Nottingham Forest
Nottingham Forest F.C. logo.svg
Full nameNottingham Forest Football Club
  • The Reds
  • The Tricky Trees
  • The Garibaldi
Founded1865 (158 years ago) (1865)[1]
GroundCity Ground
OwnerEvangelos Marinakis
ChairmanNicholas Randall KC[3]
Head coachSteve Cooper
LeaguePremier League
2021–22EFL Championship, 4th of 24 (promoted via play-offs)
WebsiteClub website
Current season

Nottingham Forest Football Club is an association football club based in West Bridgford, Nottinghamshire, England. The club was founded in 1865 and have played their home games at the City Ground, on the banks of the River Trent, since 1898. Forest are one of four English clubs to have won the European Cup/UEFA Champions League more than once and one of two English clubs to have won the competition back-to-back. Forest have two stars above their club crest to commemorate their two European Cup victories. The club competes in the Premier League, the top division of the English football league system.

Nottingham Forest have won two European Cups, one UEFA Super Cup, one League title, two FA Cups, four League Cups, and one FA Charity Shield. The club has competed in the top two tiers of English football since its admission to the Football League, with the exception of five seasons in the third tier. Its most successful period was under the management of Brian Clough and Peter Taylor in the late 1970s and early 1980s, which included back-to-back wins in the European Cup in 1979 and 1980.

In Clough's last decade at the club, the Nottingham Forest team won the 1989 and 1990 League Cups and were losing finalists in the 1991 FA Cup Final and 1992 League Cup Final, before relegation from the Premier League in 1993. Upon an immediate return Forest finished third in the Premier League in 1995, before the club suffered relegations from the top flight again in 1997 and 1999. The team returned to the Premier League by winning the 2022 Championship play-off final against Huddersfield Town.[4]

The club's fiercest rivalry is with Derby County, with whom they contest the East Midlands derby. The two clubs have met a total of 109 times, with Forest claiming the most victories (43), the longest win streak (5), and the longest unbeaten run (10) which runs from the 11th March 2018 to the present day.


Main article: History of Nottingham Forest F.C.

19th century

The Playwright, formerly the Clinton Arms, in Sherwood Street, Nottingham
Plaque commemorating the foundation of Nottingham Forest Football Club at the former Clinton Arms, Sherwood Street, Nottingham
The Playwright, formerly the Clinton Arms, on Sherwood Street, Nottingham, where the Forest Football Club was founded in 1865

In 1865 a group of shinty players met at the Clinton Arms on Nottingham's Shakespeare Street. J. S. Scrimshaw's proposal to play association football instead was agreed and Nottingham Forest Football Club was formed. It was agreed at the same meeting that the club would purchase twelve tasselled caps coloured 'Garibaldi Red' (named after the leader of the Italian 'Redshirts' fighters). Thus the club's official colours were established.

Nottingham Forest claims to be the oldest remaining club in the English Football League. In 2019, when Notts County were relegated from the league, Stoke City claimed to be the oldest remaining club, but football historian Mark Metcalf stated that Stoke was formed in 1868, rather than the 1863 date on the club's badge, and therefore Forest was the oldest club.[5] The EFL also stated that Nottingham Forest was the oldest.[6]

Forest's first ever official game was played against Notts County taking place on 22 March 1866.[7] On 23 April 1870, when the team played their first game in league play, the steward of the club was John Lymberry and William Henry Revis scored the first goal. On that day, Revis also won the prize for kicking a football furthest with a kick of 69 feet 69 inches.[8]

In their early years Nottingham Forest were a multi-sports club. As well as their roots in bandy and shinty, Forest's baseball club were British champions in 1899.[9] Forest's charitable approach helped clubs like Liverpool, Arsenal and Brighton & Hove Albion to form. In 1886, Forest donated a set of football kits to help Arsenal establish themselves – the North London team still wear red. Forest also donated shirts to Everton and helped secure a site to play on for Brighton.

In 1878–79 season Nottingham Forest entered the FA Cup for the first time. Forest beat Notts County 3–1 in the first round at Beeston Cricket Ground before eventually losing 2–1 to Old Etonians in the semi-final.[7]

Nottingham Forest's application was rejected to join the Football League at its formation in 1888.[7] Forest instead joined the Football Alliance in 1889.

They won the competition in 1892 before then entering the Football League.[7] That season they reached and lost in an FA Cup semi-final for the fourth time to date. This time it was to West Bromwich Albion after a replay.

The 1898 Cup-winning squad
The 1898 Cup-winning squad

Nottingham Forest's first FA Cup semi-final win was at the fifth attempt, the 1897–98 FA Cup 2–0 replay win against Southampton. The first game was drawn 1–1. Derby County beat Nottingham Forest 5–0 five days before the final. Six of the cup final side were rested in that league game.[7] In that 1898 FA Cup Final at Crystal Palace before 62,000 fans, Willie Wragg passed a 19th minute free kick to Arthur Capes. Capes shot through the defensive wall to score. Derby equalised with a free kick headed home by Steve Bloomer off the underside of the cross bar after 31 minutes. In the 42nd minute Jack Fryer was unable to hold a Charlie Richards shot giving Capes a tap in for his second goal. Wragg's injury meant Forest had to change their line up with Capes dropping back to midfield. In the 86th minute John Boag headed away a corner by Nottingham Forest. John McPherson moved in to collect shooting low into the goal to win 3–1.[10]

First half of 20th century

Forest lost FA Cup semi-finals in 1900 and 1902. They finished fourth in the 1900–01 Football League followed with fifth place the season after. The club then started to slide down the table. Forest were relegated for the first time in 1905–06. Grenville Morris had his first of five seasons as the club's highest scorer en route to becoming the all-time club highest goalscorer with 213 goals.

Promotion as champions was immediate in 1906–07. The club was relegated a second time to the Second Division in 1911, and had to seek re-election in 1914 after finishing bottom of that tier; as the First World War approached it was in serious financial trouble. The outbreak of the War, along with the benevolence of the committee members, prevented the club going under.[7]

In 1919, the Football League First Division was to be expanded from twenty clubs to twenty-two in time for the 1919–20 Football League: Forest was one of eight clubs to campaign for entry, but received only three votes. Arsenal and Chelsea gained the two additional top tier slots.[11]

In a turnaround from the first six seasons struggling back in the Second Division, Forest were promoted as champions in 1921–22. They survived each of the first two seasons back in the top flight by one position. In the third season after promotion they were relegated as the division's bottom club in 1924–25. They remained in the second tier until relegation in 1949 to the Football League Third Division.

Re-emergence then decline (1950–1974)

They were quickly promoted back two years later as champions having scored a record 110 goals in the 1950–51 season. They regained First Division status in 1957.[7]

Johnny Quigley's solitary 1958–59 FA Cup semi-final goal beat Aston Villa. Billy Walker's Forest beat Luton Town 2–1 in the 1959 FA Cup Final. Like in 1898 Forest had lost heavily to their opponents only weeks earlier in the league.[7] Stewart Imlach crossed for a 10th-minute opener by Roy Dwight (the cousin of Reg Dwight better known as Elton John). Tommy Wilson had Forest 2–0 up after 14 minutes. The game had an unusually large number of stoppages due to injury, particularly to Forest players. This was put down to the lush nature of the Wembley turf. The most notable of these stoppages was Dwight breaking his leg in a 33rd minute tackle with Brendan McNally. Forest had been on top until that point. Luton though gradually took control of the match with Dave Pacey scoring midway through the second half. Forest were reduced to nine fit men with ten minutes remaining when Bill Whare crippled with cramp became little more than a spectator. Despite late Allan Brown and Billy Bingham chances Chick Thomson conceded no further goals for Forest to beat the Wembley 1950s 'hoodoo' (where one team was hampered by losing a player through injury).[12] Club record appearance holder Bobby McKinlay played in the final winning team captained by Jack Burkitt.

