#nffc #nottingham #podcast Hodge old players Brian Clough Funny Stories nottingham Forest Premiership

steve hodge was a great midfielder for forest and for england he’ll tell you all about his nottingham forest career in part one next [Music] i wanted to talk to you about your forest career as well which was obviously in the big league uh at the time although obviously the first division um obviously being a forest fan how much of a dream was it to start with being at the club you know you used to go and stand on the trent end i seem to remember you you’re saying oh was it okay right but in the european days didn’t you you were watching the european cup team i’m older than that robin right and the 59 cup finally 7172 was my first year oh wow okay i was like eight or nine and i go in the old east and uh with the little with my dad and my granddad and one two family members and a little stall so i could sit on stand on the stall and see over the top uh i thought in the first year uh i think he’s story moore’s playing that era with duncan mckenzie a guy called jim barron was the goalkeeper like with john bill winfield was a left-back and foreign pretty poor that year to be fair i mean i wasn’t an expert i was eight nine but i loved it i loved everything you know we went to every every home game um so yeah i mean i just love i mean in those days the east and also yeah the away fans behind you high above you so you know you said some days when they white boyfriends were noisy like man city or my new fans were right behind you which was a bit a bit scary at times to be if ever you got a full house um but you know it was it was as a kid in the early 70s it was it was fantastic it was like proper football it was like the lights were on it was we used to go walk across the the bridge to not scan his ground to walk across that bridge where there’s a freaking go across on the car now near the lady bay that was just cobbled stone he used to walk across it you just run down and derelict um so that was a routine we used to park down dale side road and walk across the bridge down the steps to the back of the trenton and then go left towards the old east stand um which was not a great stand here everyone stood around you because the smell of hot dogs but when you see today’s football and today’s facilities and what they’ve got nowadays it’s another world but that’s the way it should be people have moved forward but for you to then be in the first team if you like having kind of gone through that as a a kid was that kind of pinch yourself type type moment that you could almost stand there and see yourself watching on well um i think when you get obviously i was 12 when i spotted by a forest in kind of because i went i used to get to all the in the holidays too all the clubs like west brom birmingham and villa and arsenal on trial not scotty because you know academies in those days so you have to go on school holidays to these places play against all the kids from ireland and wales and geordies and southerners and just a mix of players playing together which is not easy because you don’t know anybody you used to get to say go to forest um the main stand and you’d walk into the kind of main you know the home teams waiting restaurant room and you’d sit down and they’d be a kitty right from i don’t know birmingham you just say hello and you’d know why it was the days also on trial and it was so difficult for kids just thrown together into a room to say you’re playing for yellow team today your number seven where do you play right back you play right about now you play there on your go and then like you talk down you know they kind of trent to the training ground and just go and play a trial game with people you just didn’t know and you know and what you do is people try and show off because it’s a trial match and you’re not bothered about johnny from birmingham it’s like me and you know this is what i can do and the flair plays tended to stand out the bigger players centered because they’re bigger and could boss people like me around because i was smaller so the trial games were difficult you know and it was you know i go and play a trial game at mountain news training ground at the cliff and with england school boys and think well what am i doing here and because you know i got spotted at south knots by a scout down here and sent me for a week to man united and i was playing the school boys and you know i held my own and that but i didn’t know them and you know they were like being they were being scouted and they’ve been given contracts by manu in those days when you were 14 15 they could offer you two years apprenticeship and two years professional or year professional terms when you were 14. so if you’re really good feel really good they offer you two years apprenticeship two years professional on decent money when you were 14 so that means you were you were something special um so yeah trialing was difficult and it came down to eventually would you believe that in about 70 1974 five uh i’ve been trying at derby a lot at range way and trialing at forest a lot and and derby were very very keen i met dave mckay before a game i think his parents went to a darby with all due respect oh that’s the other end of the career yeah yeah i got to like you know they were they were really cute and they were like a top team then they were first division champions i remember training at orangeway one day and walking past my hero as a kid with a guy called francis lee i loved him playing for england man city lad and roy mcfarland was walking by me and colin todd was walking by me and she came on and these are first of all in champions and i was like 15 year old kid on trial there a place called rangeway the little training ground i had and that was like well that’s like you know that was that was not a bit of a pinch yourself moment because these guys were superstars you know roy mcfarland was playing for england and he was a superstar um charlie george was there i remember him being there as well at the time would clough still be there no he just moved i think he’s just boys at brighton i think he was in brighton at the time in between derby and forrest or lisa it’s going you know that era yeah um but obviously at the same time with a dog i was first a lot as well as training i was training there twice a week at