Tell us about the Great Game, Grandad. Yes, tell us about the Great Game, do.

Ha ha, come now children, presumably you mean the Miserablebugger game of 2017.

Yes we do, Grandad, though daddy says you shouldn't call them Miserablebugger because it proves what an old potty mouth you are.

Ha ha, come now children, you know how your daddy likes a good joke, like the time he pretended to leave you in the bus station.


Nothing. Now do you want to hear about the Great Game or not?

Oh yes please Grandad. Tell us about the Great Game do.

Well, the Great Game took place in August 2017, and despite the many years that have passed since, I can remember it as if it was yesterday. Forest against Miserablebugger...

Daddy says...

Shut up. Forest against Miserablebugger at the world famous City Ground. Forest had begun the season reasonably well, and under manager Warburton Warburton were in the process of developing a fluid attacking style which sat well with the fans.

Was that the manager's name, Grandad - Warburton Warburton?

No, children. His name was Warburton, but he had this habit of repeating everything. All the time. Sometimes more than once.

All the time?

All the time. Sometimes more than once. Anyway, Miserablebugger were coming to town with their untold millions in Sky parachute payments.

Tell us, grandad, what were Sky parachute payments? Tell us, do.

Sky were the company that bankrolled the Premier League till they collapsed in the wake of the Licensing Fraud scandal of 2020. Parachute payments were the millions of pounds paid to relegated teams to cushion the blow of their own incompetence. Miserablebugger had already blown its hard earned bonus on a bucket load of strikers, one of whom was Forest's own Britt Assombalonga.

But Forest's no longa, eh Grandad?

Ha ha children, you have your daddy's sense of humour, as well as his slightly deformed nostrils.


Nothing. Miserablebugger were tipped to make an immediate return to the Premier League, so, you see, the Forest fans approached the game with an odd mixture of optimism and trepidation, wheras the Miserablebugger fans were convinced that their team would roll over us as sure as eggs roll downhill.

So what happened, Grandad? Did the eggs roll uphill? Was it a miracle? Tell us about the eggs, do.

Well, from the very beginning the atmosphere was bristling...

With eggs?

No, not with eggs, but with Forest singing and booing Assombalonga and Miserablebugger doing their best to put on a swagger...

Did you boo him, Grandad? Did you boo him like the bad egg he was?

Not at first, but after a short while it became obvious that it was irritating him, so we all joined in. It became an amusing game.

Like Spot the Egg?

In fact it was more than a game. It became a tactical advantage, because it put the fifteen million pound striker right off his game. Sad to say, but that was the best part of the afternoon's entertainment.

But the match itself, Grandad. What happened in the match itself?

Well, Forest had much the better of the first thirty five minutes. They were very good - sometimes breathtakingly brilliant. The combination of Vaughan, Booch and Dowell were streets ahead of the lumpen Miserablebugger grafters. If anybody was showing Premier League class, it was the boys in red. This was illustrated by McKay's goal.

Was it grandad? Was it a rare egg of a goal?

It certainly was a rare piece of work. A sharp ball to Dowell, and the youngster, in one movement, magicked his way past his marker and slid a beautiful ball to McKay, who, as any fifteen million pound striker should, slotted it home with aplomb.

With a plum, Grandad?

Yes, all right, with a plum. Anyway, it was turning out that Miserablebugger weren't exactly the promotion certs they were supposed to be. They had come to bully Forest, but they were being taught how to play proper football. It was great fun.

Daddy always tells us to stand up to bullies, Grandad. He says they are all cowards, and if you stand up to them, they will always back down.

Well, children, your daddy is wrong. Bullies rarely back off. They just get nastier. Miserablebugger reacted badly to being schooled, and just got nastier. They were encouraged in their nastiness by the referee, who seemed reluctant to punish the wealthy promotion candidates for some pretty blatant assaults. The most surprising offender was Assombalonga himself who, upset by Forest's dominance, the crowd's taunts and his own nervous incompetence, proceeded to commit ratty foul after ratty foul.
But then Vaughan was taken off, and the tide of the game changed. Miserablebugger starting clubbing their way through the middle and creating openings. The second half continued in this way, and could have turned into a nightmare, but on looking back I realise that Miserablebugger were never quite good enough to take advantage of the situation. They brought on some speed merchant who couldn't kick straight, cudgeled their way forward, launched long upfield speculators, and all they got for their pressing was to be suckered into a counter-attacking penalty, which Murphy scored with the serenity of experience.

What's the serenity of experience, Grandad? Is it like a nicely boiled egg with a runny yolk?

Surprisingly, it is. That was how it felt - like a nicely boiled egg with a runny yolk. Warm and comfortable and all in all very satisfying.

And that's how it ended was it Grandad?

Not quite. They finally managed to score a goal provided by a combination of fouling the goalkeeper and some pretty rotten Forest defending. Assombalonga continued to spurn chances with the abandon of a fifteen million pound striker, which was enormous fun, and Forest hung on for the win. Warburton Warburton was delighted with the victory and absolutely delighted with the victory, and Miserablebugger manager Monk was as graceless as his players in defeat.

A Great Game indeed, Grandad.

A game of great significance, certainly children. A performance which gave Forest the confidence to progress to where they are now, and proved to be the beginning of Miserablebugger's decline. In that sense, and many others, it was a Great Game.

Huzzah, Grandad, huzzah!

Don't say that, children. Nobody says that. It's stupid.


SEASON 2017/2018

01 04.08.17 FOREST 1 MEWO 0
02 12.08.17 BENTFORD 3 FOREST 4
03 15.08.17 BARNSLEH 2 FOREST 1
05 26.08.17 FOREST v LEED

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, creeps in this petty pace from day to day, to the last syllable of recorded time; and all our yesterdays have lighted fools the way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle! Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury signifying nothing.