Today, football is a sport played all around the world, and it just so happens that Notts has a list full of successful football heroes who were either born in Notts, or are somehow associated with Robin Hood county. Read on to discover our round-up of our famous sporting heroes.
Viv Anderson MBE
Viv Anderson, born in Nottingham in 1956, broke through taboos to become the first black player to represent England. Viv Anderson played more than 400 games for Nottingham Forest before leaving the City Ground in 1984. He was an integral part of Brian Clough's team during their heyday and was in the side that won the European Cup in 1979. In 1997, 96% of Forest fans voted Viv Anderson as the team's best ever right-back, and in January 2000 he was awarded the MBE for services to football.
Born in 1956 in Nottingham, Gary Birtles joined Manchester United in late 1980 from Nottingham Forest for £1.25 million. With two European Cup Winners' Medals to his name from the previous two seasons, Gary joined United with a growing reputation. He'd made his international debut only a few months earlier. Gary is best known for his time at Nottingham Forest, during which he won the 1979 and 1980 European Cup Finals. He was also capped three times by England. He now appears on local radio and writes regularly for various local publications.
The Nottingham born striker, joined Manchester United in January 1995 for a British record transfer fee of £6million. Cole broke Dennis Law's European goal scoring record (14) when netting a hat-trick against Anderlecht in the Champions League in 2000. He currently plays for Manchester City. On 4 July 2008, Cole signed a 12-month deal with Nottingham Forest, his 12th club, and hometown club from childhood. On 11 November 2008, Cole announced his retirement from football, bringing an end to a 19-year career.
Nigel Clough was born in Sunderland in 1966. Son of the legendary Brian Clough, Nigel made his name at Nottingham Forest under the management of his father and had a very impressive strike rate for a midfield player of a goal nearly every three games. He transfered to Liverpool for over £2m in 1993 and signed for Manchester City in 1996. He retired shortly after the start of the 1998-99 season and turned his hand to the management of Burton Albion football club. Over the next decade Clough took Burton up from the seventh tier of the English football league to the brink of promotion to League Two before leaving halfway through the 2008-09 season to follow in his father's footsteps and take over at Derby County. Nigel also gained 14 full England caps.
Roy Dwight (1933-2002)
After 61 years without a trophy, Nottingham Forest reached the FA Cup final on 2 May 1959. It was quite a day for the Reds player. He put them ahead after nine minutes but half an hour later was stretchered off after breaking his leg in a tackle. He watched the rest of the game from a hospital bed but had firmly staked his place in Forest's history pages as the Reds won 2-1.
Darren was born in Nottingham in 1976. On loan at Nottingham Forest during 2002-2003, the striker only played 11 games for his hometown club. He's also played for Lincoln, Newcastle United, Coventry City, Leeds and Manchester City. After retiring from football in 2009. Huckerby returned to playing football in the Masters Tournament in June 2011 playing for his old club Leeds United.
Stewart Imlach (1932–2001)
The Scottish international appeared in the winning Nottingham Forest line up in the 1959 FA Cup final against Luton Town. A left winger, he won ‘man of the match’ and was known as “The Rabbit” due to his incredible speed. He represented Scotland in the 1958 World Cup. He died in 2001 aged 69. A book about Stewart Imlach, 'My Father and Other Working Class Football Heroes' (ISBN 0-224-07267-6), written by his son Gary, won the William Hill Sports Book of the Year 2005. In 2009 a street of new houses in his home town of Lossiemouth - Imlach Way - was named in his honour.
Born in Nottingham, Jenas plays midfield and is a former England under 19 captain. He began his career at Nottingham Forest where he immediately impressed during the 2001/02 season. After a single season at Nottingham Forest, he was sold to Newcastle United for £5 million in February 2002. It was the second most expensive transfer involving a teenager at the time. He now plays for Tottenham Hotspur and has a contract with them until 2013.
Born in Nottingham in 1865 from Leonard Lindley, a lace dresser, Tinsley Lindley studied at Nottingham High School. He joined Nottingham Forest Football Club in 1888 but also played a couple of matches for Notts County Football Club during the 1889-90 season. He joined the England team in 1886, playing against Ireland at Ballynafeigh Park in Belfast and gained 13 caps for England. After retiring from football, he lectured law at the University of Nottingham and served as a County Court Judge. He was awarded the OBE in 1918 and died in his hometown in 1940.
Notts County goalkeeper between 1983 - 1984, McDonagh also played for Ireland, Bolton, Sunderland and clubs in the USA. He is currently working for Plymouth Argyle F.C as a goalkeeping coach after leaving his position as goalkeeping coach at Aston Villa in August 2010.
Pearce's early career saw him under the tutelage of Bobby Gould at Coventry City and then Brian Clough. It was at Nottingham Forest that Pearce spent most of his time, becoming a legend for club and country. He established himself as an uncompromising defender with a cannon shot (gaining the nickname "Psycho"). He became captain in 1987 and in the same year earned the first of 78 England caps which made him a household name. He spent more than ten years at Forest, most of it as club captain and briefly also as player manager, a caretaker role he held while the club found a long-term boss.
A gifted midfielder, Pennant started playing football at his hometown Notts County FC. He made his debut against Sheffield United coming on as a substitute at the age of 15. After just two league games for Notts County he signed for Arsenal in a £2million deal. Jermaine joined Portsmouth on loan before leaving to join Spanish side Real Zaragoza in 2009. His time in Spain was overshadowed by disciplinary problems. He returned to the Premier League for the 2010–11 season signing on loan at Midlands club Stoke City. Following a successful loan spell he signed a permanent contract at Stoke in December 2010.
Born in Nottingham, but nominated The Scottish Footballer of the Year in the 2003-04 season. In his career, Sutton played for Norwich City, Blackburn Rovers, Chelsea, Celtic, Birmingham City and Aston Villa. Sutton scored over 150 career goals in over 400 league appearances spanning 16 years in the English and Scottish Premier Leagues. He was capped once by England. In September 2009, Sutton was appointed manager of Lincoln City, but he resigned due to personal reasons in September 2010.
Des established himself as a centre-back at Nottingham Forest when he joined the club as an apprentice. And manager Brian Clough had him playing regularly for the first team aged just 20. Walker made his international debut in June 1989 and totalled 59 England caps. His first spell at Forest lasted from 1983 - 1992, and he then played for Sampdoria and Sheffield Wednesday. Walker returned for the 2002 - 2004 seasons and made almost 60 more appearances for Forest, nearly a decade after he'd left them. He retired at the age of 38 with a total of 354 appearances for the club to his name - and one goal.
Dave was brought up in Stapleford, Nottinghamshire. After work as a farm labourer and trainee electrician, he trialled with Notts County and became a professional footballer aged 20. During his career he won an FA Cup medal in 1973 with Sunderland and a League Cup medal with Manchester City in 1976. Dave's career ended where it had begun at Notts County. His playing career spans clubs such as Rotherham United, Werder Bremen, Southampton, Stoke City and Derby County plus sixty-five full England appearances.