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The Mother Of All Derbies - Notts County vs Nottingham Forest

Cultural and Education Section of the British Embassy - British Council
 This article was generously provided to ClubFootball by the British Council, which operates in China as the Cultural and Education Section of the British Embassy.

 

Two of the oldest clubs in the world have been slugging it out for over 130 years.
 
In the beginning
 
The Nottingham derby was the start of them all. Milan, Manchester and Madrid may all have their derby matches, but the oldest of them all belongs to Nottingham, England.
 
Nottingham may be more famous around the world for the rivalry between Robin Hood and the Sheriff. However, it's the city's very special footballing derby that is the important fight for the local fans.
 
Notts County, the oldest League club in the world (founded 1862) and Nottingham Forest, the third oldest (1865) enjoy a rivalry which dates back over 130 years.
 
Garibaldis and Lambs?
 
It all started in the spring of 1866. The match was billed as the red-shirted Garibaldis of Forest versus the maroon and mustard-striped Lambs of Notts County and took place on Nottingham Forest's recreation ground.
 
According to the earliest Forest club history published in 1891 the Reds won 1-0 with a goal from W. H. Revis, but this appears to be disputed by a local newspaper report published on the morning after the game that records a no-score draw.
 
Notts County became founder members of the Football League in 1888 and Forest joined them four years later.
 
A crowd of 18,000 saw the first League match between the two at Trent Bridge on October 8 1892.
 
All the goals came in the second half and it was County who took control. Harry Walkerdine, Harry Daft and Scottish international Dan Bruse scored in a 3-0 win.
 
The last derby between the two clubs took place in the 1993/94 season when both teams were in the Football League First Division. Nottingham Forest won 1-0 at their home ground, and in the return match Notts County gained their revenge in a 2-1 home victory.
 
Differing fortunes
 
The two sides enjoyed very different fortunes throughout the last century.
 
Nottingham Forest enjoyed their best period during the late 70's and early 80's when, under the leadership of the legendary Brian Clough, they won three European titles as well as their domestic league.
 
Notts County would have to go back to the start of the Century to reminisce about their best periods in the game, but can happily boast of an F.A. Cup trophy.
 
We'll meet again, don't know where, don't know when
 
By 2000 the two Nottingham sides were a division apart, which means that if Forest go down or County can pull out a good season in 2000/01 and go up, then the two clubs could be battling out for the derby honours again soon.
 
And despite the fact that Nottingham Forest have beaten the likes of Malmo FF of Sweden and Hamburg SV of Germany in European Cup finals, when it comes to playing derby games, anything can happen.

 

 

May 2001

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