night sometimes and try again they and they were very keen and then Brian Clough arrived thinking it was it january 75 something like that um and i used to go to these on school holidays again playing games and he you’d walk by him and just keep your head down and you know he might say hello son or whatever um but then they made the mind up they i learned here was the head end of the youth they wanted to sign me and i got offered forms and uh you know it wasn’t a hard decision but you know you think you’ve got all the options around if you if you need it but um once they said yeah we’d like to give you um an associated scoreboy forms um and an apprenticeship uh which was like a two-year you know caught like a two-year contract um then it was it was easy to be fair i remember signing a contract um it was the day that knotts county were in town and they beat forest um to nila at forest and before the game i went in the office with brian cloth and my parents went in with him and at the same time chris woods walked in with his parents he was a bit older than me and we had some lots of champagne together because he was finding professional forms or whatever and i was signing he was signing apprenticeship forms and i was signing especially schoolboy forms but i knew anyway i got an apprenticeship already lined up that was already done um i’ve never seen chris before so and i remember talking about his dad was a farmer i remember that and cluffy was you know calling it my mum pet and calling me dad brian it was like blank cloth you know you’ve been very personable today and really not the right club you think you’re gonna meet really really gushing um because you were joining his football club and he appreciated that fact and he was then at the at that time making his way back he was done then a failure at leeds and brighton in effect um so yeah that was a special day to be fair and so we got beat by knotts county that day but that for me was the start of the journey really um and you say two years as an apprentice was enjoyable you know with a guy called calvin plummer in my year the year below me was chris faircloth uh not seeing a lot majority of not even loud we had two or three geordies came down a couple from ireland but majority but not even lads had a great laugh enjoyed the youth team we were a good youth team you know cleaning the boots of john robertson every day in peter shelton’s boots every day and doing the communal baths and sweeping the floors and you know i remember my first day the first thing i ever did at forest as an apprentice on 16 pound a week was lima kane saying to me go and clean the toilets out i remember that was my face did you do it thank you of course that’s my role yeah that my job was a home team dressing room toilets big bath and to get peter’s shield i had four to get rid of to get every day peter kenny burns larry lloyd and john robinson i was there boot boy so every day i’d go in before they got there get all their towels out all the kit in the middle of the towel put it out put the boots out uh put the whatever they wanted out you know shooting had four pairs of gloves or three pairs of nike boots um sorry puma boots um and that was all for two years to be fair and when we had a great laugh we thoroughly enjoyed it and even then you know i joined in 79 when they just won the european cup so as a young player looking to make your way in the game it ain’t the place to be really no these these are top players and they’ve just found the pinnacle so that was a tricky one really you know you’re thinking well you know as i did to be fair to this day when i first made it got to be a footballer hoping to have a career as a footballer whether it be with all due respect at mansfield town in league two or a team in league one just to survive and have the career and be a footballer it was was all all those apprentices were trying to get to um so the things about you know getting for his first team and from my point of view what happened afterwards wasn’t on the radar it truly wasn’t on the radar nowhere near i’d always been the smallest player the youngest player probably in my age um stuck on the left wing you know a bit of a really loud at 17 really um i made my debut late as well i was always playing catch up along the way really always blinding lads always got in before me they were normally you know the i think they’re more mature as a as a person than i was at 17 18 so i think that helped him get in earlier so yeah so that that two years to that two years if i grew up quickly that two years i was around you know i was around experienced first-team european cup winners who at times made life hard for you you know and at times weren’t nice and at times put you in your place and it was totally embarrassing and you couldn’t say a word back he wouldn’t dare say a word back to one of the senior pros who won the european cup and whereas nowadays that wouldn’t help me see nowadays the academy is separate they they they are not given i think they’re giving stern talkies tonight again but they’re not giving negativity a lot or they’re not belittled at all whereas you know they it was that way you know the senior pros had earned their stripes and they wanted to put you down in one fell swoop in front of everybody else in the first team changing room they would do and they did and you’d walk out they tell between your legs and it and it hurts some days yeah so about two years for me was growing up learning the workplace environment in a football club with some big hitters in it um but i look back you know back on it now fondly because i did enjoy it even though there’s some tough moments and we had a great camaraderie because i think you’re on the same boat you’re thinking this is tough but i want to be here um so let’s just get through it together and then come saturday night you’re in town and you’re getting legless as we did awesome so that two years before you made your debut final game of the season didn’t you at ipswich and then you were pretty much first team regular from from that point on you probably didn’t realize it you know back into that season but following season your first team regular so i wonder if that kind of period of the apprenticeship and the the hard love if you like kind of made you grow up so much quicker that you became a first-team regular and