Most Memorable Games, No. 3
Nottingham Forest v Liverpool, December 26th 1977
Following on from our disappointment at the City Ground last Saturday, we’re taking a look back at a much earlier game there. In the previous two seasons Liverpool had won back-to-back League/European trophy doubles, the Uefa Cup in 1976 and, finally, memorably, the European Cup in Rome in 1977. Champions of England, champions of Europe - as proudly proclaimed on the new scarves, below the club crest in a triumphal scroll and with 'Supporters all over the world' emblazoned above it. They were made of a sort of red cloth rather than wool or nylon, with thin white stripes running lengthways. Several classes above the silk scarf era ('Shankly's Allstars' indeed!), that preceded them, in fact several classes above any football scarf I’ve ever seen.
My how proud we were in those days! We couldn't wait for the 1977/8 season to start. But if the first two articles in this series have been celebrations, here's a reminder that not every memorable game results in victory. This one marked a changing-of-the-guard, though only temporarily, fortunately!
While we’d been cavorting about chasing trebles and winning doubles, an unlikely but potent new challenger had been emerging almost unnoticed. Nottingham Forest had won the Division 2 title to return to the top division – not that we, or anyone else apart from them, regarded that as particularly significant. If there was to be a challenge to our top dog status, it would surely come from amongst the usual pack - Leeds, Everton, Arsenal, Man Utd, Man City – not a newly promoted side with no particular pedigree. But what Forest did have was a certain Brian Clough as manager - the one who had led nearby Derby County to title success in 1972, and who had been assembling a formidable side at the City Ground. I'd say 'quietly assembling', but this was Brian Clough.
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