By this time Forest had replaced Notts County as the biggest club in Nottingham. Johnny Carey assembled a team including Joe Baker and Ian Storey-Moore that for a long spell went largely unchanged in challenging for the 1966–67 Football League title. They beat title rivals Manchester United 4–1 at the City Ground on 1 October.[13] The 3–0 win against Aston Villa on 15 April had Forest second in the table a point behind United.[14] Injuries eventually took effect meaning Forest had to settle for being League runners-up and losing in the FA Cup semi-final to Dave Mackay's Tottenham Hotspur.[7]

The 1966-67 season's success seemed an opportunity to build upon with crowds of 40,000 virtually guaranteed at the time. Instead a mixture at the club of poor football management, the unique committee structure and proud amateurism meant decline after the 1966-67 peak. Forest were relegated from the top flight in 1972. Matt Gillies' October 1972 managerial departure was followed by short managerial reigns by Dave Mackay and Allan Brown.[7] A 2–0 Boxing Day home defeat by Notts County prompted the committee (Forest had no board of directors then) to sack Brown.

Brian Clough and Peter Taylor (1975–1982)

Brian Clough (1935–2004) managed Nottingham Forest for 18 years
Brian Clough (1935–2004) managed Nottingham Forest for 18 years

Brian Clough became manager of Forest on 6 January 1975, twelve weeks after the end of his 44-day tenure as manager of Leeds United.[15] Clough brought Jimmy Gordon to be his club trainer as Gordon had been for him at Derby County and Leeds.[16] Scottish centre-forward Neil Martin scored the only goal in Clough's first game in charge, beating Tottenham Hotspur in an FA Cup third round replay.[17]

Ian Bowyer was already at Forest and had won domestic and European trophies with Manchester City. Clough signed Scots duo John McGovern and John O'Hare in February who both were part of Clough's Derby County 1971–72 Football League title win. He signed Colin Barrett in March initially on loan. Clough brought John Robertson and Martin O'Neill back into the fold after they had requested transfers under Brown.[7] Viv Anderson had previously debuted for the first team and became a regular under Clough.[18] The young Tony Woodcock was at Forest but was then unrated by Clough and was to be loaned to Lincoln City.[19] Forest were 13th in English football's second tier when Clough joined. They finished that season 16th. Forest signed Frank Clark in July of that close season on a free transfer.[20] The season after Forest finished eighth in Clough's 1975–76 Football League first full season in charge.[15] It was in this season McGovern became long standing club captain taking over from a game in which Bob "Sammy" Chapman and Liam O'Kane were both injured.[21]

Peter Taylor on 16 July 1976 rejoined Clough, becoming his assistant manager as he had been when winning the league at Derby.[15] Taylor included being the club's talent spotter in his role. After assessing the players Taylor told Clough "that was a feat by you to finish eighth in the Second Division because some of them are only Third Division players".[22] Taylor berated John Robertson for allowing himself to become overweight and disillusioned. He got Robertson on a diet and training regime that would help him become a European Cup winner.[23] Taylor turned Woodcock from a reserve midfielder into a 42 cap England striker.[24] In September 1976 he bought striker Peter Withe to Forest for £43,000, selling him to Newcastle United for £250,000 two years later.[25] Withe was replaced in the starting team by Garry Birtles who Taylor had scouted playing for non-league Long Eaton United. Birtles also went on to represent England.[26] In October 1976 Brian Clough acting on Peter Taylor's advice signed Larry Lloyd for £60,000 after an initial loan period.

Together Clough and Taylor took Forest to new heights. The first trophy of the Clough and Taylor reign was the 1976–77 Anglo-Scottish Cup. Forest beat Orient 5–1 on aggregate in the two-legged final played in December 1976.[15] Clough valued winning a derided trophy as the club's first silverware since 1959. He said, "Those who said it was a nothing trophy were absolutely crackers. We'd won something, and it made all the difference."[27]

On 7 May 1977, Jon Moore's own goal meant Forest in their last league game of the season beat Millwall 1–0 at the City Ground.[28] This kept Forest in the third promotion spot in the league table and dependent on Bolton Wanderers dropping points in three games in hand in the fight for third place.[29] On 14 May Kenny Hibbitt's goal from his rehearsed free kick routine with Willie Carr gave Wolves a 1–0 win at Bolton.[21][30] Bolton's defeat reached the Forest team mid-air en route to an end of season break in Mallorca.[21] Forest's third place promotion from the 1976–77 Football League Second Division was the fifth-lowest points tally of any promoted team in history, 52[7][15] (two points for a win in England until 1981).

Taylor secretly followed Kenny Burns concluding Burns's reputation as a hard drinker and gambler was exaggerated. Taylor sanctioned his £150,000 July signing. Burns became FWA Footballer of the Year in 1977–78 after being moved from centre-forward to centre-back.[31][32] Forest started their return to the top league campaign with a 3–1 win at Everton. Three further wins in league and cup followed without conceding a goal. Then came five early September goals conceded in losing 3–0 at Arsenal and beating Wolves 3–2 at home.[33] Peter Shilton then signed for a record fee for a goalkeeper of £325,000. Taylor reasoned: "Shilton wins you matches."[34] 20-year-old John Middleton was first team goalkeeper pre-Shilton. Middleton later in the month went in part exchange with £25,000 to Derby County for Archie Gemmill transferring to Forest.[35] Gemmill was another Scottish former 1972 Derby title winner.[31][36]

Forest lost only three of their first 16 league games the last of which was at Leeds United on 19 November 1977. They lost only one further game all season, the 11 March FA Cup sixth round defeat at West Bromwich Albion.[33] Forest won the 1977–78 Football League seven-points ahead of runners-up Liverpool. Forest became one of the few teams (and the most recent team to date) to win the First Division title the season after winning promotion from the Second Division.[nb 1][37][38] This made Clough the third of four managers to win the English league championship with two different clubs.[nb 2] Forest conceded just 24 goals in 42 league games.[34] They beat Liverpool 1–0 in the 1978 Football League Cup Final replay despite cup-tied Shilton, Gemmill and December signing David Needham missing out.[39] Chris Woods chalked up two clean sheets in the final covering Shilton's League Cup absence. McGovern missed the replay through injury, meaning Burns lifted the trophy as deputising captain. Robertson's penalty was the only goal of the game.[27][40]

Forest started season 1978–79 by beating Ipswich Town 5–0 for an FA Charity Shield record winning margin.[15] In the 1978–79 European Cup they were drawn to play the trophy winners of the past two seasons, Liverpool. Home goals by Birtles and Barrett put Forest through 2–0 on aggregate.[41] 26-year-old Barrett suffered a serious leg injury ten days later against Middlesbrough that ultimately ended his professional career two years later. On 9 December 1978, Liverpool ended Forest's 42 match unbeaten league run dating back to November the year before.[15] The unbeaten run was the equivalent of a whole season surpassing the previous record of 35 games held by Burnley in 1920/21.[42] The record stood until surpassed by Arsenal in August 2004, a month before Clough's death. Arsenal played 49 league games without defeat.[43]

In February 1979, Taylor authorised the English game's first £1 million transfer signing Trevor Francis from Birmingham City.[44] In the European Cup semi-final first leg at home against 1. FC Köln, Forest were two goals behind after 20 minutes, then scored three to edge ahead before Köln equalised to start the German second leg ahead on the away goals rule. Ian Bowyer's goal in Germany put Forest through. Günter Netzer asked afterwards, "Who is this McGovern? I have never heard of him, yet he ran the game." Forest beat Malmö 1–0 in Munich's Olympiastadion in the 1979 European Cup Final; Francis, on his European debut, scored with a back post header from Robertson's cross. Forest beat Southampton in the final 3–2 to retain the League Cup; Birtles scored twice as did Woodcock once. Forest finished second in the 1978–79 Football League, eight points behind Liverpool.