could handle everything that comes with that probably it probably helped to be fair yeah i mean i was helped by the fact that um that season when i did get in right at the end you know i’ve been in the reserves i played pretty well that year on the left wing in the reserve pete davenport’s up front in the reserves but i’d seen colin washington stewart gray and calvin plummer and chris farrell small easter gray there’s a few more got in before me into the first team um so i was wondering to be fair what you know if i mean the end of that season i was out of contract so it got to probably march april and i’ve been in the reserves at the end done all right i was thinking well i might have to move on i will be moving on this summer because there’s no talk about a contract you know and i was 19 out of contract not playing the first team a load of kids before me had gone in before me some younger than me so it was it was a concerning and a worrying time that i thought i’d been moving on i had a bring me from scumbag united saying if you get released scum thought will take you on next year they were then a league two team so i said you know i’ll bear that in mind thanks very much um but yeah the tough two years when i did get in um i’ve been around senior pros obviously for two or three years the likes of him bowie and viv anderson um and colleen todd would just say colin todd i was playing my first years with colin todd who had seen was that derby the kid walked by me that was quite weird that was playing within three or four years later in the first team of forest uh didn’t he come he come and capture the reserves didn’t he or something for coffee is that right now he played for my first season he came from i think probably from derby or somewhere and something where it may have been he came for the he’s about 36 and he fit as a fiddle um and everyone knew about colin todd pay for england great play um so he was there my first season he was brilliant if they played in the whole season and then he retired but yeah those senior pros like viv and you know colin todd and kenny swain another one you know there were at times tough but also you know when i got in the first d and i was doing well in my first season that they were they were full of praise tempered with now and again bomber would dig you out about something just to remind you just to remind you that you know he’d done it all he’d won everything so you know and i was a good listener i didn’t listen to these senior pros because because you’d be a mug not to because they’ve done the course so they know what it takes um but yeah that i mean the first season was just like you say i got in i got in the back of the last game of the season and that’s i speak to people every now and again i’ll do a bit of speaking somewhere and you know people always say to me you know will cups or an fa cup or you know won the league at least but all these great great experiences and i say biggest game my career by a mile was may the 15th 1982 [Music] portland road road by absolute forget your world cups and all that malarkey that came afterwards that day my life changed for the better because if that day we got beat four now by a team that they that could have won the league that dates which if they won the liverpool lost there were champions that day it was a huge game for them if that day gone badly for me and we’d lost four nil i was playing as a striker i wasn’t a striker if that they gone badly i don’t get a contract and i must go and talk united probably that summer i said that’s how close my career came from going from one way to the other and it kind of people kind of think really yeah because the fall in monday we all got called in one by one see the manager and i think i went in about fifth at the end but the first four i knew walked out with tears in their eyes and we’re on the bike back to geordie land or wherever it might be and i got given a year’s contract white coffee i remember walking in and saying to me so not bad at the weekend young man for a non centre forward but young man well done i’m gonna offer you a one-year contract take it or leave it some people people laugh and i say that’s how it was he offered me a one-year contract a little bit more money take it and leave it and that was it and i snapped his hand off as you would do because the other say me and calvin plummer and my my ten lads eight got binned and being kelvin survived but if that they had gone badly ipswich and it could could easily on badly because they were a great team at that time um then the career can go all over the shop you just don’t know but that was that was a massive massive game for me it changed my career the next few years sorry the next few years you obviously at um pretty much a first-team regular under cluffy did how was your relationship with him were you ever was anybody ever close to him as a as a player were you friendly with him or were you always a little bit terrified of him um i was respectful of him we didn’t we didn’t always get on that well because i could have i could be stubborn at times and and if i felt wronged he knew he knew it he knew in my face i wouldn’t say it but i could be just i just wouldn’t be nice to him you know not i wouldn’t blank him but i just wasn’t friendly as i normally would be uh listen i had everything in my my career was because of Brian Clough so you know i could never say anything that was not tinged with the greatness of the man and he was a great great manager um yeah we didn’t always get on he liked me as a player um i saved him a few bob as i say i got in my last game along with pete davenport i think it was his fifth game because the club had spent a fortune on ian wallace peter ward and justin fashion and the club were bankrupt basically but and they had nowhere to go these players had all basically failed that’s why the kids got a chance so so when i got in did really well and probably surprised him about what i’ve done um he liked me as a player um and he liked the i mean he liked the way i played i played off the cuff sometimes i just ran around as he would say like a chicken sometimes and i had ian very alongside me just holding the fort and old stager um but from where i’ve been you know on the brink of being released you know and i always think it’s comfortable whenever he’s gone thought like this