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Notts fan at Forest away


Watching Nottingham Forest when you could be watching Notts County. Surely every Magpie’s worst nightmare? Well, that was my experience on the 2nd of March. The Reds were coming to Hillsborough and as I live and work in Sheffield, and as both my sisters’ other halves were coming up to experience the Sheffield pub and club scene and watch the Reds, I was asked if I wanted to go along. I liked the pub sounding element, but watching the Reds? A day watching Forest at considerable expense while Notts were playing at Meadow Lane the same day?

As things transpired, partly out of family favour and partly as it would be much easier and cheaper to stay with them if I just went to the match, I went to the Hillsborough away end, and paid £28 for the pleasure. Fortunately Notts had already triumphed at home beforehand, beating Carlisle with an Alan Judge winner, (something I both enjoyed on the pub via Sky Sports News and later learned was a pretty un-entertaining match) so with this in mind I felt I could tolerate the upcoming events much better. The pre pub drinking and food was certainly pleasant and very reasonably priced owing to Sheffield’s impressive range of drinking establishments. However, we cabbed it to Hillsborough and suddenly my worst football nightmares were being realised; I was in an away end full of Forest fans who were singing the songs of the club I enjoy watching lose the most.

The game was actually pretty entertaining. Wednesday reminded me of when Notts turned up a few years ago and won 1-0, a game I also attended – aimless, desperate and essentially playing hoofball. I rather enjoyed making Luke, one of the lads in our group, feel nervous by referring to forest as ‘Forest’ and ‘them’, as I naturally had no desire to refer to Forest as ‘us’. I suspect he was worried too that I’d do what some of my Notts fan mates wanted me to do as well and take off my hoodie to reveal myself to be showing off my proud black and white stripes, but I was either too sensible or too cowardly to oblige. Forest, meanwhile, as much as I would never want to admit it, were brilliant. On the pitch their players passed neatly, Majewski was pure class (for which he was rewarded by a song from the Forest fans seemingly suggesting that the Wednesday fans employ him to ensure their cars remained clean) and ought to have been more than 1 up before withstanding a late Wednesday rally. Billy Davies certainly seems to fit Forest and get them playing brilliantly; at least, except where play offs are concerned (a trait I hope continues). The banter between the fans was fun too – I must admit I joined in the anti-Wednesday and anti-Yorkshire chants, while remaining silent during the Forest songs. The Forest fans singing about “keeping the Red Flag flying high” made me imagine I was actually in a crowd full of communist protesters, which was entertaining for a short time but then I remembered that it’s Forest fans and that they were unlikely to be able to understand such political systems. (I know, cheap dig.)

As an experience though I must confess that I have never felt quite so much an individual in a crowd as I did during this game. I stood (along with all the Forest fans who never seemed to sit down) and smiled ruefully as the admittedly quite impressive noise from the massed Reds was expounded around me. I felt like a spy in a Cold War enemy nation. The one more entertaining aspect was the Forest fan in the row in front who had snuck in a bottle of vodka and was getting progressively more drunk whilst (at least I think it was him) periodically releasing noxious gas that had everyone around us wincing. Other than that it was pretty much just watching the team I always want to see losing beat a team I don’t really like either. The pre and post match experience, however, was much more fun. On this basis I would certainly recommend nights out in Sheffield, both to pubs and clubs. Hopefully Super Notts can do their bit and get promoted and have games at Hillsborough themselves, as well as, of course, games with the other team involved in this match.

To conclude then; unless like me you have a good reason to be there, I would advise wholly embracing the presumably overwhelming feeling that seeing Forest play in a match that does not feature our black and white heroes is something to simply not be done. As A Notts fan I found that however entertaining the match and however good the atmosphere, you are still going to be stood there feeling like Dr Who in a Cyberman parade. And as that image happens to portray me as a lone hero who can think for himself in a large crowd of mindless automatons I am going to use it to bring to a close this piece of writing on what I would consider a snappy ending!

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I've been in a similar situation, my father and a friend attended Forest vs Derby at the city ground. My dad made it blatantly obvious who he supported and I reminded him repeatedly he would be alone if anything kicked off as a result. LOL (I wouldn't but wanted him to pipe down)

My friend was very nervous, it was a picture! Something which makes me laugh even now!!

Keep up the writing buddy, It's nice to have another Media Team member and hopefully readers will connect more.

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Yes,Joe I refuse to be intimidated,though I thought I was quite reserved.I didn't like the result either.

I also attended a friendly v Florist about 1967.As I was working in Nottingham I went to a pub with a honest Forest fan and his mate before walking with them to the ground with the intention of meeting up with my mates.Unfortunately my mates arrived later than intended and I entered the sh*tty ground on my own,not wishing to miss any of the match.On emerging to the terraces I found myself in the Trent End surrounded entirely by Forest fans.Whoops!So there I was ,standing perfectly silent,keeping myself to myself.It was a good match,Forest being in the top flight and The Rams in the old second division on there way up during Brian Cloughs early years at Derby.I say perfectly silent-Derby scored and I couldn't help myself.Fortunately there were quite a few Rams fans in a similar situation to myself and the police quickly stepped in and herded us together away from the baying forest fans.Derby won and the following day at work was very funny as most forest fans had been predicting a big defeat for The Rams.Silence is golden.Well the forest fans were silent but myself and my immediate boss(a very ardent Notts season ticket holder)had a great time.Happy days!

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Pride of Nottingham is an independent fansite devoted to Notts County, the world’s oldest professional football club. Created in 2013, it has served as a source of Magpie news, features, match previews, reports, analysis and interviews for more than three years.

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