When you pick up a new album you want the opening tracks to make a real impact and grab the listener. The same thing applies with launching a new magazine, the first section needs to set a tone for the quality and feel that is to come, and we are confident we have achieved that with our own opening section, tentatively entitled The Boss.
Paul McGregor made 30 league appearances for Nottingham Forest in the 1990s scoring 3 league goals. He became a bit of a cult figure mixing occasional first team appearances at the City Ground with performing in his band, Merc, at Rock City amongst other venues. The highlight of his Forest career was probably scoring the winning goal against Lyon in the UEFA Cup in 1995 under Frank Clark’s leadership - but his first Forest manager was Brian Clough. As he writes about his first boss in Bandy & Shinty, he lifts the dressing room veil to reveal a moving relationship between a rising star and a fading genius.
Phil Juggins views the same theme from a fan’s perspective, as he recalls his first taste of defeat whilst watching the 1991 FA Cup Final against Tottenham Hotspur. The match itself was bursting with competing narratives; the only major trophy Brian Clough had not secured in his managerial career, Paul Gascoigne’s self-destruction, Roger Milford’s celebrity refereeing and Des Walker’s heart-breaking own goal, but on reflection that Wembley defeat had dramatic implications not only for a young fan but also for the legendary manager.
Completing the section are journalist Nick Miller, recalling his first experience of relegation as he watched Forest succumb tamely in 1993 and David Marples, in conversation with Craig McLoughlin, the grandson of Brian Clough’s regular first team trainer Jimmy Gordon, who played a major part in the successes of the club’s famous Miracle Men.
This is what Bandy & Shinty is all about; delivering a range of writing that provides genuine insight, normally out of the reach of fans, alongside human stories that stir the soul of Forest supporters. To quote W P Kinsella’s magical book Shoeless Joe (later adapted into the film Field of Dreams) “The people who come here will be drawn…”. We have “built it” in the hope that you will come and be refreshed.