Trevor Francis, Brian Clough and John Robertson in 1980
Trevor Francis, Brian Clough and John Robertson in 1980

Forest declined to play in the home and away 1979 Intercontinental Cup against Paraguay's Club Olimpia. Forest beat F.C. Barcelona 2–1 on aggregate in the 1979 European Super Cup in January and February 1980, Charlie George scoring the only goal in the home first leg, while Burns scored an equaliser in the return in Spain.[45] In the 1979–80 Football League Cup Forest reached a third successive final. A defensive mix up between Needham and Shilton let Wolves' Andy Gray tap in to an empty net. Forest passed up numerous chances, losing 1–0.[46] In the 1979–80 European Cup quarter-final, Forest won 3–1 at Dinamo Berlin to overturn a 1–0 home defeat. In the semi-final they beat Ajax 2–1 on aggregate. They beat Hamburg 1–0 in the 1980 European Cup Final at Madrid's Santiago Bernabéu Stadium to retain the trophy; after 20 minutes Robertson scored, after exchanging passes with Birtles,[47] and Forest then defended solidly.[48] Forest finished fifth in the 1979–80 Football League.

In the 1980–81 European Cup first round, Forest lost 2–0 on aggregate to 1–0 defeats home and away by CSKA Sofia.[47] McGovern subsequently said the double defeat by CSKA affected the team's self-confidence, in that they had lost out to modestly talented opponents.[21] Forest lost the 1980 European Super Cup on away goals after a 2–2 aggregate draw against Valencia; Bowyer scored both Forest goals in the home first leg.[49] On 11 February 1981, Forest lost 1–0 in the 1980 Intercontinental Cup against Uruguayan side, Club Nacional de Football. The match was played for the first time at the neutral venue National Stadium in Tokyo before 62,000 fans.[50]

The league and European Cup winning squad was broken up to capitalise on player sale value. Clough and Taylor both later said this was a mistake.[16] The rebuilt side comprising youngsters and signings such as Ian Wallace, Raimondo Ponte and Justin Fashanu did not challenge for trophies. Taylor said in 1982,[51]

For many weeks now I don't believe I've been doing justice to the partnership and I certainly haven't been doing justice to Nottingham Forest the way I felt. And consequently after a great deal of thought, there was no option. I wanted to take an early retirement. That's exactly what I've done.

John McGovern and Peter Shilton transferred and Jimmy Gordon retired in the same close season.[16]

Clough without Taylor (1982–1993)

Anderlecht beat Forest in the 1983–84 UEFA Cup semi-finals in controversial circumstances. Several contentious refereeing decisions went against Forest. Over a decade later, it emerged that before the match, referee Guruceta Muro had received a £27,000 "loan" from Anderlecht's chairman Constant Vanden Stock.[52] Anderlecht went unpunished until 1997, when UEFA banned the club from European competitions for one year. Muro died in a car crash in 1987.[53]

Forest beat Sheffield Wednesday on penalties in the Football League Centenary Tournament final in April 1988 after drawing 0–0.[54] Forest finished third in the league in 1988 and made the 1987–88 FA Cup semi-finals. Stuart Pearce won the first of his five successive selections for the PFA Team of the Year.

On 18 January 1989 Clough joined the fray of a City Ground pitch invasion by hitting two of his own team's fans when on the pitch. The football authorities responded with a fine and touchline ban for Clough.[55] The match, against QPR in the League Cup, finished 5–2 to Forest.[56]

Forest beat Everton 4–3 after extra time in the 1989 Full Members Cup final, then came back to beat Luton Town 3–1 in the 1989 Football League Cup Final. This set Forest up for a unique treble of domestic cup wins, but tragedy struck a week after the League Cup win. Forest and Liverpool met for the second season in a row in the FA Cup semi-finals. The Hillsborough disaster claimed the lives of 97 Liverpool fans. The match was abandoned after six minutes. When the emotional replay took place, Forest struggled as Liverpool won 3–1. Despite these trophy wins, and a third-place finish in the First Division, Forest were unable to compete in the UEFA Cup, as English clubs were still banned from European competitions following the Heysel Stadium Disaster. Des Walker won the first of his four successive selections for the PFA Team of the Year.

Nigel Jemson scored as Forest beat Oldham Athletic 1–0 to retain the League Cup in 1990. English clubs were re-admitted to Europe for the following season, but only in limited numbers, and Forest's League Cup win again did not see them qualify. The only UEFA Cup place that season went to league runners-up Aston Villa.

Brian Clough reached his only FA Cup final in 1991 after countless replays and postponements in the third, fourth and fifth rounds. Up against Tottenham Hotspur, Forest took the lead from a Pearce free kick, but Spurs equalised to take the game to extra-time, ultimately winning 2–1 after an own goal by Walker. Roy Keane declared himself fit to play in the final and was selected in preference to Steve Hodge; years later, Keane admitted he had not actually been fit to play, hence his insignificant role in the final.[57]

In the summer of 1991, Millwall's league top scorer Teddy Sheringham became Forest's record signing, for a fee of £2.1 million. That season, Forest beat Southampton 3–2 after extra time in the Full Members Cup final, but lost the League Cup final 1-0 to Manchester United thanks to a Brian McClair goal. This meant that Forest had played in seven domestic cup finals in five seasons, winning five of them. Forest finished eighth in the league that season to earn a place in the new FA Premier League.

Walker transferred to Sampdoria during the summer of 1992. On 16 August 1992, Forest beat Liverpool 1–0 at home in the first-ever Premier League game to be televised live, with Sheringham scoring the only goal of the match. A week later, Sheringham moved to Tottenham. Forest's form slumped, and Brian Clough's 18-year managerial reign ended in May 1993 with Forest relegated from the inaugural Premier League.[58] The final game of that season was away at Ipswich. Forest lost 2–1 with Clough's son, Nigel, scoring the final goal of his father's reign.[7] Relegation was followed by Keane's £3.75 million British record fee transfer to Manchester United.

Frank Clark (1993–1996)

Frank Clark from Forest's 1979 European Cup winning team returned to the club in May 1993 succeeding Brian Clough as manager. Clark's previous greatest management success was promotion from the Fourth Division with Leyton Orient in 1989. Clark convinced Stuart Pearce to remain at the club and also signed Stan Collymore, Lars Bohinen and Colin Cooper. Clark brought immediate return to the Premier League when the club finished Division One runners-up at the end of the 1993–94 season.[59]

Forest finished third in 1994–95[60] and qualified for the UEFA Cup – their first entry to European competition in the post-Heysel era. Collymore then transferred in the 1995–96 close season to Liverpool for a national record fee of £8.5million. Forest reached the 1995–96 UEFA Cup quarter-finals, the furthest an English team reached in UEFA competition that season. They finished ninth in the league.

The 1996–97 season quickly became a relegation battle. Clark left the club in December.[61]

Stuart Pearce and Dave Bassett (1997–1999)

34-year-old captain Stuart Pearce was installed as player-manager on a temporary basis just before Christmas in 1996 and he inspired a brief upturn in the club's fortunes. However, in March 1997 he was replaced on a permanent basis by Dave Bassett and left the club that summer after 12 years.[62] Forest were unable to avoid relegation and finished the season in bottom place.[63] They won promotion back to the Premier League at the first attempt, being crowned Division One champions in 1997–98.[64] Bassett was sacked in January 1999, with Ron Atkinson replacing him.[65][66]

Into the 21st century below the top-flight (1999–2012)

Ron Atkinson was unable to prevent Forest from once again slipping back into Division One, and announced his retirement from football management when Forest's relegation was confirmed on 24 April 1999, with three weeks of the Premier League season still to play.

