151 Years of NFFC
Established in 1865, Nottingham Forest Football Club celebrate their 151st year this month. Ashley Lambell, NFFC’s Website and Programme manager shares why the club have long been a big part of Nottingham’s sporting and cultural legacy.
Standing on the banks of the River Trent, Nottingham Forest Football Club has an extremely proud history but there are hundreds of dedicated staff working day and night to provide it with a bright future.
Playing a major role at the heart of the Nottinghamshire community, the club has thriving commercial, charitable and community departments and is proud to be one of the main hubs within the current City of Football.
So who are Nottingham Forest? Formed back in 1865, a group of Nottingham-based shinney – a sport similar to hockey – players met at the Clinton Arms on Shakespeare Street. It was here that JS Scrimshaw’s proposition to begin playing football instead was passed, and Nottingham Forest Football Club was born.
At the same meeting, it was agreed the team would purchase a dozen tasselled caps in the colour of ‘Garibaldi Red’ – named after the leader of the Italian ‘Redshirts’ freedom fighters, who were popular in England at the time and the club’s official colours were established.
The City Ground has been the club’s home since 1898 and following redevelopment it now has a capacity of 30,576 but has still retained the traditional feel which makes it one of England’s best club stadia. It has also hosted international fixtures during the 1996 European Championship Finals, European Rugby Cup semi-finals as well as the FA Women’s Cup Final on numerous occasions.
Now on to some of Forest’s most treasured memories. Since their formation over 150 years ago, the club have won the First Division title, two FA Cups, four League Cups and, perhaps most importantly, two European Cups.
Under the management of Brian Clough and Peter Taylor, Forest would complete the incredible achievement of winning back-to-back European Cups with victories over Malmo and Hamburg in 1979 and 1980 respectively and etch their names into world footballing folklore.
Over 35 years has passed since that second European Cup success but the name Nottingham Forest is still able to draw attention from football fans around the world as well as in the local area. The club have an average attendance of over 20,000 for every home game as well as 750 guests enjoying corporate packages in one of the club’s four hospitality areas.
These areas provide a multitude of uses for the club as they allow people from the local community to come down to The City Ground to celebrate a special occasion, hold an important meeting or remember Forest supporters who are no longer with us.
As a focal point within the community, the club also has a duty to help educate and inform the younger generation and this is achieved through the superb work of the Forest in the Community team who hold educational events and soccer schools around Nottinghamshire in order to spread the name of Nottingham Forest to potential players and supporters of the future.
The club also has an ever-improving Junior Reds scheme which, at present, has over 1,600 members. The scheme encourages young supporters to attend matches at The City Ground and also gives them exclusive events to come to where they can meet first-team players and get a taste of life at Nottingham Forest.
So, if you’re visiting Nottinghamshire then make sure you pay a visit to The City Ground and see everything that Nottingham Forest Football Club has to offer.