The timeless tale of Nottingham Forest’s 1979/80 miracle men will not just forever provide the backbone of Forest folklore, but was an achievement that will never be forgotten by anybody around Europe alive to witness it. The idiosyncratic Brian Clough and his trusted adviser Peter Taylor guided outsiders Nottingham Forest to the peak of european football twice in a row- a feat only achieved by one other English club (Liverpool). Having never even seen Forest in the Premier League, the story never ceases to amaze me, something which can be said for many of the younger generation. Even after 40 years -an era of gradual decline and visceral disappointment- it’s proved the lifeline keeping the city ground afloat on the banks of the Trent. “How many European Cups have you won then ?” The ultimate silencer. Clinging on to the past ? Maybe. But why not ? It is a proud, illustrious history, and one that no doubt deserves to be celebrated.
To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the first European Cup win, Forest teamed up with Macron to produce 1979 limited-edition celebratory shirts (as we won it in 1979), each one worth £70. A hefty price tag, but, in all honesty, worth every penny. There was something almost prestigious about it, as though you were buying the European cup itself.
Arriving in an authentic red box, sleekly adorned with miracle men logos, the Forest badge and a fading, legendary photo of John Mcgovern et al crowding round round the trophy, it was the fanciest wrapping you’ll ever get for a football shirt. Ever. Inside, it got even better. A quaint little booklet containing some of the memorable photos of the cup run was perched on one side- another lovely touch- but it was the main event that really caught your eye. Concealed behind a transparent sheet of plastic was the shirt itself, the different shades of red a beautiful combination.
Though, it was not until you looked closer that the real magic of the shirt hit you. Inscribed on one of the half the shirt like Latin on some Roman colosseum were the names of everybody lucky enough to have been part of that European cup winning team. Names like John Mcgovern, Gary Birtles, Franck Clark and John Robertson particularly leaped out to me, – perpetually popping up when the older Forest fans reminisce over ‘the good old times’. Even the inside of the neck, repeatedly stamped with European Cup Winners 1979, was designed to a tee, while the back of the neck was embellished with a tiny, but somehow powerful European Cup. Macron- a company who can often over-sponsor themselves on shirts – made sure to keep it simple, and it spoke volumes of the importance of honouring the shirt and achievement. After all, only a handful of clubs get to produce European Cup-winning celebratory tops.
Retro Factor: 9.1
Overall rating: 9.8