Football can inspire to the very edges of the emotional spectrum. A weekend can be ruined on the fragile turning of a result and yet joy filled highs can explode spontaneously as a final whistle a hundred miles away confirms your promotion. At times we love our football club and at others we are filled with a venomous hate so we explore both of those extremes.
Actor Arsher Ali most recently appeared on our television screens as PC Hari Bains in Line of Duty. Here he leads the case for the embittered, all of the Forest fans who have had enough of watching dreadful football and supporting a club that feels like it has slipped away from them over recent years. It is not a great place to find oneself in but we have to understand and confront the lows if we are to move forward in search of more highs and Arsher writes in such a way that even his frustration entertains.
Mirroring the lives of football fans the world over an impassioned jousting match ensues between positive and negative. Pat Riddell recalls his first Forest shirt and its attachment to time and place; Paul Severn counters with the appalling day on which his patience was stretched too far and he first left a game early; but Pete Blackburn and Gregor Robertson carry the day as the former remembers the 1998 promotion winning side, the first team he ever loved, and the latter shares the emotion of making his professional league debut.
Following football is a roller coaster experience, although the analogy perhaps works better for the fleeting highs than the all too often extended lows, and our personal relationships with our clubs ebb and flow through the different stages of our lives. Wherever we are individually in our journeys however we remain united by our inherent, unshakeable connection as fans. You can never stray so far or for so long that you cannot one day be welcomed home.