Former England captain David Platt succeeded Atkinson and spent approximately £12 million on players in the space of two seasons, including the Italian veterans Moreno Mannini, Salvatore Matrecano and Gianluca Petrachi.[67] However, Forest could only finish 14th in Platt's first season and 11th in his second. He departed in July 2001 to manage the England U21 side and was succeeded by youth team manager Paul Hart.[68]

Chart of yearly table positions of Forest since joining the Football League.
Chart of yearly table positions of Forest since joining the Football League.

Now faced with huge debts, which reduced Forest's ability to sign new players, they finished 16th in Hart's first season in charge.[69] By December 2001, Forest were reported as losing over £100,000 every week,[70] and their financial outlook was worsened by the collapse of ITV Digital, which left Forest and many other Football League clubs in severe financial difficulties.[71] Despite the off-field difficulties, Forest finished 2002–03 in sixth place[72] and qualified for the play-offs, where they lost to Sheffield United in the semi-finals. A poor league run the following season, following the loss of several key players, led to the sacking of Hart in February 2004 with Forest in danger of relegation.[73] The decision was unpopular with certain quarters of the fanbase and Hart was described as a "scapegoat".[74]

Joe Kinnear was subsequently appointed and led the club to a secure 14th place in the final league table.[75] The 2004–05 season saw Forest drop into the relegation zone once more, leading to Kinnear's resignation in December 2004.[76] Mick Harford took temporary charge of Forest over Christmas, before Gary Megson was appointed in the new year. Megson had already won two promotions to the Premier League with his previous club West Bromwich Albion, having arrived at the club when they were in danger of going down to Division Two, but failed to stave off relegation as the club ended the season second from bottom in 23rd place,[77] becoming the first European Cup-winners ever to fall into their domestic third division.[78]

In Forest's first season in the English third tier in 54 years, a 3–0 defeat at Oldham Athletic[79] in February 2006 led to the departure of Megson by "mutual consent" leaving the club mid-table only four points above the relegation zone.[80] Frank Barlow and Ian McParland took temporary charge for the remainder of the 2005–06 season, engineering a six-match winning run and remaining unbeaten in ten games, the most notable result a 7–1 win over Swindon Town.[81] Forest took 28 points from a possible 39 under the two, narrowly missing out on a play-off place, as they finished in 7th place.[82]

Colin Calderwood, previously of Northampton Town, was appointed as Forest's new manager in May 2006. He was their 12th new manager to be appointed since the retirement of Brian Clough 13 years earlier, and went on to become Forest's longest-serving manager since Frank Clark. The Calderwood era was ultimately one of rebuilding, and included the club's first promotion in a decade. In his first season, he led the club to the play-offs, having squandered a 7-point lead at the top of League One which had been amassed by November 2006. Forest eventually succumbed to a shock 5–4 aggregate defeat in the semi-finals against Yeovil Town; they had taken a 2–0 lead in the first leg at Huish Park, but were then beaten 5–2 on their own soil by the Somerset club.[83] Calderwood achieved automatic promotion in his second year at the club, following an impressive run which saw Forest win six out of their last seven games of the season, culminating in a dramatic final 3–2 win against Yeovil Town at the City Ground. Forest kept a league record of 24 clean sheets out of 46 games, proving to be the foundation for their return to the second tier of English football and leaving them just one more promotion away from a return to the Premier League.

However, Calderwood's side struggled to adapt to life in the Championship in the 2008–09 campaign and having been unable to steer Forest out of the relegation zone, Calderwood was sacked following a Boxing Day 4–2 defeat to the Championship's bottom club Doncaster Rovers.[84]

Under the temporary stewardship of John Pemberton, Forest finally climbed out of the relegation zone, having beaten Norwich City 3–2.[85] Billy Davies, who had taken Forest's local rivals Derby County into the Premier League two seasons earlier, was confirmed as the new manager on 1 January 2009[86] and watched Pemberton's side beat Manchester City 3–0 away in the FA Cup,[87] prior to taking official charge. Under Davies, Forest stretched their unbeaten record in all competitions following Calderwood's sacking to six matches, including five wins. He also helped them avoid relegation as they finished 19th in the Championship,[88] securing survival with one game to go.

Forest spent most of the 2009–10 campaign in a top-three position, putting together an unbeaten run of 19 league games, winning 12 home league games in a row (a club record for successive home wins in a single season), going unbeaten away from home from the beginning of the season until 30 January 2010 (a run spanning 13 games) whilst also claiming memorable home victories over local rivals Derby County and Leicester City. The club finished third, missing out on automatic promotion, and in the two-legged play-off semi-final were beaten by Blackpool, 2–1 away and 4–3 in the home leg, the club's first defeat at home since losing to the same opposition in September 2009.

Robert Earnshaw and other key members of the 2010 play-offs side
Robert Earnshaw and other key members of the 2010 play-offs side

The 2010–11 season saw Forest finish in sixth place in the Championship table with 75 points,[89] putting them into a play-off campaign for the fourth time in the space of eight years. Promotion was yet again to elude Forest, as they were beaten over two legs by eventual play-off final winners Swansea City. Having drawn the first leg 0–0 at the City Ground,[90] they were eventually beaten 3–1 in the second leg.[91]

In June 2011, Billy Davies had his contract terminated,[92][93] and was replaced as manager by Steve McClaren, who signed a three-year contract.[94][95] Forest started the 2011–12 season with several poor results and after a 5–1 defeat away to Burnley, David Pleat and Bill Beswick left the club's coaching setup.[96] Less than a week later, following a home defeat to Birmingham City, McClaren resigned, and chairman Nigel Doughty announced that he intended to resign at the end of the season.[96] In October 2011, Nottingham Forest underwent several changes. These changes included the appointment of Frank Clark as new chairman of the club and also that of Steve Cotterill, replacing the recently departed Steve McClaren.[97]

Nigel Doughty: Nottingham Forest owner 1999–2012
Nigel Doughty: Nottingham Forest owner 1999–2012

Nigel Doughty, owner and previous chairman of the club, died on 4 February 2012, having been involved with the club since the late 1990s, with many estimating his total contribution as being in the region of £100 million.[citation needed]

Al-Hasawi era (2012–2017)

The Al-Hasawi family from Kuwait purchased the club in July 2012. They told the press that they had a long-term vision for the club based on a 3–5 year plan, and after interviewing several potential new managers, appointed Sean O'Driscoll, formerly the manager at Doncaster Rovers and Crawley Town, as the manager on 19 July 2012. He was known for playing an attractive brand of passing football (which had taken Doncaster Rovers into the league's second tier for the first time since the 1950s) and what football fans would consider the Forest way.[98] O'Driscoll had spent five months at the City Ground as coach under Steve Cotterill in the 2011–12 season.

By 15 December 2012, after the team's 0–0 draw away to Brighton, Forest sat in ninth position with 33 points, just three points off the play-off positions. On the same weekend, the club announced that Omar Al-Hasawi had stepped down due to personal reasons and Fawaz Al-Hasawi, the majority shareholder with 75% had taken the position,[99] with his brother Abdulaziz Al-Hasawi holding a 20% share and his cousin Omar Al-Hasawi holding a 5% share.

