My Favourite Players...Manic Loop

Forum member Manic Loop writes about his favourite players from Forests past

I suppose my list will differ from many peoples. Avoiding the likes of Collymore and co, I have always had favourite players who might not get all the attention and praise. I don’t know why, I guess I cheer on the underdog. I'm also not ordering this in a particular way.

Colin Cooper
Well Cooper was the first player I ever got the name of on the back of my shirt. Back in the days of the dark blue and turquoise away kit (still my favourite ever away kit) it was a time in life where I recently made the move to defence myself, so perhaps it was a bid to associate myself with another player in the position.
I think another facet will have been the fact Cooper was also a goal scoring defender. Taking free kicks and getting up for corners, he netted quite often. As well as this he was also a relief captain. He always gave his all, and I think to a certain extent he was as good buy for Forest as Collymore was. He held that defence together, and if you notice when he left that defence fell apart completely. Steve Chettle was never going to the player of choice for a young lad, he just wasn’t remotely glamorous.

A final factor is that I have for a long time regarded number 4 as my lucky number, and Cooper played in number 4. Right at the time that squad numbers came in, and having a player’s name on the back of your shirt, and therefore Cooper being number 4 was the choice for me. This would later come back to bite me in the arse when the 1998-99 home shirt of mine ended up with Quashie on the back of it. Oh dear

Alf-Inge Haaland
Here is a choice which may surprise. But like Cooper, I got Haaland on the back of one of my Forest shirts. It was around the time he first got moved to midfield and put in many a great combative performance, and turned him from a fringe squad member into a first team player. Another facet was that I wanted a name on my shirt not many others had, an Alfie was one of those. That did cause problems when on holiday in Turkey though, as many people thought it was Holland on the back and thought I was Dutch, so spoke in Dutch to me.

Alfie was never a limelight stealing player, but he did impress in his last year or so, leading to a move to Leeds. He is far more famous for his battle with Roy Keane, but I sill remember watching his debut v Leicester on TV, as I believe a right back.

Chris Bart-Williams
The last of players here that I chose to adorn my shirt with their number. Bartman was always my type of player. I prided myself on sitting deep and playing good long passes, much like he did. Plus when we signed him was regarded as one of the top prospects, playing a large number of England U-21 games. It also seemed exotic having a player born in Sierra Leone.

I was at university when Bartman had his period as captain and when he got pushed further forward, but I do remember vividly him scoring that goal v Reading that all but assured promotion in 1998 (and had Pierre van Hooijdonk hanging off his neck celebrating wildly, odd that) Anyway, I remember where I used to sit a number of people didn’t like him because he often passed it sideways or back rather than needless give possession away by humping it forward. Now which current player does that remind me of?

Franz Carr
My first ever favourite player. This was when I was also a right winger, tearing it up for 1st Edwinstowe Cubs football team as we romped to the league title.

I also really liked Carr because as a kid, a tricky jinky winger is always more noticeable than a defensive stalwart or a play destroying midfielder. Ok, so later in life I have learnt his final ball wasn’t all that, I didn’t really care standing on the Bridgford end stood on a milk crate so I could see (showing my age now)
I recall also thinking it was amazing he got called up to England B squad thinking this was amazing, not then knowing any old half decent player made that squad.

Lars Bohinen
Maybe somewhat controversial seeing as he left under a cloud somewhat, but I genuinely believe he was the Bergkamp of this club. His touch and control were amazing. My brother always wanted to go to games early to see the players warm up specifically with watching Bohinen's control and touch.
What sticks in my mind was seeing him bend a corner right in untouched against Norwich, past a young Andy Marshall. Then I thought it was the most incredible goal I had ever seen. Scoring from a corner!!!! But he didn’t do that just the once, there was another time, an away game against opposition who I forget.

So yeah, no Collymore, Pearce, Clough, van Hooijdonk or whatever. I think I have always supported an underdog so hence my list featuring lesser known players, but great players nonetheless.

Oh and yeah to prove I had a Quashie shirt