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Podcast 24: Derby & Nottingham Forest

Languagecaster look at one of the oldest rivalries in English football, the East Midlands derby between Derby Coury and Nottingham Forest. We also…

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There are many local rivalries in the footballing world. The Manchester Derby, and the Merseyside derby in England, Inter and AC Milan, The Ruhr Derby between Schalke and Dortmund in Germany, Atletico and Real Madrid are a few of them. When two neighbouring teams play each other it becomes much more than a simple game of football. It means a lot to many people.

So here is my question for you: Which two neighbouring teams play for the Brian Clough Trophy? Do you know?

The answer is Derby County and Nottingham Forest, both currently in the English Championship. And when they play each other the atmosphere is as competitive and fierce as any rivalry in the world. And the recent changes at both clubs have made this rivalry even more interesting.

Let’s take a short look back at some of the key moments in their history. Brian Clough was the young manager that took Derby to the top of English football in the early 70’s. His success made him a hero to all the fans and his team made the semi-finals of the European Cup in 1973. However, when he left the club there was great surprise, even anger, when he became manager of local rivals Nottingham Forest. There he had even greater success, building a team that went on the win the European Cup two times. So Brian Clough became a hero in Nottingham too. In fact, the road between the two cities is now called “Brian Clough Way” and the teams play for the Brian Clough Trophy each year.

In recent years both clubs have performed rather poorly, managers have come and gone, and the fans have been generally disappointed. But last week a couple of extraordinary events took place for the two clubs. Firstly, Nigel Clough, Brian’s son, who played for Forest for many years, was confirmed as Derby County’s new manager. Secondly Billy Davies, Derby’s former manager was confirmed as Forest’s new manager. Thirdly, the two clubs have been drawn to play each other in the FA Cup 3rd round.

Having Nigel Clough at Derby has provided much media attention. Can he follow in his father’s footsteps? Can Derby get back to the top of the Premiership? Can the Pride be put back into the club? As a Derby fan, I think we have a bright future. The appointment of Cloughie is a great one. Let’s start by beating Forest this weekend in the FA Cup. Go the Rams! Come on Derby! We are Derby…

Damian: That was Trevor Francis’ winning goal for Nottingham Forest in the 1979 European  Cup Final and here to talk a little more about Forest, Brian Clough and this week’s cup match with arch rivals Derby County is Notts Forest fan Julian.

Julian: Yes, well, the rivalry with Derby is an intense thing and central to being a  Forest fan is a hatred of Derby, it’s all we tend to sing about, er, and we revel in any kind of misfortune that comes to Derby in any sort of way. At the moment the rivalry is quite … particularly pertinent because we are very close together in the league and in fact sadly for the last three seasons we’ve not even been in the same league. Derby for some inexplicable reason have been in the league above us but now we’re fighting together and it’s very important. The Cup is a welcome distraction from the miserable season that both of us have had and it’s … it will be something that both teams will enjoy.

Both the teams have players who played for the other team. Cris Commons is a Forest player and always claimed that he’s from Nottingham and always told, certainly told us that he was a Forest fan and then inexplicably went to play for Derby, which is unforgiveable so we will make his life very unpleasant tomorrow night.

Brian Clough, you can’t talk about Forest or Derby without … talking about Brian Clough. I think you can talk about Derby without talking about Brian Clough in fact because people tend to forget I think the Clough connection with Derby though what he did at Derby was unbelievable in the short time that he did there. Not as incredible as what he did with Forest with those two European Cup victories 1979, 1980.

Clough factor, Nigel Clough, Brian Clough’s son, now managing Derby. It’s his first real management job, he spent ten years at Burton, at non-league Burton Albion, gone to manage Derby now certainly hasn’t won a game since he’s been there and I very much hope that that doesn’t change tomorrow.

Damian: So, a final prediction?

Julian: Er, I think that the score tomorrow will be … it’s going to be a good game, there’ll be penalties, there’ll be … all sorts of things will happen, it’ll be a very hard-fought game but Forest will win the game 3-2


I was born and brought up near Chester in the north west of England. I have always loved playing and talking about sport, especially football!
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  • what a dull match. reminded me of two under nine teams playing with a stone in the school yard. There was as much skill on display as a badger playing FIFA 2009. Must do better.

  • That’s the second time this season your lot were lucky to pick up a draw against the mighty Rams Julian. Looking forward to seeing you again in the replay. Good Luck!
    P.S. Don’t go and get relegated (and we will try not to either). I enjoy these games.

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