Burns night is one of the biggest nights in the Scottish calendar and to celebrate the people of Scotland we took a look at Nottingham Forest’s legends from north of the border.
1. John Robertson
“Rarely could there have been a more unlikely looking professional athlete,” is how Brian Clough described his star-winger. “He was a scruffy, unfit, uninterested waste of time…but something told me he was worth persevering with” and worth it he was.
Robertson was the epitome of a ‘big game player’, assisting the only goal in Forest’s 1979 European Cup final win and scoring in next years final as the club won back-to-back European Cups.
The silky winger was brilliant with his feet, seeing him glide by defenders and deliver dangerous crosses. Robertson also scored 61 league goals in his 13-year tenure at the club.
2. John McGovern
A teammate of Robertson’s and another player instrumental to the club’s success at their peak was midfielder John McGovern.
McGovern was a rock in the midfield and a natural born leader, captaining Forest to their two European Cups. Clough saw the Scotsman as an extension of himself and a fierce competitor to drag his team to victories.
In over 250 appearances he also played a major role in achieving a First Division title, back-to-back League Cups, a Charity Shield and a Super Cup.
3. Kenny Burns
Kenny Burns, who also played under Clough, was exactly what the manager wanted – an exciting that played with spirit.
While Burns played as a striker for Birmingham City, Clough played him as a centre-half, where he soon thrived.
In his first season he announced himself as a hard-nosed defender with a natural instinct for the position. In a miraculous year he was awarded Forest Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year, while the Reds clinched a League Cup and First Division title.
In his most memorable achievement, McGovern was injured for the League Cup final and Burns captained the side to a 1-0 win over Liverpool.
The notorious defender went on to win a number of other trophies under Clough, representing Forest with great passion.
4. Bob McKinlay
Bob McKinlay is best described as ‘Mr Nottingham Forest’. The one club man joined Forest in 1951 and stayed for 18 years until 1969.
During this period he went on to make the most appearances for the club with over 600 games – a record that still stands today.
He was known as tough defender who led the line for Forest and helped them move up the football divisions.
McKinlay played nearly 10 consecutive seasons with 40 plus appearances for the club. He led the Reds to promotion in the 1957-58 season, where they stayed for the rest of his career.
The next season he won the FA Cup, bringing a major trophy to the club for the first time in over 50 years.
5. Scott McKenna
Although the defender only signed in 2020, Scott McKenna has already made a name for himself.
The 25-year-old has made 50 league appearances for Reds and established a firm position within the first team.
He is a strong centre-half that has a natural feel for the position and makes valuable contributions to the team.
The Scotsman is consistently growing into English football and has potential to become a top player in his position- certainly one to watch for the future.