- Credit to Matt Appleby for unearthing the footage that proves the kit was used
There’s a new episode of the Football Kit Podcast out – guest Jim Hearson discusses his favourite and not-so-favourite Nottingham Forest strips with me and my fellow presenters, Gavin Hope and Les Motherby.
Normally, for each episode we will tailor the logo to include a shirt relating to the discussion but we made an exception for Forest – rather than a particular kit the club had worn, we plumped for the famous green jumper that legendary manager Brian Clough used to wear.
That tradition arose out of Clough donning a green goalkeeper shirt at training one day to remind Peter Shilton that, “There’s only room for one number 1 around here,” but perhaps it was the basis for Umbro providing Forest with a green third strip in 1991. Then again, it might just have been a coincidence, as kits back then weren’t drowning in meaning and symbolism like contemporary launches.
It’s all rather moot, anyway, as Forest only wore the kit once, and even then in a friendly – between their return to Umbro in 1986 and the beginning of the 1993-94 season, only red or white shirts were worn in competitive outings, with shorts and socks changed to alleviate potential problems as required.
The sole showing for the two-tone green strip was in the summer of 1992, a trip to face Lincoln United to officially open the non-league club’s new dressing rooms.
The shirt used the same design as Everton had had for their away kit from 1990-92 and Chelsea’s 1991-93 third. The shorts were cleverly versatile in that they complemented the ‘line graph’ of the shirt but were identical to those used on Oldham Athletic’s 1991-93 third with a different style of jersey.
While Forest were comfortable 6-1 victors in Lincoln, the result belied the tough season that lay ahead in the Premier League. And, while it was a positive audition for the green kit, there was no call-back, leaving it as one of the curiosities in the club’s vestiary back catalogue. Perhaps the only surprise is that there hasn’t been a modern retread.