Forest World Cup Connections - 1990

With the upcoming World Cup, Forest 24-7 had decided to look at various Forest connections to previous World Cups. We're going to jump about a bit in history on this, so please don't start telling me I missed 1986 or 1982 or any others, we're coming back to them. We're starting with 1990 as its jam packed with Forest connections.

Not only will we look at players at the club at the time, but those who had been with Forest previously or joined later, as a player or as staff.

We'll break it down by country, and by those who were current Forest players in 1990, and look at those who later joined.

There was no fewer than 8 players in the 1990 England World Cup squad who would spend some time in their careers at Forest. 3 of them were Forest players at the time, and that’s with Nigel Clough missing out.
Stuart Pearce, Des Walker and Steve Hodge went from Forest to the World Cup. Walker would be a star and it would ultimately lead to his Sampdoria move, firmly bringing him to global attention. Pearce as we know missed a vital kick in the semi-finals, and again as we all know is soon to return to the club to manage. Steve Hodge also went to the tournament.

But there were other members of the squad who had been or would be employed at the City Ground at some point. Neil Webb had only left the year before for Manchester United, and would return a couple of years later. Peter Shilton of course starred during our glory years, and Chris Woods his under study started out at Forest. In fact all three keepers had links to us in their careers, as Dave Beasant came to Forest late in his career for a couple of years. And finally, and unfortunately, David Platt would come to the club as player manager in 1999.

Over a third of a semi-final reaching World Cup squad would end up at Forest at some stage of their careers either before or after. Not bad really.

Republic of Ireland

Although neither at the time were Forest players, two of the Irish squad had spells with Forest as a player, or as staff. John Sheridan had an all too brief period at the club, signing from Leeds before being sold on not long later to Sheffield Wednesday. And one David "Ned" Kelly would twice be our Assistant Manager under Billy Davies. He played as a striker for the Irish.

We had two Scottish links for 1990. One player who later became manager, Alex McLeish, and he was manager for a brief spell last year as we transitioned from O'Driscoll to Davies. McLeish was a defender in the Scottish squad. Richard Gough also in the squad would go on to feature 7 times for Forest as we were relegated from the Premier league under Ron Atkinson

Two players in the 1990 Dutch squad (a much fancied team following their Euro 88 win) played for Forest during their career. The goal keeper Hans van Breukelen although at PSV at the time (and a European Cup winner with them) had been with Forest during the mid 80's between the heady Shilton days and before Steve Sutton. Also in that squad was a 20 years old Bryan Roy, who would join us 4 years later, and play a vital role in firing us to 3rd place in the Premier League.

John Harkes was in the USA squad for this World Cup, and he would later like Gough above play on loan for Reds under Ron Atkinson in the 99 relegation season. His best spells in England came at Sheffield Wednesday, but less than a handful of games he appeared in the Garibaldi.

All in all a stonking 15 players in that World Cup had a connection to Forest at some stage.