you’re going to leave i think he’s going to talk united you never know you know you never know what football to like it can go like that they’re at the league now but it’s probably all about always in the back of my mind that that that closeness how it came to possibly being released by advice back end of that season um so i played with the freedom i played with a kind of like joy of just being in the first team of forest where i used to watch them years ago and used to watch leave anderson win the european couple in bowie and you know a goalkeeper to affair that first year was a guy called hans van broyken who actually speak to these days what a goalkeeper absolutely what a goalkeeper and probably not revered in england but he texted me when foreign got up recently and i said i was at wembley and he was overjoyed that thrives to god up hands on rocklin um and people say to me keep you pay for it in your career i always say bye my people would think well pete peter you know peter’s last game for forrest was my first it was his last game he left as my first and for england really getting to play with peter he had nothing to do hardly normally had nothing to do the best keeper i ever played with was hans van brookland by an absolute country not country mar but by a distance in terms of forest and he went on to win the european championship with holland the champions league with psv and numerous leagues of ps3 is such an underrated goalkeeper not really known about these parts not even really from that era but look at his cd look at his career fantastic goalkeeper um great character uh the fans loved him vip was obviously still there what what a good player paul hart colin todd kenny swain uh bomber midfield such experience around me and then throw me into the equation young lad go play just go play go enjoy yourself you know i could always score goals i’ve done that as a kid in in school football i knew how to score a goal so i had free reign really just my first season on the left wing to my left was who else i’m testing you now no john robertson john robinson played my first season on the left wing so i buried alongside me and robertson on the left wing uh right-wing with steve wigley and then up front we got burtles back from man united with pete davenport so it was a really good team and let’s go i think i think i think i scored 10 goals that year i got player of the year in the first season got england and 20 i played for england under 21 that’s about seven games for forest we came fifth in the league qualifier for europe it was fantastic it was a fantastic living the dream it was it could have gone any better it couldn’t honestly from where it was a year before on the brink of being released a year later i was player of the year played for england and we were in europe again it’s to this day still i think wow yeah as you would because i was i was appreciative of what where i’ve been and where i got to because of the previous two or three years i’ve been through cleaning boots and all that stuff which they don’t do now can i bring you down to earth you know kind of maybe in a cloudy fashion i’ve let you kind of talk about england and the a word anderlecht which you know we traveled the country didn’t we for as you said probably six seven years together um yeah and the time i see you got really annoyed was when we talked about anderlecht and it it still annoys you yeah you did yeah you definitely did you definitely did i remember you used the line and i just thought that sums it up better than anything which was something like i lost a world cup uh game against argentina to a handball i lost two fa cup finals to own goals one with forrest one with tottenham i taught him in 87 but the thing that really annoyed me more than anything was anderlecht and the uefa cup semi-final so why was it and you did explain to me but tell everybody why was it that that annoyed you more than losing two fa cup finals in a world cup match against argentina because you know i’ve i’ve played in games where my team or i’ve bent the rules a little bit and tried to con the referee everyone does you know we see players from forester they will try and on the referee everyone does so you know the hand of god incident was wrong should never have happened everyone knows that but on a football pitch people do do we try and get over stuff and you know i i’ve been there i’ve got penalties when there weren’t penalties i remember diving once against brentford in an fa cup game or league cup game and being completely utterly not not caught by anybody but going down and referee give us a penalty so you know players accept that in a certain degree they’ll accept it that their own team might do the same thing and they’ll they’ll enjoy that little bit when it goes their way um so the hand of god thing was wrong yeah he got away with it and let’s see you can do about it referee didn’t see it linesman didn’t see it i didn’t see it so you know that happens it was all down to you anyway if you’d not knocked the ball back it would never have happened uh fa cut fine not top man a long time ago uh fa cup finals you know obviously desert’s own goal and gary madden’s own goal it happens you can be in a cup final like a one-off game you’ve just seen recently you know the week brandon johnson johnson an unbelievable week around johnson where he’s won a playoff final in two massive competitions both by an own goal just something going his way his team’s way and both those goals have been the great free kicks into good areas which caused defenders a problem so i’ve had two fa cup finals where really close games could have gone either way extra time and on the day you know it happens shin dez’s head and it’s not your day it’s not meant to be your day that day but anderlecht was completely different um in the fact that we had three days out there preparing players you know we’re ready for it we’ve done well at home i scored two in the first leg right at the end um at the trend ten two headers and we were good that year on the road we’ve been to celtic went to psv and won celtic and won uh uh eastern european team called four watts and one thing two nil um so on stern grass we drew on one so on the road we were really good um but they had really good players we knew that you know the office team played for belgium in their world cup two