Nottingham Forest Fan's Greatest Xl v Wolves Fan's Greatest Xl

The game at the city Ground is massive for both teams. Perfect timing for these two fan's Xls to do battle...
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The game at the city Ground is massive for both teams. Perfect timing for these two fan's Xls to do battle...


Nottingham Forest Greatest XI by David Hart

GK: Peter Shilton

The foundation of any great side is a rock between the sticks, and Shilton is undoubtedly Forest’s Number 1. Over a 5 year spell and 202 apps at the City Ground Shilton amassed a wealth of trophies including a league title alongside well-documented back-to-back European cup wins. He also won PFA player of the year in 1978 after conceding only 18 goals in 37 league games. 10/10

LB: Stuart Pearce

The most commanding captain and absolute animal of a defender I’ve ever had the opportunity to witness. Stuart Pearce affectionately nicknamed ‘psycho’ was signed from Coventry for £300,000 – he set the standard of what it was to be a leader taking hold of the armband for the majority of his 12 year stay on Trent side. Racking up a total of 401 appearances and scoring an impressive total of 63 goals.9/10

CB: Des Walker

Arguably one of the most talented English defenders ever, Des Walker started his career at Nottingham Forest playing his first game at the tender age of 18. He went onto fix his place as a rock in the Forest back four and helped to win back-to-back league cups in 1989 and 1990 as well as earning a call up to the national side from Bobby Robson, all in his first seven-year spell at the club. After spells at Sampdoria and Sheffield Wednesday, Walker returned to the City Ground under manager Paul Hart, finally leaving the club at the age of 38 after an additional 57 appearances took his total to 354 for the club. A loyal servent to the club, he will forever be remembered under the chant “you’ll never beat Des Walker.” 8/10

CB: Wes Morgan

A controversial choice sure, but the want to include a modern player meant Big Wes was the only rational choice if not purely for his untameable passion alone. Nottingham born and bred, Wes was our current longest serving player with more than 340 appearances to his name before we let him go. Although having a shaky start to his first team career, under the initial guidance of Des Walker – Wes went on to cement partnerships with Michael Dawson, Kelvin Wilson and Luke Chambers, providing a solid base to our defence over the last few years. 8/10

RB: Viv Anderson

Another Nottingham born player to makes the list is Viv Anderson, who broke into the Forest team in 1974 and went onto to become a staple in Brian Clough’s European cup winning side. His form for Forest earned him a call up to the national squad, where he became the first black player to represent England. After a 10-year stay at Forest and 6 trophies to his name, Anderson moved onto Arsenal and then Manchester United. 8/10

LW: John Robertson

Another of Clough's famous European cup winning side (there’s obviously going to be a lot.) Scottish born Robertson was instantly written in Forest folklore after scoring the only goal in a 1-0 European cup winning victory over Hamburg in 1980. He also provided the golden cross for million pound Trevor Francis to head home in the same competition the year before. Over a stunning total of 396 apps in Garibaldi, Robertson also managed to net 61 goals. 10/10

CM: John McGovern

On the list of players to appear for both Forest and Derby, John McGovern rates highly among the best. A pupil at the school of Clough, McGovern spent most of his career under playing under old big ‘ead. Lining up as a solid contender for greatest captain alongside Pearce for his leadership during the most decorated years of Forest’s history. 10/10


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CM:  Roy Keane

Better known for bossing the midfield at Manchester United, one of the greatest players in Premier League history originally cut his teeth at Forest under the watchful eye of Clough. Joining the side in 1990 and working his way up through the reserves, Keane became a key fixture in the first team a year later. Known for his battling performances, Keane gained a lot of attention in a struggling Forest side. He went onto negotiate a relegation release cause in his contract that would eventually see him leave in 1993 for The Theatre of Dreams. 8/10

