FA Cup: Liverpool heroes Phil Thompson and Graeme Souness look back on Nottingham Forest rivalry – What We Know!

Graeme Souness had John McGovern by the throat in the  FA Cup fourth-round tie in 1980

Phil Thompson thinks again to the day Graeme Souness had John McGovern by the throat on the Metropolis Floor and laughs.

‘What {a photograph} that’s,’ he says. ‘McGovern most likely hadn’t finished a lot fallacious however he performed for Nottingham Forest in order that made it totally different!

‘We couldn’t wait to get there that day. It was an FA Cup tie however mainly we wished a battle. Fortunately we received that one, which was uncommon…’

Graeme Souness had John McGovern by the throat within the  FA Cup fourth-round tie in 1980

Souness has his personal recollections of that afternoon in January 1980. Given among the matches that occurred between the perimeters throughout that period, it was not one of the crucial important. Liverpool received 2-0.

However Souness tells Sportsmail: ‘The Cup draw was on the radio and after we drew Forest I may hardly comprise my language. The mother-in-law was within the automotive.

‘It was, “Not these so-and-sos once more”. They’d a curse on us. We used to play them, spend all afternoon with the ball after which lose. It was irritating, irritating and bloody annoying.’

Souness and Thompson have been titans of Liverpool groups of that period. Each received three European Cups. However point out of Forest nonetheless touches nerves.

Graeme Souness and Phil Thompson (pictured) were titans of Liverpool teams of that era

Graeme Souness and Phil Thompson (pictured) have been titans of Liverpool groups of that period

On Sunday the groups will meet in an FA Cup quarter-final on the Metropolis Floor. Historical past will imply nothing to both set of gamers however supporters of a sure age will perceive precisely the connotations of this fixture.

As Brian Clough introduced Forest out of the second tier to the highest of the previous First Division and into Europe within the late Nineteen Seventies, he successfully planted the membership’s flag within the centre of Liverpool territory.

Within the first 9 conferences following Forest’s promotion to the highest flight in 1977, Liverpool received simply one among them, a exceptional statistic fuelling a rivalry that ran deep and ugly.

Brian Clough (left) brought Forest out of the second tier to the top of the old First Division

Brian Clough (left) introduced Forest out of the second tier to the highest of the previous First Division

Arguably it started on the League Cup last in 1978. Liverpool, European Cup holders and league champions, have been held to a scoreless draw at Wembley. Within the replay at Outdated Trafford, Forest received because of a penalty awarded when Thompson introduced down Forest ahead John O’Hare with a problem that was no less than half a yard outdoors the world.

‘John nonetheless will get stick each time he goes to Merseyside,’ says former Forest striker Garry Birtles. ‘They hate him for it. Despite the fact that all he did was fall over! I used to be within the stands and useless degree. Thommo was not finest happy and, yeah, he might have had some extent.’

Thompson has by no means fairly forgotten what occurred that night time. He was fined £300 for feedback he made to TV.

‘Forest had our quantity at a time when no person else had,’ he tells me this week.

‘The First Division was ours by proper they usually have been upstarts. After which they conquered Europe as properly, one other of our domains.

‘However yeah it began in that replay. We battered them over two video games and misplaced and I couldn’t get that out of my head.

‘Oh for VAR, eh? They known as it the primary skilled foul and truthful sufficient however it wasn’t within the D, by no means thoughts the penalty field.

‘I noticed John O’Hare at a dinner I used to be doing. He was within the viewers and I slaughtered him for it. He simply sat there and laughed. Truthful play.’

Forest forged an extra shadow over Liverpool’s soccer panorama that yr by taking their league title. Clough had solely introduced the membership up from Division Two a yr earlier. After which, by exceptional probability, the 2 groups have been drawn collectively within the first spherical of the next season’s European Cup.

The Nottingham Night Publish labelled the primary leg on the Metropolis Floor: ‘The Match of the Century’ and, a lot to his shock, Birtles was chosen to begin solely his second sport for the membership.

‘They have been the holders and the perfect membership facet on the planet,’ Birtles says. ‘They’d simply overwhelmed Tottenham 7-0 at Anfield.

‘However I did Thommo with a drag again early on. Then I scored. With quarter-hour left he ran previous and informed me one wouldn’t be sufficient to get us by way of the second leg.

‘So we scored one other. “Will two do?” I stated to him. I shouldn’t have stated it. He was a star, an England worldwide and I used to be a no person. We snort about it now.’

For the second leg on Merseyside, Clough dipped in to his man-management playbook. He gave his gamers white wine at lunch after which, on the way in which to Anfield, stopped the bus to choose up an additional passenger — former Liverpool supervisor Invoice Shankly.

‘I used to be enjoying playing cards on the again,’ laughs Birtles. ‘I had no concept why Brian did it. However he’d attempt something.’

A scoreless draw at English soccer’s most intimidating stadium — preceded by a sluggish and fairly deliberate walkabout in entrance of the Kop — took Forest by way of. 9 months later they have been lifting the trophy in Munich. The next yr they did it once more.

Nottingham Forest lifted the European Cup in Munich after beating Hamburg in 1980

Nottingham Forest lifted the European Cup in Munich after beating Hamburg in 1980

‘We have been in Dubai on a post- season factor once they performed Hamburg of their second last,’ recollects Souness.

‘We anticipated Hamburg to win and you possibly can say that we weren’t that completely happy when it didn’t occur.

‘John Robertson scored the winner and he was essentially the most under-rated participant of my era. He would have gotten in any crew and that made him world class.

‘However he would have been the one one among theirs to get in our facet. Forest simply annoyed the life out of us. We couldn’t discover a option to win.’

Clough’s dislike for Liverpool was to endure deep into his 18 years at Forest. One in all his future captains, Stuart Pearce, revealed: ‘He used to inform us to not drink the tea as a result of “the dishonest bastards have most likely put one thing in it”.’

Liverpool beat Forest in successive FA Cup semi-finals, together with the replayed Hillsborough sport at Outdated Trafford in 1989. On that event, Liverpool ahead John Aldridge celebrated a Brian Legal guidelines personal purpose by ruffling the defender’s hair.

Clough’s dislike for Liverpool was to endure deep into his 18 years at Forest

Clough’s dislike for Liverpool was to endure deep into his 18 years at Forest

Aldridge, nonetheless wrestling with the emotional fall-out of the tragedy, subsequently claimed he was commiserating with Legal guidelines. An apology was additionally supplied however Forest followers have by no means forgotten.

‘We performed Liverpool within the league quickly after and Cloughie stated if I obtained despatched off he wouldn’t thoughts,’ Legal guidelines later recalled.

‘I did attempt to nobble him. Even the referee turned his again as if to say, “Go on then”. I obtained my revenge years later once I was Grimsby supervisor and he was at Tranmere. I bought him a participant who was utterly duff.’

On Sunday in Nottingham, the nice and the nice of Forest’s previous will collect for a talkSPORT present on the Trent Navigation Inn throughout the river from the Metropolis Floor. Most of the tales are acquainted however others are usually not.

Thompson finishes by telling a brand new one. ‘I bear in mind one sport at their place,’ he says. ‘I gashed my ankle and was inside having it stitched by their physician.

‘Cloughie got here in and simply put his arms spherical me. He stated, “You’re some participant, son”.

‘It was solely afterwards that I realised what he had been doing.

‘He was taking my thoughts off what the doc was doing, maintaining me from the ache. Minutes earlier we had been in a battle. He went up in my estimation after that.’