From the top 10 European nights, top five goalkeepers and top 10 Mickey Mouse trophies to the top five full-backs, Alex Walker’s The Glory of Forest magnificently covers the all-time highs and lows of Nottingham Forest. In this extract, the top 10 nicknames…
Footballers get called all sorts of things by their managers, teammates and fans, but these are memorable nicknames that stuck…
Midfielder Chris Cohen got this nickname from late-1990s pop star, and ex-squeeze of Katie Price, Dane Bowers, after Billy Davies described his performances as being ‘on another level’.
‘Harry’ Hodge has a ring to it, and many fans assumed it was a middle name, but Steve actually picked up this nickname during a pre-season tour of the Netherlands when Brian Clough kept shouting at him to ‘harry’ the opposition players.
A suitably imposing nickname for Forest’s right-back hardman during the 1960s and early 1970s, Peter Hindley. Barrel-chested but still mobile, Hindley played 416 games for the Reds and never failed to give his all. The nickname ‘Tank’ was also picked up by Alan Rogers during his first spell with Forest, but in the words of internet Forest authority Bridport Red, Hindley ‘was a King Tiger to Rogers’ piddling little APC’.
7. ‘Big Norm’
Mark Crossley was so called because Stuart Pearce thought the goalkeeper resembled Manchester United’s Norman Whiteside. A big version of him.
Alan Hinton, a member of the 1966/67 Forest side, would have been due a girly nickname for his blonde perm and delicate playing manner even if he hadn’t compounded the impression by also wearing white boots.
5. ‘Cod eye’
An example of football fans being as sympathetic to disability as ever, Steve Sutton got this moniker for his lazy right eye.
4. ‘Meat fly’
This surprisingly affectionate nickname was given to Gary Crosby — a nippy winger who was also, shall we say, slight of frame. Man City goalkeeper Andy Dibble will always think of him as a pest for the goal Crosby scored by heading the ball out of his hand.
Viv Anderson to Dave Bracegirdle, author of The Legends of Nottingham Forest: ‘It was in Majorca, and I’d been jumping around from room to room looking for people and Garry [Birtles] said I was like a spider — I think those long legs were something to do with it.’
A self-explanatory nickname and chant for the legendary forward Joe Baker, who wouldn’t be seen dead moving in a straight line.
Acquired because his side-parting gave him an uncanny resemblance to knife-wielding, cross-dressing hotelier Norman Bates (as played by Anthony Perkins in the classic Hitchcock thriller), the nickname ‘Psycho’ just happened to suit Stuart Pearce’s playing style down to a tee. Arguably one of the greatest-ever footballing nicknames, you still see it on the backs of replica Forest shirts above the immortal number three.
Extract reproduced with kind permission of Alex Walker and Crimson Publishing.
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