years later so there were top players young cooleymans enzo chiefer frankie for caltran irwin vandenberg top top players so you know toony was a good result it was a great result it was fair because cluffy’s thing on europe was lads tonight you’d say lads tonight and they pulled the defense into the toilets together yeah for some games european games especially it’d like say eulock we mean and the toilets area and you’re going to talk area and nobody else could go in there and then they’d come out a little later and we’d say what’s even saying say lads tonight nothing else nothing else apart from no goals against give me no goals against and i’m happy so that’s the back four’s decision that was their job that night we knew that to be fair so killing him was an unbelievable result against a team like that so you go out to anderlecht you prepared properly people fly out there on trains and boats and planes and the game started it was a horrible atmosphere it was it was a great stadium for um constant standard stock stadium i remember his name to this day the chairman yeah and we didn’t play well to be fair first off and then chico scored out the balloon it’s 2-1 it’s like it’s a quite a close ground and there’s no lots of noise and you know it’s getting tricky and then cliffy going the papers the day before talking about the referee being whatever it was he wasn’t sure at the referee i remember thinking don’t get on the referees back before the game kind of thing leave him alone but maybe he knew about things he got done by juventus when he’s at derby in a european cup game by a cheating referee so he’d been there before um so you know after about an hour they got a penalty because the guy called kenneth real his danish he just dived and kenny was right behind can he swing and he’s gone down and you see a replays now and the referee can’t wait to give the penalties it’s almost before the fell happens yeah he couldn’t wait it’s just like i don’t know their players could not have known i’m sure they didn’t know but he went down as as i’ve done before you know in certain games you just go down but he couldn’t wait to give it and he gave it um but he’s got a referee where you get close to him and you know we started to moan about things because we could sense things were going against us here and clothing was one for discipline and all that and it wouldn’t have anybody talking to a referee but it got to the point where after about an hour you know we were all at him and he’d go close to him and ask the question and say whatever you go shh go away go away guys what he got was that go go in a really he’s quite a tall man you know like a stern i think he’s spanish and he’d stare at you while he said it you just thought okay there’s no there’s absolutely no point talking to you you’re you’re not accepting anything we say there’s no change in your mind or there’s no getting around you you just don’t want to know so just tread carefully um and after about i think about 70 minutes i got booked and cluffy i think we’d seen my head was gone by then i was known about everything because we got free kicks and little things that didn’t matter in the game but every big decision everything was mattered mata went against us and after about i think about 75 he took me off before i got sent off so i sat on the bench watching the last 15 minutes and that’s when paul hart scored his goal from a corner after they got their third goal so they’re in front um and people say to me about what you remember about that goal i remember being on the bench and i remember as it was taken the free the corn was taken on its way in i remember hearing a clear whistle and you know obviously it was quite noisy but i had a clear whistle and the ball goes literally in into the box a second late and hearty heads in the corner and all our bench got up and i stayed where i was i didn’t move i’d heard a whistle i’d had a loud whistle immediately the kick was taken um the referee had done it straight away no matter what happens you know when that ball was on its way he blew his whistle straight away um just in case just in case and it was in case because it mattered on that occasion and you know obviously he’s blown and he didn’t give it and that was that he kind of blew the whistle i think a minute later um i remember hans van buren blasting the ball at him on the video trying to kick his knock his head off with a ball at the final whistle and missed him and then in the tunnel area there was there was lots of stuff going on in the players and but it wasn’t so much their players you know also the referee we were after but there’s no point you know you’re out so there’s no point but we had a courier like a uefa corey used to go around with us with every team every european game and he was an adjustment of the game and he’s he was just talking quite he’s actually a nice quiet you know i think he’s not i think he was from like germany sweden but great english and he said to coffee uh mr cluff i do but i do believe tonight you’ve got grounds for the complaint uh mr cloth i young man i’ve not complained in 20 years about a referee son and i’m not going to start tonight go away um so how did he maintain that i mean all the signs were there the referee on the night you know coffee before the game the decisions of the big decisions everyone that mattered went against us a toxic atmosphere the ua officials were saying what i saw was wrong tonight we knew something was wrong but you can’t prove it you can’t prove it in most cases you can’t prove it but in our case it was proven yeah i don’t know 15 years later it’s proven in belgium courts that it had been a long while in belgium that anderlecht i think one of the other teams have been buying referees um and that he got given 25 grand before that game to throw it their way so that was in some ways i was justified and happy that the truth had come out um but i did write to greg clarke about three two or three years ago when he was head of the fa and said i think at the time there’s something on the tv about it was a it was an era of when people in the olympics were being their medals have been taken away for drug offences and cheating another thing and i thought well people are getting upgraded middlewise yeah so i thought well you know i’ll ask the question i’ll speak to the top man and i got his