RW: Steve Stone

Possibly the unluckiest player ever, Steve Stone suffered 3 leg breaks throughout his career – however this didn’t stop him being a cracking winger and helping Forest to a 3rd place finish in the 94/95 Premier League season. One of my favourite players from my early years watching Forest, Stone was a creative wide player, something that we lack dearly these days. After a total of 229 apps, with 23 goals and an England call up under his belt, he broke the hearts of the Forest faithful and moved to Aston Villa after our relegation in 1999. 8/10

ST: Stan Collymore

Without a doubt, one of the greatest naturally gifted strikers that I’ve ever seen -Newly appointed Frank Clarke signed Stan Collymore in 1993 and he hit the ground running. His superb form in front of goal helped take us back up to the Premier League following relegation at the sad end of Clough’s 18-year tenure. Collymore went on to flourish in his first Premier league season, scoring 22 goals most notably his opener in a 2-1 victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford. He went onto to score 41 goals in 68 games at the City Ground before leaving for Liverpool in 1995.9/10

ST: Nigel Clough

Although ironically now the manager of our main rivals -Nigel Clough is one of the most successful Forest strikers ever, scoring a staggering 101 goals over a total of 311 appearances. Controversially brought into the side under the management of his father, Clough took the pressure well, winning two league cups on the trot. He scored two goals in the 1989 final helping us overturn Luton Town 3-2.  8/10

Manager: Brian Clough

The gaffer could be no other than the greatest manager England never had – the late great Cloughie. Undeniably the one of the greatest managers football has ever seen, Old big ‘ead revolutionised the club and took us from nobodies to European champions. His and Peter Taylor’s rock solid work ethic will never be forgotten, tributes at the ground and around the city will always remind us just how great he was. 10/10

Nottingham Forest Total: 106

Wolves Greatest Xl by Dave Blackhurst

GK: Phil Parkes

Tricky call this. I would argue that we’ve not had a world-class keeper since Bert Williams. I never saw him play so Phil gets the number 1 shirt. That’s not to disparage Parkes or any of the other goalies we’ve had over the years. Stowell, Burridge and Bradshaw were all fine players but Phil was the one I admired most. He was big, brave and could boot the ball miles – qualities that I cherished in the man between the sticks when I was 13.  8

RB: Geoff Palmer

Great hair, great attitude, great servant. An uncompromising full back with almost 500 appearances in the old gold and black, Palmer was local lad and life-long supporter. If it’s not to damn him with faint praise, Geoff was the type of solid professional that every team needs. Became a copper when he left the game, I’d like to think a solidly professional one.  8

CB: Frank Munro

Tough but stylish sums up Frank Munro. He started as a forward, was signed by us as a midfielder and served forever after as centre back, and a damn good one at that. There are quite a few opposing forwards who could vouch for Frank’s toughness. The Molineux faithful will vouch for his style. Football fans everywhere, with the exception of those in Leeds, rejoiced when one of Frank’s rare goals denied Revie’s side the double in ’72 and handed the title to Clough’s Derby. What a night. 9

CB: Joleon Lescott

We were devastated when Joleon signed for Everton, the kind of devastation that is tinged with a little bit of pride. We knew he was too good not to be snapped up and it was only a matter of time. He’d been talked up as a future star since joining the Wolves Academy and he didn’t disappoint. He had the skill, presence and vision required to be a top class defender.  An unfortunate knee injury (that gave conspiracy theorists a field day) kept him out of our first venture back in the Premiership. We like to think we would have survived if Lescott had been fit. We also like to believe he’ll come back when he’s had enough of City.   9

LB: Derek Parkin

Although he began as a right back, Bill McGarry moved him across to the left and there he stayed – forever it seemed. Parkin holds the record for most Wolves appearances and consequently is probably the player I’ve watched more than any other. He used the ball well and was never one to aimlessly boot it away if he could see an opportunity for a decent pass. If that opportunity was Waggy champing at the bit, so much the better. 8

