Video of the Day: Nottingham Forest vs Wolverhampton Wanderers, February 1978
There has been a lot of talk recently regarding Leicester City’s imminent Premier League trophy in terms of the extent to which this might be the most unlikely story in the history of English football. Although comparisons from the past aren’t always possible – at least, not accurately – cases have been made for Ipswich Town in 1962 and Derby County in 1972 as being surprise league titles of similar girth. One name, however, has come up more than any other – Nottingham Forest. On the fourth of February 1978, Brian Clough’s team played Wolverhampton Wanderers in front of the cameras of ATV. Forest had been promoted to the First Division at the end of the previous season, yet they were six points clear at the top of the table, and this was during the days of two points for a win.
Wolverhampton Wanderers, for their part, were having a difficult season and went into this game in fifteenth place in a twenty-two team table, only five points above the relegation places. A collapse in form following this match would see them take just one win from their next twelve matches, and wins from their final three matches of the season were required to hang on in fifteenth place, and by this time only three points above the drop. Forest, meanwhile, would steamroller their way through the rest of the season and finish on sixty-four points, seven above second placed Liverpool, having lost just three out of forty-two league matches, and the following season they would go on to become the champions of Europe, beating Malmo to lift the first of two European cups in Munich. Now, if only such an underdog could do that again – we’ll see, if Leicester City are able to hold their squad together over the course of the summer. Commentary comes from Hugh Johns.