email address and i wrote him a letter and i said i know you’re top of the you know you’re a fa man and you’re a leicester fan gone down the road and i said the things happening in the olympics and people being downgraded and i just feel that you should know that this is something that’s had a grind with me for many many years and nothing forest in particular that this happened probably obviously a long way before your watch but you know you are now ahead of the fa you are in contact with uefa and the hierarchy uefa and if you want to run right or wrong from many years ago then here’s a case i can explain the situation and i said in my for my situation i think that these have been proven to cheat in a court of law i don’t blame the players at all i blame the officials of anderlecht and their hierarchy and the and the the brokers in between who pass the money around and i think that at the end of it there should be an acceptance from anderlecht football club and an apology from them that we move forward forget about it but on the record box it should state that in that year nottingham forest would run us up in the uefa cup um and that’s where it should be because they cheated and they did cheat clearly in a court of law and i got a letter back saying i appreciate your letter i understand it’s a long time ago but still it’s still the grievance with you um and that’s where it ended really so i was just wanted to let the fa topman know that i haven’t forgot about it and you know you have to move on in football but it’s probably my last go at kind of having some because we’re not my united we’re not liverpool it’s not out there big time and even this scandal’s not really known about really but for those players that not pitching the fans who traveled that night and the the atmosphere and the the hurt on the way back and the sadness on the way back when we were totally wrong and it should have been in the fight against tottenham in the european final which i never got to in my career um yeah that one will always wrangle way above the other three you mentioned earlier on because you know you can get beat on a football pitch and it happens but to get cheated on the in a hotel room with 25 grand passing hands then um there should be some retribution there somewhere for anderlecht but they got a years ban which is totally overturned eventually by the european court of law so basically they got away with it scot-free and that will always rankle and that’s why in the car i got irate you did it was kind of because i didn’t as a you know a non-forest fan who’s come from the outside i was completely largely i knew something there was something in my mind about something wrong but to hear it from you on those those journeys um luckily we had like journeys to plymouth and places didn’t we so there’s plenty of time for you to tell them have you never done there is more to come from steve hodge in a moment need to thank my members of chipper’s club particularly the gold members who this week are danny moriarty william hutton nick hemphill aunt adam damian miles christian tonies james sorden henry the hero tiny media philip sheldon paul harrison thomas newton mark german alan francis david shelton mark davis s children paul metcalfe tim hayward richard waterhouse and ian russell thank you for continuing to be a gold member of chipper’s club if you want to sign up and get all the benefits the link is in the description below let’s get back to steve hodge you had that forest career we mentioned anderlecht but you left to go to villa now don’t worry i don’t want to talk about your time at aston villa which i know wasn’t the happiest but that leaving forest how difficult a decision was it for you if it was your decision and why why how did that all come about um it was it was obviously a bit difficult but i’d always been one to not want to be stale in a team and to progress my career and keep it going forward and the first two years have been great i said the first year was player of the year second year you ate the cup semi-final that year also won the uh the european on the 21 trophy with england which was last time they won it 1884. it would have been a great year um so that my third year was like just just crack on again and let’s try and get higher up the league whatever and uh johnny met hard arrive i remember coming to the training ground one day we were training this balder guy came tall man but i knew he was anyway could tell you see that he was like an athlete um and he was with i think he was with brian truffle at the time he arrived on the training pitch we were training he watched his train i remember walking back thinking of the trend thinking well where’s he gonna play then because he’s coming from real madrid so he ain’t on the bench is he very often so you know and it was like in the days when you had one sub i think or maybe two maximum so you’re thinking well if he’s if he’s playing every week which he will on bomber will play every week because he’s cub captain and he’s stalwart and he knows the game and he’s done he’s seen it so where’s it leave us all and it panned out that i played that season until the left wing but i’ve been in the youth team for you know two couple of years earlier on than that and i could play out then i could i could do a job out there um but i didn’t enjoy it you know like you get wide plays today you you see brandon johnson play he’ll float around a little bit go and play narrow sometimes and he’ll flip sides sometimes on the other side of the pitch and all that we couldn’t do that i’ve done the left wing and it’d be like up and down and up and down and up and down and support you fall back and then go and get in the box and then wasn’t the right wing being crossed get the back stick and they had the ball out and you get to sprint back straight away to help out your left back your your left back it was it was a boring role to have we called it the graveyard the players because everyone who played there it killed many a career because it’s just a physical output up and down the pitch so i played there i was thinking play the whole season that was in my career i had one season i played every at every start and that was the season so 42 start every game i scored 12 goals we came i think seventh in the league and it was a you know another decent season 17 league in