On 26 December 2012, Driscoll was sacked following a 4–2 victory over Leeds United with the club stating their intentions of a change ahead of the January transfer window and hopes of appointing a manager with Premier League experience,[100] eventually hiring Alex McLeish.[101] Chief executive Mark Arthur as well as scout Keith Burt and club ambassador Frank Clark were dismissed in January 2013.[102] On 5 February 2013, Forest and McLeish parted company by mutual agreement after 40 days of cooperation.[103] Forest supporters and pundits alike registered their concern for the state of the club,[98] with journalist Pat Murphy describing the situation as a "shambles".[104]

Stuart Pearce returned as manager in 2014
Stuart Pearce returned as manager in 2014

Two days after McLeish's departure, the club re-appointed Billy Davies as manager, having been sacked as the team's manager twenty months previously.[105] His first match in charge was a draw,[106] followed by a run of 10 undefeated games. In March 2014, the club terminated Davies's employment, following a 5–0 defeat by Derby County.[107] After initially rejecting the job in March 2014,[108] fans favourite Stuart Pearce was named the man to replace Billy Davies, taking over from caretaker manager Gary Brazil. He signed a two-year contract commencing on 1 July 2014. Pearce led Forest to an unbeaten start to the season but failed to keep up the form. He was sacked in February 2015 and replaced by another former Forest player, Dougie Freedman.

Another mid-table finish meant that Forest began the 2015–16 season still in the Championship and now in their 17th season away from the Premier League. On 13 March 2016, Freedman was sacked, following a 3–0 defeat at home to Sheffield Wednesday,[109] and Paul Williams was then appointed as temporary manager. Former Boulogne, Valenciennes, Real Sociedad, and Rennes head coach Philippe Montanier was appointed on a two-year contract on 27 June 2016 becoming the club's first manager from outside the British isles, but was sacked after fewer than seven months in charge. Mark Warburton was named as the club's new manager on 14 March 2017. Forest narrowly avoided relegation on the final day of the 2016–17 season, where a 3–0 home victory against Ipswich Town ensured their safety at the expense of Blackburn Rovers.[110]

Evangelos Marinakis and Premier League return (2017–present)

On 18 May 2017, Evangelos Marinakis completed his takeover of Nottingham Forest,[111] bringing an end to Al-Hasawi's reign as Forest owner. Incumbent manager Mark Warburton was sacked on 31 December 2017 following a 1–0 home defeat to struggling Sunderland, with a record of one win in seven.[112] He was replaced by Spaniard Aitor Karanka, who arrived on 8 January 2018, immediately after caretaker manager Gary Brazil had masterminded a 4–2 home win over holders Arsenal in the third round of the FA Cup.[113] Karanka made 10 new signings during the January transfer window,[114] and following a 17th-place finish, he made 14 new signings during the summer transfer window and the following season results improved.[115] Despite a strong league position, Karanka left his position on 11 January 2019 after requesting to be released from his contract.[116] He was replaced with former Republic of Ireland boss Martin O'Neill four days later.[117] O'Neill was sacked in June after reportedly falling out with some of the senior first team players, and was replaced with Sabri Lamouchi on the same day.[118] In Lamouchi's first season in charge, despite spending most of the season in the playoffs, Forest dropped to seventh place on the final day.[119] On 6 October 2020, Lamouchi was sacked by the club following a poor start to the 2020–21 season.[120] He was replaced by former Brighton manager Chris Hughton.[121] After an ultimately unsuccessful 11 months in charge, Hughton was sacked on 16 September 2021 after failing to win any of the club's opening seven games of the 2021–22 season.[122]

Forest chairman Nicholas Randall had initially promised that Forest planned to return to playing European football within five seasons, and yet poor transfers and a toxic club culture meant that Forest remained in the Championship four years into the Marinakis era.[123] In the summer of 2021, structural changes were made at the club to try and correct the previous mistakes. Forest appointed Dane Murphy as Chief Executive, and George Syrianos was brought in as head of recruitment to bring about a more analytics driven transfer policy. The Forest hierarchy committed to avoiding the "short-termism" of previous windows by no longer signing players for more than £18,000 a week and mostly targeting younger signings that could be sold for a profit.[124]

On 21 September 2021, Forest announced the appointment of Steve Cooper as the club's new head coach.[125] Cooper inspired a turnaround in form, arriving with the club in last place yet having them in 7th at Christmas, and all the way up in 4th by the end of the season, qualifying Forest for the playoffs for the first time since the 2010–11 season.[126] In the 2022 Championship play-off semi-final, Forest defeated Sheffield United on penalties to advance to the final against Huddersfield Town,[127] who they beat 1–0 at Wembley Stadium, and were promoted to the Premier League for the first time since the 1998–99 season.[128] Having entered the Premier League with a depleted squad after the promotion, in the leadup to the next season Forest signed 21 players for the first team squad. This was a British transfer record.[129] The club record fee was also broken multiple times and the last such occasion in the transfer window was when Morgan Gibbs-White joined the club for £25 million with a potential to rise to £42 million subject to performance.[130]

Club identity

Crest and colours

Jordan Lawrence-Gabriel in Forest's red shirt, 2016
Jordan Lawrence-Gabriel in Forest's red shirt, 2016

Nottingham Forest have worn red since the club's foundation in 1865. At the meeting in the Clinton Arms which established Nottingham Forest as a football club, the committee also passed a resolution that the team colours should be 'Garibaldi red'.[131] This decision was made in honour of Giuseppe Garibaldi, the Italian patriot who was the leader of the redshirts volunteers. At this time, clubs identified themselves more by their headgear than their shirts and a dozen red caps with tassels were duly purchased, making Forest the first club to 'officially' wear red, a colour that has since been adopted by a significant number of others. Forest's kit is the reason behind Arsenal's choice of red, the club having donated a full set of red kits to Arsenal following their foundation (as Woolwich Arsenal) in 1886. Forest's tour of South America in 1905 inspired Argentine club Independiente to adopt red as their club colour, after club's President Arístides Langone described the tourists as looking like diablos rojos ("red devils"), which would become Independiente's nickname.[132]

The first club crest used by Forest was the city arms of Nottingham, which was first used on kits in 1947.[133] The current club badge was introduced in 1974.[133] The logo has been reported as being the brainchild of manager Brian Clough.[134] However, he did not arrive at the club until the following year. Forest have two stars above the club badge to commemorate their European Cup victories in 1979 and 1980.[135] In March 1973, a competition was announced to design a new badge for Forest. The winning design was by Trent Polytechnic graphic design lecturer David Lewis.[136] Lewis entered his design using his mother's maiden name in order to maintain anonymity, as one of the five judges was W. Payne, Associate Head of the Graphics Department at the polytechnic where Lewis taught.[137] David Lewis also designed the Nottinghamshire County Council logo.

Period Kit manufacturer Main Shirt sponsor
1973–76 Umbro None
1976–77 U-Win[138]
1977–80 Adidas
1980–82 Panasonic
1982–84 Wrangler
1984–86 Skol
1986–87 Umbro Home Ales
1987–93 Shipstones
1993–97 Labatt's
1997–2003 Pinnacle
2003–09 Capital One
2009–12 Victor Chandler
2012–13 John Pye Auctions[139]
2013–16 Adidas Fawaz International Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Company
2016–18 888sport
2018–19 Macron[140] BetBright[141]
2019–21 Football Index[142]
2021–22 BOXT
2022–23 UNHCR[143]


The club has garnered many nicknames over time. Historically, the nickname of "Foresters" was used,[144] as was "Garibaldis".[145] "The Forest"[146] or the simpler "Forest" – as used on the club crest – is commonly used, as is "the Reds". Another, lesser-used, nickname referring to the club is the "Tricky Trees".[147][148]


City Ground

Main article: City Ground

The City Ground on the banks of the River Trent.
The City Ground on the banks of the River Trent.

Since 1898 Nottingham Forest have played their home games at the City Ground in West Bridgford, on the banks of the River Trent. Prior to moving to the City Ground, Forest played their home games at Forest Recreation Ground, then Trent Bridge, and finally the purpose-built Town Ground. Since 1994 the City Ground has been all-seater, a preparation that was made in time for the ground to be a venue for Euro 96, and currently has a capacity of 30,445.

