt for life. There’s nothing I would ever swap for that all-you-can-eat banquet of glory even though we have endured a long and painful hangover only matched by the national team. That was my story and I didn’t see the team play in the flesh on a regular basis for many years when I could drive. Then after becoming a parent we spent over thirteen years in Florida meaning we were only able to see the occasional game even when we tried to arrange our UK trips around the fixture list.
When we moved back to the UK however it gave us the opportunity to put that right and live the dream of living within walking distance of The City Ground. OK it’s a longer walk than we envisaged and a part of the city we never knew existed but it’s given us a completely different perspective now we have really become part of the tribe. 4 of those record season ticket (card!) sales is down to the first we’ve ever had.
The welcome we’ve had from fellow fans we only knew from Twitter or not even at all, the wonder of seeing the ground regularly, going to Trent Bridge where we also became members, passing Cloughie’s statue and generally living in a ‘football theme park’ filled with Forest fans wherever you look - all these things have made us realise just what a phenomenal club we were lucky enough to be ‘saddled’ with and just how important the fans are. However much they moan and groan or come and go - they are the lifeblood of the club.
When we were thinking about launching a blog we thought we’d like to make one dedicated just to the fans. The 12th man. Not just the fans either - at least not just the ones that sit in the stands - they are everywhere. All over the world, in all walks of life, all with their own stories and unique relationships with the club. My aim is to talk to as many different Forest fans as I can. The weirder the better! My theory is that what bonds us together will be most interesting. Whatever our background, however we follow The Reds and for whatever reason - why Forest? What is it about our great club that makes it special to you? It might not work out as I hope, but that’s the concept. I want to make it nothing about what goes on on the pitch and everything about the club, the city and the people. Because, as those clever marketing people say, together we are Forest.