the first division and i’ve done all right got a dozen goals and you know there’s some big highlights for a bit man united when mutual down i haven’t won three two uh much of the day but i didn’t enjoy the season i was bored playing left wing and being restricted and being made to do jobs which i could do and i did do and i had to do but just didn’t enjoy it the first two years remember with bomber it was just like i had freedom so i thought about it for a bit and i knew things you know i’ve been in the first in three years so i know teams will be in for me um so i asked for a transfer i think it’s about april of 85 and i thought about it for a while and you know it was it was a massive decision because i was i was leaving the football club where i was a regular and picked every week and scored goals and was still a good young player i think i was 23 by then 22 23. but i know i was you know it’s hard to imagine nowadays but one man ran the football club and one man knew everything about the football club and everything was geared towards what he knew what he wanted so i arranged a meeting with him i don’t know what you’re right i could never do what you’re about to do i don’t know i often tell this story people think really and i say yeah i was i was trying to think i was 22 and i had no agent there’s no agents in those days i was on my own um and it was not like today where the players like chris hewton that players want somebody out they’ll make sure they get the manager out they had all the power he obviously cluffy had all the power so you know it was looking back now it was it was brave it was um it was the right thing to do i thought at that time in my career to move it forward um but i look back now and think god you were taking a chance and i remember getting to his office about quarter to seven in the evening for a seven o’clock meeting and i think the door went back oh that was it it was quarter to seven and he got there about quarter past eight that’s what he was he made me sick he made me sit on me for about an hour and a quarter in the little four-year era outside of his office with his door shut but he wasn’t in there and he walked by me at court past day and i’ve been like sweating for an hour and all by then thinking what was going to happen because he did have your career and he i’d seen people get destroyed by him and putting the reserves for six months and their careers stunted or destroyed because he would he would hold a grudge so he walked past me went to his room door was still shut and then door went back and he kind of that was it was open you know it’s like come coming so i watched him and i sat down and he looked at me and he obviously knew what was coming because he had eyes and ears everywhere and looked at me and he went some swan did i say to you young man that you could walk into my office young man sit on my chair and i’m stood up i don’t think in what do i say and i said no gaffer and he went got some then piss off so like to turn around and walk out again and like go in the fourier area like a little corridor towards his office and then come right back around and knock on the door and he went who is it and he clearly knew it was and i went miguefa he went son come into my office son so i walked in as he would do i just stood there i wasn’t taking to see i just stood there like a lemon thinking right what’s gonna happen now anyway son have a seat in my office so then i sat down in his beloved chair if it was next to a wedding boss anyway so what can i do for a young man i went well blah blah blah gaffer i’ve been here three years left wing blah blah blah i’d like a transfer and he went oh son you want to transfer from my football club young man son i’ll need it in writing young man and it was it was in the pocket i was all ready for him prepared so i got it out and just like gave it to him and he opened me up and he read it with his bins on and he just read it and then i kind of got up thinking i need to go now so i kind of went walking out and he went whoa whoa whoa whoa so where you going i’m getting off and i went oh no i’m so hang on a minute son i want someone hang on and he went from now on some at my football club whatever happens to you son nearly stressed even whatever happens to you son is because of this letter son do you understand that young man and i went yes gaffer anyways good son now piss off and i walked out i walked out really quickly as quick as i could i know i remember walking by poor heart he was there i don’t know why paul’s in next or whatever his wife and i know that nodded quickly and then i got in my car and i remember getting to my car and i remember my hands my hands were shaking my hands have gone high i just put my hand under kind of the steering wheel my hands are shaking and you know people laugh and think you know you weren’t that bad but seriously i had an hour and a half waiting for that to happen and i knew what i was going to do i spent transfer out of his football club and he weren’t going to be very happy about it and he made me suffer for an hour and a half and then had about 10 minutes of being belittled completely and then i walked out and it was a monday night that i won’t forget but it was the right thing to do but i was on my own i had no agent you had to do it yourself suck it see what happened but yeah it wasn’t pleasant so did you walk out thinking he’s given me a transfer or he’s going to allow this to happen or or did you just not know that was the april you see so i got it in before right it was three games to go and we played last games at tottenham away and we were in the hotel i mean i think it was uh at south bends so we used to stay having a pre-match meal and then in walk neil webb with his misses it was then at portsmouth aaron thinking [Laughter] [Applause] and he’s here next season and he was he brought in he wasn’t he’s like he was put in a room like a table i think with his dad or his mum at the time as well with the club they had a meal on their own we were playing that night against tottenham last game of the season um and we played that game and then they went on a pre-ended season you know a close season wherever he went but that was i knew i knew he was here where we retired he was he was he was he’s in the way in and i assumed to take my place so that’s what i assumed that was going