Thursday 18 January 2018

Off The Ball: Forest feats inspire dreams of Leicester title miracle

An interview with Martin O'Neill is one of the highlights of Daniel Taylor's DVD on Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest
An interview with Martin O'Neill is one of the highlights of Daniel Taylor's DVD on Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest

Michael McCarthy

Christmas is around the corner, and Leicester City are top of the Premier League. It's the sports story of the year and I'm not sure we've even processed it just yet. And while not many believe they can actually win it all, my Christmas recommendation may at least inspire the notion of belief.

'I Believe in Miracles', a DVD documentary and accompanying book by The Guardian's Daniel Taylor, tells the story of Brian Clough's Nottingham Forest, and one of the greatest runs in football history.

It charts Forest's tale from Clough's appointment in 1975, when they were in danger of relegation from the old second division, to promotion, a league title, two League Cups, and, remarkably, back-to-back European Cups. This, by the way, all happened in just a five-year span.

Nowadays, the achievement is often overlooked as a strange anomaly in the record books, if a mark of Clough's genius, but there's a lot more to it than that.


Eras can't be compared and football is a very different game now, but this was still a small club from Nottingham who were languishing and forgotten in the second division. Just five years later, they had retained the European Cup.

There has to be more to the story than just the manager and English domination of Europe, and the film brilliantly captures the ins and outs of this astonishing run of success.

It includes interviews with the entire squad (including Martin O'Neill) and brilliant archive footage throughout. Watch out in particular for the brilliant John Robertson, who many of us know only as O'Neill's perennial number two, not as the winger who terrorised European and English defences.

It's one of the great football stories, rarely celebrated with the glories of the bigger clubs and it's captured wonderfully in this DVD. It's well worth a look over Christmas, as the more jaded of us dream of another miracle.


Irish Independent

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