The demolition and rebuilding of the Peter Taylor stand is the focal point for the work, which local architects Benoy predict will take a mere 15 months to complete. Increasing the overall attendance of the stadium to 38,000, including 2000 'premium' seats and improved facilities; it promises to be a far cry from the current 1960s stand which nowadays would look more at home in League Two than at a club with Premier League pretensions.
Chairman Nicholas Randall spoke eloquently of the rich history of the club and how the development was designed to reward fans for their loyalty and unrivalled enthusiasm - reduced ticket prices and increased community engagement mean that it's not unusual these days for Forest games to sell out, despite the fact they've been out of the top flight for twenty years. Manager Sabri Lamouchi and first-team academy graduates Matty Cash, Joe Worrall and Ryan Yates were on hand to support captain Michael Dawson in ushering-in the latest phase of the plan.
As a supporter it's incredibly difficult to find any problems with this, especially as the ambitions for the infrastructure of the club are being matched by the team on the pitch, looking increasingly comfortable this season in the upper echelons of the Championship. The owner and Chairman are at pains to stress that the see themselves as 'mere custodians' of the football club, perhaps going some way to allaying our fears that this is the mega-rich version of Lego. Indeed, more attention was given at the launch to community work: a new video for inspiring local children, collaborations with homelessness charity Framework and the Hope foodbanks, schemes to tackle knife crime in the city and even school breakfast clubs, than was given to the new luxury seating positions and corporate hospitality. It's bold, exciting and community-focused... so what's the catch?
Well, it's very difficult to find one. And I'd like to think somewhere Old Big Head will smile, seeing his on-off best mate Peter's stand getting a gleaming Hollywood makeover.
Last week saw Arsenal take on Chelsea in the Continental Cup Final. Our guy Cristian Bratu was at the City Ground to catch all the action.
If you’re looking for something a little different to mark International Women’s Day this year, Radcliffe Sword Club might have just the answer for you.
Last weekend Micheal Bisping popped into Notts to officially open the brand spanking new UFC Gym. We sent Roxy Stewart down to have a natter about his career to date and the swanky, state of the art facility which boasts a full-size Octagon, as well as offering activities for all the family.
UFC GYM, the company associated with the famous MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) organisation have opened their first UK gym here in Nottingham. The gym has several unique features, including being the home of the first full-size Octagon ring in Europe. Isaac Seelochan went along to find out more.
I wouldn’t blame fellow Notts fans for having to read that sentence twice, as normally there are words like ‘disturbing’ or ‘depressing’ to clarify the latest activity at the Lane. But happening it is. And I think I like it.
Our lad Gareth Watts gives us the low down on the season so far.
As if he'd do a top five without mentioning the Carabao Cup?! Truth is, once we got Gareth Watts talking about Forest's key highlights this season, we couldn't shut him up - so her are another five.
Local Notts football team, Sherwood FC will play a charity match on Sunday 1st September at Radford FC to raise money for the five junior teams they sponsor in Malawi. The match will feature former players and coaches from Sherwood against St Nics FC, a church team from Derbyshire. I spoke with some of those involved to find out more about the match and this unique relationship.
Our lad Gareth Watts gives us the low down on the season so far.
Last year during our family holiday in North Wales (sorry Skeggy!) we met a lot of West Midlanders at the holiday camp, most notably Wolves fans. The joy and pride at their recent promotion to the top flight was matched only by their generosity in seeing my son in the Garibaldi red. To paraphrase them, “You’ll be up next year, lad. Can’t go wrong with young Portuguese talent. See you in the Prem!”
Kidd is Nottingham’s very own GOAT (greatest of all time) a tough young grappler destined for the top. We caught “The Young Bull” fresh off the plane from a gruelling training camp at the legendary NJPW* dojo. Wearing his new battle scars proudly, Kidd pulled no punches in a forthright interview.
Skateboarding will become an Olympic sport for the first time in Tokyo next summer. Nottingham is one of the sport’s original homes in the UK, with a vibrant community and culture going back more than fifty years, including internationally known professionals such as Carl Shipman in the 1990s and now Alex Hallford, who is one of just five skaters nationwide to be supported to compete in global Olympic qualification events in the run-up to Tokyo.
In a move that further cements the club’s commitment to active participation within the community, Nottingham Forest have announced a new partnership with the Nottingham Schools Football Association, pledging to bridge their current funding gap.
With Notts County having spent the majority of the season struggling to avoid relegation to the non-league, it’s easy to forget that things haven’t always been doom and gloom for the Meadow Lane club. In fact, this month marks 125 years since the world’s oldest professional football club won the FA Cup. Despite being one of the greatest moments in the Magpie’s history, it’s a story that ended in tragedy for Jimmy Logan, the striker who scored a hat trick that day…
Meet Visage - Nottingham’s Wrestlin’ Bitch Face. Another House of Pain alumnus building momentum on the UK’s grappling scene Visage is a flamboyant and instantly recognisable character. He’s also proper nails - mock his collection of amazing wigs and he’ll slap the taste out of your mouth. Visage’s blend of humour, innuendo and merciless bludgeoning is an unusual in-ring fusion invoking classic performers like Gorgeous George and Cassandro. We cornered Visage for a chat in a pleasingly kitsch tiki-bar.
It’s been the best part of two decades since I last played Championship Manager (or Football Manager as it’s now known) but recent events at Nottingham Forest have rekindled boyhood memories of the classic management simulation computer game.
Finally…the wrestling has come back to Rushcliffe! Champions from across the globe are heading to Notts on 26 January to entertain fans and beat seven shades of subtext out of each other. Bringing a harder, edgier style influenced by Japanese wrestling and MMA and with at least one legitimate dream match on the card, it’s something new for the city. SOHN talks to Gary Ward, promoter and owner of Wrestle Gate Pro.