In a break from my usual Saturday afternoon, I decided to be a good wife and accompany my husband Phil on a march to celebrate the 150th anniversary of his football team, Nottingham Forest. Phil writes a Forest blog called The Loving Feeling, and wanted some photos to go with his words.
The event started at the Orange Tree—formerly the Clinton Arms, and the pub where Forest were formed. We heard from Don Wright, an author and Forest historian, and Colin Barrett, a lovely guy who Phil tells me once scored a very famous goal for the club. The place was heaving, and to be honest, I was a little nervous about photographing a pub full of football fans, but they were all absolutely fantastic—warm, funny, and complete gentlemen. They made me feel very welcome. There was lots of singing, chanting and beer, and everyone was having a fantastic time.
The atmosphere was amazing, and I decided to follow the march down into Nottingham City Centre. We all congregated by the Brian Clough statue on Queen Street, where hundreds more people seemed to have arrived—there was a red flare, some very loud singing, and flags celebrating the whole of Forest’s history. Even the non-football Nottingham public were wrapped up in it, taking a break from their shopping and coffees to take pictures, and join in with some of the songs. The crowd then marched to the City Ground, before Forest’s game against Brentford, and I made lots of new friends along the way. Forest aren’t very good at the moment, and Phil said to me that it was a shame a football match had to get in the way! As he disappeared off inside the stadium, and I prepared to come back home, some of my new pals saw me, and invited me to come and sit with them—I was then whisked into an Executive Box! The game was terrible, but again, the people were so lovely.
Just before I left, I snuck down to the pitch. I don’t know who these smiling young lads are in the final picture, walking off the field. Maybe they’re from the youth team, but I thought that if they have something to smile about, hopefully the Forest fans will too at some point. They certainly deserve it.