Ok, so it’s a mere 4 years since the historic and glorious defeat of the “Richest team in Football” by ourselves. A day that was wonderful for all the right reasons. And although I’m not saying it’s the greatest day we ever had, it’s interesting because in such a short period of time, that team has completely disbanded.
Some of the players we fielded that day, you think how could we ever win such a prestigious match with them in the side, especially as you see how some of their careers have slid into complete obscurity.
Our side that day was this: Smith, Morgan, Breckin, Perch (Wilson 17), Chambers, Anderson, McGugan, Cohen, Thornhill, Tyson (Davies 81), Earnshaw (Garner 73).
Subs Not Used: Richardson, Byrne, Heath, Reid.
Incredible when you look at it. And no wonder we were struggling against relegation. But coupled with a Caretaker Manager and low self confidence, we went there and triumphed 3-0. The goals of course from Tyson, a screamer, Earnshaw and Garner (hilarious) led the travelling band of support that day into glory. We all remember it. I have written specifically about that game before. But as I say, 4 years, where are those players now?
The very much maligned Paul Smith as well, and at the time he wasn’t even first choice but was playing as Camp was not allowed to play on loan cover. Smith hung around Forest as back up for a few years, with a loan to Middlesbrough where he did quite well. He often never even made the bench which was a bit sad because he was better than the youth keepers we often put on the bench. After being released from Forest he signed for Southend, for whom he still plays
Well we all know where he is now. He left the team in the summer for pastures new and to be honest most weren’t sorry to see him go. He wasn’t bad, and had a few games, it’s just he was very prone to shaky games where everything went wrong. Then there was his outburst which ostracised a number of fans from him, but as captain you expect to him to have been vocal on such matters, especially after being voted Player of the Season not long before. I think at times he got a bum deal from fans. Yes he had the good year, but we remember the years before of inconsistency.
That season would be Breckin's last at Forest. The veteran centre half had at times looked a little lost in the Championship, after being a fairly successful player for us in League One. Following his departure from the club he signed for Chesterfield, where he played for 2 years
Left Forest last year in a somewhat controversial transfer that could arguably have helped us stay up with the money taken from that being reinvested in loan players who helped us a lot. Morgan has since become club captain at Leicester who are flying high. Wes needs little extra explanation about him, we know him all too well.
Started this game at full back but went off injured to be replaced by Kelvin Wilson. Perch is possibly the most surprising of all the ex players from this team and what they went on to do by being the one player to make it to the Premier League, when he was bought by Newcastle. We all laughed but he’s a regular started for Newcastle, and yes their form has dipped, but we should accept that a player we were all largely happy to let leave is now laughing at us having a much more successful post forest career than we could ever have expected.
I find it amazing he started this game. Even more so when I reveal where he plays now. Buxton. Yeah, Buxton. His move to Hibs to follow Calderwood never really worked out. For one he was always fairly limited, but an honest player. Seems like Calderwood just wanted a player he knew there with him, and Thornhill was the one. After a year at Hibs that really didn’t work out he was released, and only in November did he get back into football, admittedly at a very low level. Shame really, he did have successful lower league loans whilst at Forest and looked like he may even make it at League One/Two level. Not to be.
Lewis McGugan & Chris Cohen are of course both still with the club.
Paul Anderson signed for Bristol city in the summer after a last year at Forest where he largely was disappointing. Chances have been hard to come by even in a struggling side though he has just started his first league games, and even scored a goal. Though Bristol City manager McInnes seems to think he’s a better left winger, which to me is odd “He much prefers to play on the left rather than the right hand side of the pitch and he has had to be patient...”
Ahhh, well here we go. I could throw in words like Judas and scum, but to be honest he liked the area and took a good contract close to where he lived. Which we’d all do, except for stuff like the corner flag thing and being our arch rivals. He has remained largely injured since joining them, which was how he spent his last couple of years with us. I liked Tyson, and for me this goal is one of my highest highlights in going to Forest game. I can still watch it on YouTube today and grin inanely. Any club other than them and we’d have a soft spot for him.
The cult of Earnie means like Davies people constantly want to bring him back, despite that clearly not being any solution to any question asked. Earnie isn’t what he was, hence spending a few months playing in Israel after falling out of favour at Cardiff. Maybe had he had lower wage demands he might have stayed, but to be honest he got more cash than what we wanted to pay to play for his home town club in a home coming role. That said he is still with a Nottingham girl... But yeah Earnie isn’t what he was, it’d be like Jenas return or Henry back at Arsenal. Nice, but not the same.
Kelvin is now at Celtic after his very acrimonious departure. And of course Celtic just qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League. So fair play to him there. Kelvin came on during the first half of this game for the injured Perch, which was probably a good thing as Kelvin was the better defender. It was the season after this one that Kelvin left for free to North of the border. It is arguable we never properly replaced him as a ball playing centre half.
Davies Forest career was always torrid after harassing us so in the playoffs. He started out injured and never really showed anything in a red shirt like what he did in the playoffs. After a loan to Brighton that didn’t work, he was released alongside a number of kids a year after the Man City win. He ended up back at Yeovil, and then in 2010 ended up at Peterborough. He played 28 times as they got promoted but was then released by Darren Ferguson. Gary Johnson who had signed him for both Yeovil and Peterborough was now at Northampton and saved his ex player by again signing him, but after Johnson lost his job, so to Davies first team chances dried up. He was released in July 2012, and signed for Exeter City, for whom he still plays now.
Scorer of the third goal Garners career never really got going at Forest and he is starting to find himself as a lower tier journeyman even at the age of 24. He went to Huddersfield on loan 2 seasons ago, a move that was meant to revitalize him, and failed to score once. Then with Scunthorpe fighting relegation he scored a few goals, though ultimately they went down. He then moved permanently to Watford, but was then loaned to Carlisle this season after a less than impressive record. He has scored a few goals for Carlisle, but with the Cumbrians wanting to extend that loan, they have seen Preston sneak in and sign him till the end of the season just yesterday.
The other subs not used, well Barry Richardson was goalkeeping coach anyway, who had signed terms to be able to sit on bench as cover. Mark Byrne is at Barnet; Joe Heath it seems at Hereford and James Reid as far as I can tell is now at Ilkeston.