The City Ground is 300 yards away from Notts County's Meadow Lane stadium on the opposite side of the Trent, meaning the two grounds are the closest professional football stadia geographically in England. In 1898 the City Ground was within the boundaries of Nottingham, which had been given city status the year before and gave rise to the name of the stadium, however a boundary change in the 1950s means that the City Ground now stands just outside of the city's boundaries in the town of West Bridgford.

On 28 February 2019 Nottingham Forest announced plans to redevelop the City Ground and surrounding area, including the "creation of a new, world-class Peter Taylor Stand". It is expected this will increase the capacity of the stadium to 38,000, making it the largest football stadium in the East Midlands. The club were hopeful that building work could begin at the end of the 2019-20 season, but the development was put on hold due to "delays in the planning process".[149] In September 2022, Rushcliffe Borough Council's planning committee approved the club's request for planning permission, with work on the new stand expected to begin at the end of the 2022-23 season.[150]

Ground history

Period Ground Location
1865–78 Forest Recreation Ground Forest Fields
1879–80 Castle Ground The Meadows
1880–82 Trent Bridge Cricket Ground West Bridgford
1882–85 Parkside Ground Lenton
1885–90 Gregory Ground Lenton
1890–98 Town Ground The Meadows
1898– City Ground West Bridgford

Local rivals, derbies and supporters

Main articles: Nottingham derby, East Midlands derby, and Leicester City F.C.–Nottingham Forest F.C. rivalry

Whilst Notts County is the closest professional football club geographically, Forest have remained at least one division higher since the 1994–95 season and the club's fiercest rivalry is with Derby County, located 14 miles away.[151] The rivalry stems from the 1898 FA Cup Final when Forest caused a major upset, beating strong favourites Derby County 3-1. The two clubs contest the East Midlands derby, a fixture which has taken on even greater significance since the inception of the Brian Clough Trophy in 2007. The Trophy will remain with Nottingham Forest until at least August 2023, with the teams now separated by two divisions.

Leicester City were widely considered to be Forest's main East Midlands rivals prior to Brian Clough's success at both Derby and Forest. The ferocity is now most fiercely felt by fans who live around the Leicestershire-Nottinghamshire border.[citation needed]

Forest's other regional rival is Sheffield United, based in the neighbouring county of South Yorkshire, a rivalry which has roots in the UK miners' strike of 1984–85 when the miners of South Yorkshire walked out on long strikes but some Nottinghamshire miners, who insisted on holding a ballot, continued to work. The 2003 Football League Championship Play-off semi-final between the two clubs, in which Sheffield United finished as 5–4 aggregate winners, also fuelled the rivalry.[citation needed]


See also: List of Nottingham Forest F.C. seasons









Information correct as of match played 2 January 2023. Only competitive matches are counted.

Number Manager From To Played Won Drawn Lost Won % Drawn % Lost %
1 Harry Radford 1 August 1889 31 May 1897 176 69 34 73 39.2% 19.3% 41.5%
2 Harry Hallam 1 August 1897 31 May 1909 462 188 104 170 40.7% 22.5% 36.8%
3 England Fred Earp[154] 1 August 1909 31 May 1912 120 35 26 59 29.2% 21.7% 49.2%
4 Bob Masters 1 August 1912 31 May 1925 385 108 97 180 28.1% 25.2% 46.8%
5 John Baynes 1 August 1925 31 May 1929 182 69 47 66 37.9% 25.8% 36.3%
6 England Stan Hardy 1 August 1930 31 May 1931 43 14 9 20 32.6% 20.9% 46.5%
7 Noel Watson 1 August 1931 31 May 1936 223 79 57 87 35.4% 25.6% 39.0%
8 England Harold Wightman 1 August 1936 31 May 1939 119 33 27 59 27.7% 22.7% 49.6%
9 England Billy Walker 1 May 1939 1 June 1960 650 272 147 231 41.8% 22.6% 35.5%
10 Scotland Andy Beattie 1 September 1960 1 July 1963 140 52 30 58 37.1% 21.4% 41.4%
11 Republic of Ireland Johnny Carey 1 July 1963 31 December 1968 267 99 65 93 38.5% 25.3% 36.2%
12 Scotland Matt Gillies 1 January 1969 20 October 1972 177 49 48 80 27.7% 27.1% 45.2%
13 Scotland Dave Mackay 2 November 1972 23 October 1973 44 13 14 17 29.5% 31.8% 38.6%
14 Scotland Allan Brown 19 November 1973 3 January 1975 57 20 17 20 35.1% 29.8% 35.1%
15 England Brian Clough 3 January 1975 8 May 1993 968 447 258 263 46.2% 26.7% 27.2%
16 England Frank Clark 13 May 1993 19 December 1996 180 73 59 48 40.5% 32.7% 26.6%
17 England Stuart Pearce 20 December 1996 8 May 1997 24 7 9 8 29.2% 37.5% 33.3%
18 England Dave Bassett 8 May 1997 5 January 1999 76 33 20 23 43.4% 26.3% 30.2%
19 England Micky Adams 5 January 1999 11 January 1999 1 0 0 1 0.0% 0.0% 100.0%
20 England Ron Atkinson 11 January 1999 16 May 1999 17 5 2 10 29.4% 11.8% 58.8%
21 England David Platt 1 July 1999 12 July 2001 103 37 25 41 35.9% 24.3% 39.8%
22 England Paul Hart 12 July 2001 7 February 2004 135 42 44 49 31.1% 32.6% 36.3%
23 Republic of Ireland Joe Kinnear 10 February 2004 16 December 2004 44 15 15 14 34.1% 34.1% 31.8%
24 England Mick Harford 16 December 2004 10 January 2005 6 2 1 3 33.3% 16.7% 50.0%
25 England Gary Megson 10 January 2005 16 February 2006 59 17 18 24 28.8% 30.5% 40.7%
26 England Frank Barlow
Scotland Ian McParland
17 February 2006 30 May 2006 13 8 4 1 61.5% 30.8% 7.7%
27 Scotland Colin Calderwood 30 May 2006 26 December 2008 136 57 42 37 41.9% 30.9% 27.2%
28 England John Pemberton 27 December 2008 4 January 2009 2 2 0 0 100.0% 0.0% 0.0%
29 Scotland Billy Davies 4 January 2009 12 June 2011 126 53 36 37 42.1% 28.6% 29.4%
30 England Steve McClaren 13 June 2011 2 October 2011 13 3 3 7 23.1% 23.1% 53.8%
31 England Rob Kelly 2 October 2011 15 October 2011 1 0 0 1 0% 0% 100%
32 England Steve Cotterill 14 October 2011 12 July 2012 37 12 7 18 32.4% 18.9% 48.6%
33 Republic of Ireland Sean O'Driscoll 20 July 2012 26 December 2012 26 10 9 7 38.5% 34.6% 26.9%
34 Scotland Alex McLeish 27 December 2012 5 February 2013 7 1 2 4 14.3% 28.6% 57.1%
35 England Rob Kelly 5 February 2013 9 February 2013 1 0 0 1 0% 0% 100%
36 Scotland Billy Davies 7 February 2013 24 March 2014 59 25 21 13 42.3% 35.6% 22.0%
37 England Gary Brazil 24 March 2014 3 May 2014 9 2 2 5 22.2% 22.2% 55.6%
38 England Stuart Pearce 1 July 2014 1 February 2015 32 10 10 12 31.25% 31.25% 37.5%
39 Scotland Dougie Freedman 1 February 2015 13 March 2016 57 19 16 22 33.3% 28.1% 38.6%
40 England Paul Williams 13 March 2016 12 May 2016 10 2 4 4 20.0% 40.0% 40.0%
41 France Philippe Montanier 27 June 2016 14 January 2017 30 9 6 15 30.0% 20.0% 50.0%
42 England Gary Brazil 14 January 2017 14 March 2017 11 4 1 6 36.4% 9.1% 54.5%
43 England Mark Warburton 14 March 2017 31 December 2017 37 15 3 19 40.5% 8.1% 51.4%
44 England Gary Brazil 31 December 2017 8 January 2018 2 1 1 0 50.0% 50.0% 0.0%
45 Spain Aitor Karanka 8 January 2018 11 January 2019 51 16 19 16 31.4% 37.2% 31.4%
46 England Simon Ireland 11 January 2019 15 January 2019 1 0 0 1 0.0% 0.0% 100.0%
47 Northern Ireland Martin O'Neill 15 January 2019 28 June 2019 19 8 3 8 42.1% 15.8% 42.1%
48 France Sabri Lamouchi 28 June 2019 6 October 2020 55 20 16 19 36.4% 29.1% 34.5%
49 Republic of Ireland Chris Hughton 6 October 2020 16 September 2021 53 14 17 22 26.4% 32.1% 41.5%
50 Republic of Ireland Steven Reid 16 September 2021 21 September 2021 1 1 0 0 100.0% 0.0% 0.0%
51 Wales Steve Cooper 21 September 2021 65 33 15 17 50.76% 23.07% 26.15%


