Europe’s Forgotten Clubs:Nottingham Forest

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Obviously one of the most famous clubs which currently is forgotten by the football world but made a large impact is Nottingham Forest.Founded in 1865 when the American Civil War ended,it is one of the oldest football clubs in England,after they joined the Football Alliance in 1888,3 years later in 1892 they won it.Shortly after the entered The Football League which was England’s 1st Division.The charitable approach made by Forest during that period helped the founding of clubs like Arsenal,Liverpool and Brighton & Hove Albion.In the case of Arsenal,in 1886 they donated red kits to the North London club,the same have done to Liverpool and they have secured a site for Brighton to play.Also they have inspired Club Atletico Indenpendiente in 1907 to switch from white to red kits.Its first major trophy was the FA Cup which they won in 1898 when they beat their biggest rivals Derby County 3-1,however for much of the its existence until the 1950s was an obscure club and ever the spend time in the 3rd Division when they were relegated in 1949.The 1950s brought brought much better results when they returned to the 1st Division in 1957 and won the FA Cup in 1959 against Luton Town 2-1.Forest made its European debut in 1961 when it entered the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup but it was a disaster when they were beated by Valencia 7-1 on aggregate score over two legs,another adventure in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup came in 1967 when they beat Eintracht Frankfurt in the 1st round before chasing out in the next round by an away goal against FC Zurich besides they won the first leg at home.On the domestic plan another result good result came in 1967 when Forest reached the semifinals of the FA Cup when they were defeated by the later winners of the FA Cup Tottenham Hotspurs.However in 1972 the same year when their rivals Derby County won the 1st Division title they were relegated to the 2nd Division where they will spend for 5 years until they finished 3rd and got promoted back to the 1st Division.The manager responsible for Forests resurgence was Brian Clough who was hired by the club in January 1975 when Forest was in the 2nd Division.From that began the meteoric rise of Nottingham Forest in English and European football and no one ever predicted how Brian Clough will be successful with Forest besides that he won a league title with Derby County and had a disastrous short tenature as manager of Leeds United.Nottingham Forest achieved promotion in 1977,however no one believed that in the next season Forest would win its only 1st Division title and their first League Cup against Liverpool in the replay match played at Old Trafford after their encounter at Wembley finished with a goaless draw.The next season Forest made their debut in the European Champions Cup where they made it to the final by beating Liverpool,AEK Athens,Grasshoper and 1.FC Cologne led by coach Hennes Weisweiler.In the European Champions Cup final in Munich Nottingham Forest beat Malmo by a single goal scored by Trevor Francis.With that Nottingham Forest was on the map of European football.

Also Forest won the European Super Cup by beating FC Barcelona in two legs and the another domestic League Cup when they beat Southampton 3-2.Another achievement came in 1980 when as reigning European Champions Cup champions beat Oster,Argest Pitesti,Dynamo Berlin and Ajax to reach the final in Madrid where they faced Hamburger SV which was led by coach Branko Zebec and on its team were Felix Magath and Kevin Keegan.Nottingham Forest won its 2nd European Champions Cup by beating Hamburger SV by a single goal and by great saves made by Peter Shilton.

However Forest lost both the European Super Cup and the Intercontinental Cup matches against Valencia and National.In the next 1980-81 season Forest entered again the European Champions Cup as reigning champion,but it suffered a shocking early exit in the 1st round against CSKA Sofia which won in both legs.Forest wouldn’t see European competition until the 1983-84 season where they entered the UEFA Cup and made a surprising run to the semifinal where Anderlecht defeated them in the 2nd leg in a dishonest fashion where before the match the officials of Anderlecht had bribed Spanish referee Emilio Muro.In the next season Forest crashed in the 1st round of the UEFA Cup when it was defeated by Club Brugge.On the domestic achieved success in the League Cup by winning it in 1989 and 1990,while in the league they finished 3rd behind Liverpool and Arsenal.That was the beginning of the end for Nottingham Forest,in May 1993 Brian Clough left the club after they were relegated from the Premier League after 16 successful years of top-flight football.A short revival came under manager Frank Clark when they returned to the Premier League after a season in the 2nd Division and even achieved a 3rd place in the Premier League in the 1994-95 season,also they made a run to the quarterfinal of the UEFA Cup when they were beaten by Bayern Munich.That was the last of Nottingham Forest in the European competitions.Forest played its last season in the Premier League in 1999 when it was relegated and due to poor decisions it even ended in the 3rd tier of English football,the League One in 2005.But the club somehow rebounded and gained automatic promotion in 2008 when they finished 2nd in League One.Currently Nottingham Forest is playing in the Championship League which England’s 2nd Division.

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