RM: Kenny Hibbitt

We got Kenny for peanuts from Bradford Park Avenue in 1968 and for the next 16 years he gave 100% (we didn’t have 120% back then.) 114 goals in 574 games illustrates his attacking credentials but Hibbitt added the industry and creativity that marks out an accomplished midfielder. We loved him and when he came to the Molineux as coach with Bristol Rovers in the late 80’s he received the longest, loudest and most heartfelt ovation I’ve ever experienced.  9

CM: Ron Flowers

You could argue that, as a Wolves fan, I was born too late. By the 63-64 season most of the stars of the 50’s had hung up their boots and the glory days had come to an end. Mind you, the vast majority of the supporters had lived through that era and weren’t shy in pointing out that some poor so and so wasn’t fit to lace Mullen/Wright/Slater’s boots. If the vitriol didn’t stun the poor lad then the collective exhalations of beer and woodbine breath would. Ron, and my next choice, are the only players from the ‘Champions of the World’ team (Daily Mail) who were still playing regularly. An England stalwart who narrowly missed out on appearing in the ’66 World Cup final, Flowers was a strong, imposing player with a ferocious shot.  10


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CM: Peter Broadbent

When the great George Best says you’re the player he most admired then you must have something going for you. Jimmy Greaves rated Broadbent too, as did regular crowds of 40,000 plus. Peter was a magician with the ball and a powerhouse in midfield. He was criminally underused by England, the prevailing theory being that Wolves already had their fair share of international players. The FA was obviously as useless then as it is today.   9

LM: Dave Wagstaffe

There was no more joyous sight than watching Waggy fly down the left, beat a defender or two and ping in a pinpoint cross. Then watch him do it again and again and again. He probably set up more goals than any other player of his era and was probably clattered into the advertising hoardings more than most as well. We absolutely loved him. 9

CF: Peter Knowles

Having a flawed genius for an idol can be trying at times. One week Knowles could be petty, disinterested and putting in yet another transfer request. The following week he would be sublime, bamboozling opponents with his skill and vision. He was by far the best player in the old second division for the two seasons Wolves played there. Things looked promising when we got back to the top flight in ‘67, none more so than the Dougan/Knowles partnership. Two seasons later, at 24, he quit football. He had it all but in the end he became ‘God’s Footballer’ (© Billy Bragg) and arguably one of the game’s greatest losses. We held on to his registration until ’82 when it became obvious, to one of the parties at least, that a Second Coming wasn’t on. Nice bloke though – when he first joined Wolves he was lodging with my mate’s neighbour and me and Alan used to call for him on a Sunday morning for a game of ‘three and in.’ 10

CF: Steve Bull

If Knowles was my idol then Bully was my hero. To have been able to see them play together would have been heaven. I won’t trot out The Tatter’s stats – suffice it to say that not only does he get into my best Wolves side, I’d also put him in my best side in the world ever. There may be more skilful players out there but none with more heart and more determination to break the back of the onion bag. Three against The Baggies and the old airplane celebration is the stuff of dreams. 10

Manager: Stan Cullis

Cullis was still the boss when I started watching Wolves and consequently wins the accolade as the best manager I’ve seen. I’m old enough to remember JFK’s assassination and the tremendous effect it had on people. That was nothing compared to the shock felt in Wolverhampton when Cullis was sacked a year later. His record as manager, especially in the 50’s, is incredible – I think he’d do it all again with this team. 10

Total: 109

Nottingham Forest 106 - 109 Wolves

A close run thing and one that may have Forest fans blinking at a couple of the scores. As for the match itself, expext a corker, especially with these two gaffers in charge. An early Collymore screamer is soured when he gets sent off after a nonsense row with Lescott over who has the most Black Country accent, but Forest hang on until the cusp of half-time when Ron Flowers buries one into the top corner. Swings and roundabouts for the second-half, until that man Bull knocks one in with his shin while looking the other way for the winner on 89.