This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (April 2015) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

† By agreement with Leicester City, the game was a replay as the original match three weeks previous was abandoned at half time, due to the collapse of Leicester player Clive Clarke, with Forest leading 1–0.[160]

‡ Forest received £14,000,000 from Aston Villa for Matty Cash, but with add-ons this fee could potentially rise to £16,000,000.[161]

European record

Competition Pld W D L GF GA GD
European Cup 20 12 4 4 32 14 +18
UEFA Cup 20 10 5 5 18 16 +2
Inter-Cities Fairs Cup 6 3 0 3 8 9 −1
European Super Cup 4 2 1 1 4 3 +1
Intercontinental Cup 1 0 0 1 0 1 −1
Total 51 27 10 14 62 43 +19
Source: [162][unreliable source?]
Season Competition Round Opponent Home Away Aggregate
1961–62 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup First round Spain Valencia 1–5 0–2 1–7
1967–68 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup First round Germany Eintracht Frankfurt 4–0 1–0 5–0
Second round Switzerland FC Zürich 2–1 0–1 2–2 (A)
1978–79 European Cup First round England Liverpool 2–0 0–0 2–0
Second round Greece AEK Athens 5–1 2–1 7–2
Quarter-final Switzerland Grasshopper 4–1 1–1 5–2
Semi-final West Germany Köln 3–3 1–0 4–3
Final Sweden Malmö FF 1–0
1979 European Super Cup Spain Barcelona 1–0 1–1 2–1
1979–80 European Cup First round Sweden Öster 2–0 1–1 3–1
Second round Romania Argeş Piteşti 2–0 2–1 4–1
Quarter-final East Germany Dynamo Berlin 0–1 3–1 3–2
Semi-final Netherlands Ajax 2–0 0–1 2–1
Final West Germany Hamburg 1–0
1980 European Super Cup Spain Valencia 2–1 0–1 2–2 (A)
1980 Intercontinental Cup Uruguay Nacional 0–1
1980–81 European Cup First round Bulgaria CSKA Sofia 0–1 0–1 0–2
1983–84 UEFA Cup First round East Germany Vorwärts Frankfurt 2–0 1–0 3–0
Second round Netherlands PSV Eindhoven 1–0 2–1 3–1
Third round Scotland Celtic 0–0 2–1 2–1
Quarter-final Austria Sturm Graz 1–0 1–1 2–1
Semi-final Belgium Anderlecht 2–0 0–3 2–3
1984–85 UEFA Cup First round Belgium Club Brugge 0–0 0–1 0–1
1995–96 UEFA Cup First round Sweden Malmö FF 1–0 1–2 2–2 (A)
Second round France Auxerre 0–0 1–0 1–0
Third round France Lyon 1–0 0–0 1–0
Quarter-final Germany Bayern Munich 1–5 1–2 2–7


Current squad

As of 23 January 2023[163]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK England ENG Dean Henderson (on loan from Manchester United)
2 DF France FRA Giulian Biancone
3 DF England ENG Steve Cook
4 DF England ENG Joe Worrall (captain)
5 MF Belgium BEL Orel Mangala
7 DF Wales WAL Neco Williams
8 MF England ENG Jack Colback
9 FW Nigeria NGA Taiwo Awoniyi
10 MF England ENG Morgan Gibbs-White
11 MF England ENG Jesse Lingard
12 GK England ENG Jordan Smith
13 GK Wales WAL Wayne Hennessey
14 MF England ENG Lewis O'Brien
15 DF England ENG Harry Toffolo
16 FW England ENG Sam Surridge
17 FW England ENG Alex Mighten
18 MF Portugal POR Cafú
No. Pos. Nation Player
19 DF Senegal SEN Moussa Niakhaté
20 FW Wales WAL Brennan Johnson
21 MF Senegal SEN Cheikhou Kouyaté
22 MF England ENG Ryan Yates (vice-captain)
23 MF Switzerland SUI Remo Freuler
24 DF Ivory Coast CIV Serge Aurier
25 FW Nigeria NGA Emmanuel Dennis
26 DF Scotland SCO Scott McKenna
27 DF England ENG Omar Richards
28 MF Brazil BRA Danilo
30 DF Ivory Coast CIV Willy Boly
31 MF Brazil BRA Gustavo Scarpa
32 DF Brazil BRA Renan Lodi (on loan from Atlético Madrid)
33 FW Montserrat MSR Lyle Taylor
37 GK Bosnia and Herzegovina BIH Adnan Kanurić
39 FW New Zealand NZL Chris Wood (on loan from Newcastle United)

Out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
6 DF France FRA Loïc Mbe Soh (at Guingamp for the 2022–23 season)
GK United States USA Ethan Horvath (at Luton Town for the 2022–23 season)
DF Tunisia TUN Mohamed Dräger (at Luzern for the 2022–23 season)
DF Canada CAN Richie Laryea (at Toronto FC for the 2023 season)
DF England ENG Jonathan Panzo (at Coventry City for the 2022–23 season)
No. Pos. Nation Player
MF England ENG Tyrese Fornah (at Reading for the 2022–23 season)
MF Paraguay PAR Braian Ojeda (at Real Salt Lake for the 2023 season)
FW England ENG Josh Bowler (at Blackpool for the 2022–23 season)
FW South Korea KOR Hwang Ui-jo (at Olympiacos for the 2022–23 season)

Reserves and academy

Main article: Nottingham Forest F.C. Under-23s, Under-18s and Academy

As of 14 July 2022[164]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
40 FW Sweden SWE Julian Larsson
41 MF Wales WAL Oliver Hammond
42 MF France FRA Ateef Konaté
44 DF England ENG Pharrell Johnson
45 MF England ENG Billy Fewster
46 DF England ENG Zach Abbott
47 GK Scotland SCO Nicky Hogarth
48 DF Wales WAL Ben Hammond
No. Pos. Nation Player
49 FW England ENG Detlef Esapa Osong
52 MF Northern Ireland NIR Jamie McDonnell
53 GK England ENG Ryan Hammond
54 DF England ENG James Clarridge
55 MF England ENG Alex Gibson-Hammond
GK England ENG George Shelvey
MF Costa Rica CRC Brandon Aguilera

Reserves and academy out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
36 FW Northern Ireland NIR Dale Taylor (on loan to Burton Albion for the 2022–23 season)
50 DF Northern Ireland NIR Aaron Donnelly (on loan to Port Vale for the 2022–23 season)
51 FW England ENG Lewis Salmon (on loan to AFC Telford United for the 2022–23 season)
No. Pos. Nation Player
DF England ENG Fin Back (on loan to Carlisle United for the 2022–23 season)
DF England ENG Riley Harbottle (on loan to Mansfield Town for the 2022–23 season)
FW England ENG Will Swan (on loan to Mansfield Town for the 2022–23 season)

