13 Years of Hurt Never Stops Me Dreaming

I have been a Forest fan since the heady days of the late 80’s, where we consistently the 3rd or 4th best in the country, providing 3-4 England players to squads, and reaching many a cup final. So the fact that for what is now a generation we have been even removed from the top flight is pain.

I often see on forums or Twitter that seem so angry at defeats or failures or are more demanding are the younger fans that have never seen these days. They are hungry for success, having never really seen the club achieve much. But think about it. Most of us really begin to be aware of football say aged 6-7, and take on your team at a similar age, or maybe later. Most will attend a first game in that time. So 13 years since we were even last top flight, plus the 6-7 means that we have pretty much any fan under the age of 20 bereft of knowing what glory with this club can mean.

And they know this. They hear us talk about it and they want to experience it too. And you can’t blame them. Coupled with many a fan having seen us have success it sort of explains the high expectations whenever we look half decent. Add in 4 relegations in 20 years and you can see why things are bad we fear the very worst. Because usually when in a scrap we failed. In fact there’s very rarely we go through a season in relative mid table obscurity.

I think the Seat Pitch tweets this morning, day dreaming of a cup run set me thinking that when was the last time we really made anyone sit up and take notice. Oh people noticed the playoff capitulations, but we never made the final and had people writing about us. We never had a cup run where journalists focussed on our players. We haven’t been a decent cup team in so long now. Even the Paint Pot Cup when in League One was something we’d invariably limp out of on penalties to teams I can’t even remember playing.

The last time we lifted anything was in 1998. That summer evening in market Square with messrs Cooper, van Hooijdonk, Stone and Campbell lifting the League Championship. I was still in Sixth Form and little able to manage to comprehend this would be the last time I’d see us winning anything. It has been disaster followed by disaster for years until things in the last few years looked better until last season. Now those days could be on the horizon again.

In my time following the Reds we won 2 League Cups, 2 Mickey Mouse Cups (ZDS and Simod), we reached an FA Cup final, League Cup runners up, 2 FA cup semi finals, a UEFA cup Quarter Final, Finished 3rd in the Premier League. That’s quite an array. That’s off the top of my head by the way, there might be more. 6 Wembley Finals in 4 years, of which I attended 3. These are days we can only dream of now.

There’s little perks as well that being promoted would bring that I envy these middle of the road Premier League teams for. More coverage, being on TV much more often. Match of the Day proper highlights instead a few seconds, the chance to stream just about any game. The chance to finally visit Goodison and Anfield (as a caveat I spent 3 years at university at Liverpool with ample chance to visit either, but I created a stupid rule for myself whereby I can only visit a ground the first time to watch Forest) Also a chance to shut Derby up would be nice. Just to rub it in their face.

It’s been painful at times to see relatively obscure teams become bigger and better than us. Stoke were always nobodies back in the day, and as for Fulham and Wigan, unimaginable in the 90’s. So that makes it painful for the older fan seeing teams who were always rubbish lording it up in the top flight.

So for these reasons alone and nothing to do with footballing or business reasons we need to get back to where we used to belong. It’s been too long Forest.