Nottingham Forest ("Forest") are, one of the greatest Association Football teams ever. As the third oldest of the Football League's clubs, they possess a great history and were one of the great pioneers of the game, it being Forest and their players that introduced shin pads, and crossbars.

Forest has never been a huge club. Their ground - the City Ground - is on the banks of the River Trent, just opposite Notts County's Meadow Lane, and, although impressive, isn't huge. Similarly, there attendances have always been tidy enough, but never huge. This is because Nottingham is, basically, a place where people do sport, not watch it - this has resulted in a huge talent base, but a lack of money; this is a big problem in today's multimillion pound football world.

Forest were fairly strong through the late 19th and early 20th century - they won the FA Cup in 1897, but then settled into mediocrity, a position that they remained more or less in until 1959s second (and most recent) FA Cup victory, achieved with only ten men due to a broken leg (no substitutes in them days!). Forest were good in the Sixties, coming second in the League in 1966 to Manchester United. If they had won, the world could have been very different - Forest would have been in the European Cup in 67, so there would have been no victory for United, no beautiful extra time goal for Best...and Forest would be the world's biggest club now. Maybe. Anyway...they didn't, and relegation in the Seventies to the Second Division was compounded by Forest's great rivals, Derby County, winning two league titles. (Curiously, there has never been any great animosity between Forest and County, whose grounds are only 300 yards apart. Instead, there exist bitter rivalry between Forest and "the Rams".)

Then, there came the point where relations between the two clubs really bittered - Derby's saviour, the great Brian Clough, walked out of the Baseball Ground, due to falling out with the directors, and, a little more than a year later, joined Forest, languishing in the Second Division. His inspirational management got Forest promoted, won them the League title, and then to two successive European Cups. Not a bad four seasons...

The Eighties were good to Forest, as they were consistently one of the country's top clubs, and won a number of trophys. An FA Cup final loss to Spurs in 91 was a bittersweet start to the Nineties, but it got worse. In 92/93, the inaugral season of the Premiership, Forest went down, Clough's health failing, and Clough retired. A very sad moment for the red half of Nottinghamshire. Forest bounced back to be promoted, come third in the premiership, and then get to the quarter finals of the UEFA Cup, but it wasn't to last. In the big money world of the Premiership, Forest have bounced between the Premiership and the First Division, in sad fashion. They are currently in big financial difficulties - they just aren't big enough.

Forest's brand of stylish football has made them popular all over Britain and indeed Europe. Notable players include: Ian Storey-Moore, Peter Shilton, Stuart Pearce, Des Walker, Stan Collymore, Teddy Sheringham and Roy Keane.

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