World Cup Connections - 1982

In the latest instalment of this series we move back to 1982, when Forest were amongst the very elite clubs, as usual we will look at this firstly with England and then go into other squads and the connections. This may well be players who had previously Forest, were present Forest players at the time, or would later have an involvement, as players or as staff.

For a team that were recently national and European champions you'd expect more connections, but the World Cup was a smaller event than now, in terms numbers and the game wasn't quite so international. There are however still 9 links between Forest and this World Cup.

We had 5 connected players at the 1982 World Cup. Two of whom were present Forest players. Viv Anderson and Peter Shilton were on the clubs books. Shilton of course goalkeeper (although not first choice) and Anderson as a right back. Both were also members of the European Cup winning side and the Football league winning squad. Both would have rich careers in the English game and Shilton would go on to be England's most capped player of all time.
Within that squad were three players who had left Forest. Tony Woodcock had moved to Koln in Germany two years previous and after the World Cup would then move to Arsenal before moving back to Koln. He had played in the first European Cup winning side and the League title winning team, but not the 1980 team. Peter Withe was also a League winner with Forest, but left in 1978 to move to Newcastle. After that he went to Villa, who he won the League with and scored the winner in the European Cup. Finally Trevor Francis, he of the 1979 European Cup winning goal was in the squad, he had subsequently moved to Manchester City. Francis famously was the first £1million player.

Of course back then Scotland were still a handy nation at football. And as such there are 3 players from that squad we can link with Forest. John Robertson  is the most obvious example, with our legendary former left winger being in the Scottish squad. Robertson of course was an instrumental piece in many of our greatest successes, even scoring the winner in the 1980 European cup final. Less illustrious names from our past include Alex McLeish, who we spoke about in a similar vein last week, a very much maligned short term manager, and Frank Gray, who not only played for Forest, but fathered a son who played for Forest too. Gray joined from Leeds in 1979, and was a part of 1980 European Cup winning side. He left not long later after struggling to settle. His son Andy Gray played for Forest in the late 90's, also joining from Leeds

Northern Ireland
Finally, Martin O'Neill featured for the Northern Ireland squad who featured at this World Cup, the last time they did so, who famously beat Spain on their own soil and topped the group, before going out in the second group stage. O'Neill of course is synonymous with Forest, having played for Forest for many years in the late 70's. When this tournament came round however, he had moved on to Norwich City. O'Neill is now of course Republic of Ireland manager, after successes managing Wycombe, Leicester, Celtic and Aston Villa.