to happen i mean funny enough i’ve been offered i’ve been offered in the january time we played somebody i think the january 85 before my transfer request it pulled me on the on the coach after a game and nobody was there and said to me i think i should be played at qpr and he said to me would you go and play for qpr because they want to sign you young man and i said i might be where i am to be honest with you i don’t i don’t qp i don’t have interest in me whatsoever at the moment anyway son i just thought i’d let you know that there’s interest there and that they are in for you and that was out the blue in the january before april asking for a transfer so i don’t know what is it it was it was offering me around because the club was skinned because of the three lads who’d failed the big strikers but that came out in the blue and i was a bit unsettled by that that the fact that he’d come to me openly and said not thinking of selling yet but i’m letting you know that there’s interest there and i might be thinking of selling you so that probably helped me make my decision eventually at the end of that season to go in and say well i know that you’ve mentioned about a transfer already so if you think in that way anyway then after the season that i’ve had you know not really enjoyed it felt like it was the right time maybe for both of us that you know he’d be not happy i was going but financially it made sense for the club because we were going to games after games or away games and pre-matching after the match we were getting given a flask each with soup in it and a and a cobb or a roll pre-match going to a weight game going to man united or hybrid with with a cob and a flask of soup each which was embarrassing we weren’t even having pretty much meals we were going to games with the super nerol you know which was which was nothing foreign before that and now the team having no pretty much meal i mean super nerol it was embarrassing the club was skinned so i think me and pete damper the two that they could sell at the time pete davenport eventually wanted away anyway and it probably made sense end of that season that i wasn’t enjoying the football he wanted money uh webby came in and the funny thing was i was still there for the start of the season we did pre-season i think went to sweden pre-season and then pc just arrived within butterworth from corn tree and i played the first two games of that season which was looting away in the plastic pitch and then chef wednesday and was a drab nil-nil draw when i got caught offside oh god i don’t know how many times they played a high line it was how wilkinson playing a high line defensive football and it was awful i can remember that game walking in behind coffee and and howard howard in front obviously i know how it well um but the game was terrible i remember i’ve been i was bored in the game i mean i was running offside stupidly too often i was young lads still um the clothing and what just be around behind howard on the way to the uh changing room after the game ended in a boring nil nil and as howard went left towards the waiting changing room because he came in i mean only shouting howard howard you’ll get the game done away with tom that was crap [Laughter] because you know coffee was the purist wanted a romantic beautiful game of football howard was the strategic manipulator of his of his armed forces defensively and you know he could seem to get an illness anyway he wanted and that their two minds did not meet uh i’m not maybe an awful game to play in um but the following day or falling i think the day off the following day and on the friday came in and it was about 10 to 10 and coffee walked by me went graham turner’s in my office he’s coming to meet you this morning from aston villa manager go and speak to him now and i was preparing for the game the following day at home to southampton i think it was or sunderland so that was taken completely out the blue even though i had phone calls from the guy from called mr smith from aston villa saying if you become available we’d like to know kind of thing so i knew they were knocking around but but for turning to be there that morning i had no idea so i didn’t train that morning i went to meet graham turner he was dead friendly really nice fella um and i went to meet doug ellis that afternoon uh body more heath um he bought his rolls royce for me would you believe he should have been right around body more he thinks rolls royce and you’ve been on the couch with a with a cobb and a glass of a cup of soup before yeah this guy was seriously wealthy um but he was nice and you know it was aston villa and and kind of like the european cup two years before that or three before that’s a huge football club um but obviously i was i was i was sad to go i remember getting my boots i went to collect my boots from the boot room um on that that friday night i went back about seven at night i think guy called chaz ralph was the caretaker groundswell at the time i had to ring up chas and say can you in the boot room for me up chest tonight i’m back from birmingham um and i’m moving on and i remember getting my boots in the room and having a tear in my eye thinking this is how it’s supposed to end with a tear in my eye taking my boots away nobody here and you walk out the door and that’s it done but that’s football no sense of mentality what the team moves on webby moves in you move on and you get with your career and if you if that was it that would all make complete sense everything you’ve said you know i moved on i went to play for aston villa and then top them and won the league with leeds and had a spell at derby but we try and gloss over that um desperate completely desperate i was at leeds nobody wanted me and roy mcfarland to be fair to him rang me and said you want to come play for us i said i need to get playing somewhere i gave 10 games that’s all i’ve given and then i got out as soon as i could my thanks to steve hodge for his time keep an eye on the channel there is much more to come from him about his forest career if you want to see more right now you can watch brian laws talking about his time at forest he’ll also tell you about not being in that fa cup final that is here and also perhaps a bit more up-to-date chris cohen is here [Music] you

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