Notable former players

Further information: List of Nottingham Forest F.C. players

Player of the Season

Former club captain and manager Stuart Pearce won the Player of the Year award three times, a record he holds jointly with Des Walker. Kenny Burns, Nigel Clough, Andy Reid and Chris Cohen are the only players to win the award twice. Andy Reid holds the record for longest gap between Player of the Year awards with a gap of ten years.
Former club captain and manager Stuart Pearce won the Player of the Year award three times, a record he holds jointly with Des Walker. Kenny Burns, Nigel Clough, Andy Reid and Chris Cohen are the only players to win the award twice. Andy Reid holds the record for longest gap between Player of the Year awards with a gap of ten years.
Year Winner
1977 England Tony Woodcock[165]
1978 Scotland Kenny Burns[165]
1979 England Garry Birtles[165]
1980 England Larry Lloyd[165]
1981 Scotland Kenny Burns[166]
1982 England Peter Shilton[166]
1983 England Steve Hodge[166]
1984 England Chris Fairclough[166]
1985 Scotland Jim McInally[166]
1986 England Nigel Clough[166]
1987 England Des Walker[166]
1988 England Nigel Clough[166]
1989 England Stuart Pearce[166]
1990 England Des Walker[167]
1991 England Stuart Pearce[167]
1992 England Des Walker[167]
Year Winner
1993 England Steve Sutton[167]
1994 Wales David Phillips[167]
1995 England Steve Stone[167]
1996 England Stuart Pearce[167]
1997 England Colin Cooper[167]
1998 Netherlands Pierre van Hooijdonk[167]
1999 England Alan Rogers[167]
2000 England Dave Beasant[168]
2001 England Chris Bart-Williams[168]
2002 Scotland Gareth Williams[169]
2003 Jamaica David Johnson[170]
2004 Republic of Ireland Andy Reid[171]
2005 England Paul Gerrard[172]
2006 England Ian Breckin[173]
2007 England Grant Holt[174]
2008 England Julian Bennett[175]
Year Winner
2009 England Chris Cohen[176]
2010 Northern Ireland Lee Camp[177]
2011 England Luke Chambers[178]
2012 Jamaica Garath McCleary[179]
2013 England Chris Cohen[180]
2014 Republic of Ireland Andy Reid[181]
2015 Jamaica Michail Antonio[182]
2016 Netherlands Dorus de Vries[183]
2017 United States Eric Lichaj[184]
2018 England Ben Osborn[185]
2019 England Joe Lolley[186]
2020 Poland Matty Cash[187]
2021 England Joe Worrall[188]
2022 Scotland Scott McKenna[189]

All-time XI

In 1997 and 1998, as part of the release of the book The Official History of Nottingham Forest, a vote was carried out to decide on the club's official All Time XI.[190]

Position Player Years at club
GK England Peter Shilton 1977–82
RB England Viv Anderson 1974–84
RCB England Des Walker 1984–92; 2002–04
LCB Scotland Kenny Burns 1977–81
LB England Stuart Pearce 1985–97
RCM Northern Ireland Martin O'Neill 1971–81
ACM Republic of Ireland Roy Keane 1990–93
LCM Scotland Archie Gemmill 1977–79
RW England Ian Storey-Moore 1962–72
CF England Trevor Francis 1979–81
LW Scotland John Robertson 1970–83; 1985–86

In 2016, Nottingham Forest season ticket holders voted for the club's greatest eleven to commemorate the club's 150th anniversary.[191]

Position Player Years at club
GK England Peter Shilton 1977–82[192]
RB England Viv Anderson 1974–83
CB Scotland Kenny Burns 1977–81
CB England Des Walker 1983–04
LB England Stuart Pearce 1985–97
RW Northern Ireland Martin O'Neill 1971–81
CM Republic of Ireland Roy Keane 1990–93
CM Scotland John McGovern 1974–81
LW Scotland John Robertson 1970–83
ST England Stan Collymore 1993–95
ST England Ian Storey-Moore 1962–72

International players

Club staff

Coaching staff

Role Name
Head coach Wales Steve Cooper
Assistant head coach England Alan Tate
First team coach Republic of Ireland Andy Reid
First team coach England Jamie Robinson
First team goalkeeper coach England Danny Alcock
Head of performance analysis England Stephen Rands
Head video analyst England Tom Corden
Video analyst England Axl Rice
Head of performance & medical Portugal Arnaldo Abrantes
Head of sport science England David Tivey
Physio England Mark Devonshire
Physio Greece Dimitris Kaplanis
Physio Portugal Luis Pinho
Soft-tissue therapist England Niall Stevens
Nutritionist Greece Panos Markakis

Executive and front office

Role Name
Majority owner Greece Evangelos Marinakis
Minority owner Greece Sokratis Kominakis
Chairman England Nicholas Randall KC
Sporting director Italy Filippo Giraldi
Director of football Canada Kyriakos Dourekas
Director Wales Jonny Owen
Director Greece Ioannis Vrentzos
Head of football administration England Taymour Roushdi
Head of football operations England Ed Henderson
Head of academy recruitment England Chris Brass
Recruitment operations manager England Connor Barrett
Chief operating officer England John Taylor
Chief commercial officer England Tyson Henly
Finance director England Tom Bonser
Transfer consultant England Lee Charnley
Director of communications England Wendy Taylor

Academy staff

Role Name
Director of football development England Gary Brazil
Assistant academy manager England Chris McGuane
Head of coaching England Jody Caudwell
Head of academy goalkeeping England Adam Skinner
Under 23s lead coach vacant
Under 23s assistant coach vacant
Under 18s lead coach England Warren Joyce
Under 18s assistant coach England Tom Mallinson


  1. ^ The others were Liverpool in 1906, Everton in 1932, Tottenham Hotspur in 1951 and Ipswich Town in 1962. Forest remain the only club to achieve this feat having not been promoted as champions.
  2. ^ The others are Tom Watson, Herbert Chapman and Kenny Dalglish.
  3. ^ From 1888 to 1992 the Football League First Division was the top tier of English football. It was superseded by the Premier League in 1992.
  4. ^ Upon its formation in 1992, the Premier League became the top tier of English football; the First and Second Divisions then became the second and third tiers, respectively. The First Division is now known as the EFL Championship and the Second Division is now known as EFL League One.


  1. ^ "History of NFFC". Nottingham Forest Football Club. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  2. ^ "Nottingham Forest Conference and Events". Nottingham Forest Football Club. Retrieved 29 May 2022.
  3. ^ "Who's Who". Nottingham Forest Football Club. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  4. ^ "Nottingham Forest promoted to Premier League for first time since 1999". Retrieved 29 May 2022.
  5. ^ Brown, Paul (July 2019). "Birth certificate: Stoke City and Nottingham Forest locked in 'oldest club' debate". When Saturday Comes. Retrieved 19 August 2021.
  6. ^ "EFL pass judgement on whether Stoke City are now the oldest Football League Club". Stoke Sentinel. 9 May 2019. Retrieved 19 August 2021.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "History of NFFC". Nottingham Forest F.C.
  8. ^ Wright, Don (2015). Forever Forest: The Official 150th Anniversary History of the Original Reds. Amberley Publishing Limited. ISBN 9781445635170.
  9. ^ "Weirdest football team suffixes". The Guardian. 5 August 2015. Retrieved 8 August 2015.
  10. ^ "F A Cup Final 1898". 28 September 2011. Archived from the original on 28 September 2011.
  11. ^ Smyth, Rob; Burnton, Simon (30 October 2009). "The Joy of Six: Classic Arsenal v Tottenham matches". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 March 2016.
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