Me Owd Duck on Not A Bad Night On The Telly

by , July 26, 2011

Now then,

Those were the days, my friend
We took the Stretford end
We’d sing and dance
Forever and a day
We’d see Joe Baker score
And Ian Storey Moore
Those were the days
Oh yes
Those were the days

April 8, 1967. The day ‘Puppet On A String’ by Sandy Shaw won the Eurovision for Great Britain. It was a damp day, a muddy day, a black and white day.

Kenneth Wolstenholme said: ‘I only wish I was the manufacturer of red and white scarves in Nottingham.’

Forty-nine thousand people crowded into the City Ground to watch Forest take on the Cup-holders, Everton in the sixth round of the FA Cup. Just as eight years before Forest had taken on and beaten the holders, in the sixth round en route to winning the cup at Wembley. The only man in the Forest side who was there on both days was Bobby McKinlay who lined up at centre half alongside new signing Terry Hennesey.

Forest had lost only one game out of their previous twenty-seven games over the previous five months, but Everton buzzed with big name International talent, including England’s Alan Ball.

Forest were: Grummitt, Hindley, Hennesey, McKinlay, Winfield, Newton, Barnwell, Lyons, Baker, Wignall, Moore and the sub was Alan Hinton.

There is a big wooden board at the entrance to the City Ground that lists all the International caps earned by the players between 1865 and today. Closer inspection reveals that between 1926 and 1970, whilst Forest fielded some excellent teams, the players were overlooked at International level, managing just six England caps between them in a 44 year period.

Joe Baker was a huge talent, loving to run straight through the opposition’s defence and plundering goals. How it must have hurt the packed ranks of fans to see him limping off, helped by first team coach Tommy Cavanagh, before either team had even managed a shot on goal. The Forest cheers when he came back on to try and run off the injury to his left knee were short lived. He was substituted before half-time and many fans believe that he never really came back to his best after that injury.

Everton continually broke forward in numbers. Both sides passed the ball along the ground to feet. Forest played 4-2-4, which made for a true attacking cup-tie. The fan’s disappointment must have reached a high point when despite Grummitt’s athleticism in keeping the Scousers out, Jimmy Husband opened the scoring for Everton in the 36th minute.

Peter Grummitt made 352 appearances for Forest between 1962 and 1968. As the Everton fans sang ‘We’re gonna win the FA Cup, we shall not be moved’, he pulled off two lightning reflex saves from Husband and Morrisey, to keep Forest in the match.

But then Frank Wignall’s shot hit Ian Storey-Moore in the chest and Moore put it down and tapped in an equaliser.

Ian Storey-Moore scored 25 goals that season from the left wing. He was top scorer at Forest for five out of the eleven seasons he played for us. He was Ipswich born, but was with Forest from the age of 17, signed from Scunthorpe. In a season when the greatest Forest side not to win anything were chasing a cup and league double – we were second only to a Manchester United side that included Best, Law and Charlton – football was basking in the glow of the 1966 England world cup win and Forest had a wealth of undiscovered talent; Moore had that sixties glamour. He was Forest’s George Best.

His rewards were scant for all his work. He only ever gained one England cap, due to Alf Ramsey’s aversion to playing wingers, that was against Holland in 1970. Both Moore and Henry Newton appeared in the Esso 1970 World Cup Coin collection, but neither of them made it into the final squad.

It was Moore that sent the crowd into the rafters again, when he scored a second goal to put Forest into the lead. It was an absolute belter of a shot.

But in this breathless game, with the crowd threatening to spill on to the pitch from every direction, no one stopped running. Neither team would stop attacking and ten minutes before the end, Jimmy Husband scored his second to give Everton an equaliser.

The mud seemed to get thicker, managing World War One consistency and the players looked like they waded in it on the telly in black and white that night. It was rare to see Football on the box on a Saturday night, but only Evertonians could be disappointed watching the outcome of this game.

With three minutes left, the struggle had reached epic proportions. You could not imagine an ending like it, a real Roy of the Rovers moment. On the TV they had to show it in slow motion so you could actually believe it had actually happened like that. I’m not sure if this was the first time slow motion playback of a goal had been used, but for this goal it had to be.

Moore in the box shoots and it rebounds off Everton defender Hurst, shoots again and it comes back off the goalkeeper, shoots again and it rebounds off the bar, shoots again. You could not hear the ball hit the net as the crowd exploded.

Ian Storey-MooreJohn Carey’s side worked such wonders that day. Forest win 3-2 and a hundred thousand people are queuing to buy tickets to see us lose at Hillsborough to Tottenham. In 1998, after the entire Clough era -European Cups and regular Wembley visits for 18 years – when asked to vote for their favourite game, Forest fans still chose this one from almost thirty years before. That would mean that a large number of those voting were not even born when this took place.

We’ve had so many firsts at Forest and this particular game was the one Moore, the first player with a double barrelled name to play for England, scored his first hat-trick. Not the first, and certainly not the last beautiful left winger to grace the City Ground. He went on to be paraded at the Baseball ground by Clough and Taylor as Derby’s new signing, then joined Manchester United. The Forest board had decided it would not be right to sell their top player to a close rival. Clough’s only joy at complaining about the decision was a five thousand pound fine for parading an unsigned player. Moore was subsequently banned by Clough from the City Ground, only becoming chief scout after Clough had departed.

Not a bad night on the telly, Forest win 3-2 and Britain win the Eurovision.

Football was a different world in those days, played on a flat field not one skewed by which side had the most money. For one day, Ian Storey-Moore playing for forty quid and win bonuses a week breathed life into an entire city.

I’ll see thee.