We are responsible for the formation of Arsenal!

FAN'S EYE VIEW; No 141 Nottingham Forest
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The Independent Online
Ever since Kenny "Bonecrusher" Burns and Larry "The Lacerator" Lloyd made mincemeat of centre-forwards throughout Europe in the late 1970s I have been a fan of Nottingham Forest. I always will be because as any true supporter will know - following a team is not something you can fake like a David Ginola penalty appeal; it is one of the few constants that remain with you throughout life, like body odour and flatulence.

In the same way that Trevor Brooking is boring, referees are blind and Stan Collymore is no longer on our books, I am a Forest fan - it is as simple as that.

Over the years Forest have made a valuable contribution to world football. They featured in games where the following were all firsts: crossbars, shin-pads and referees' whistles. In addition they were the first to spend pounds 1m on a player - Trevor "Forever" Francis.

As with anything though, where there are positives there are also negatives. Due to an ex-Forest player moving to London and taking an old set of kit with him, where he started a team with his mates, we are also responsible - and I would like to apologise for this to football lovers everywhere - for the formation of Arsenal!

Humour on the terraces has always been an important part of football culture and the City Ground is no exception. In that fateful season three years ago when we went down to the First Division I was standing on the Trent End for an evening game against Crystal Palace. Forest had a corner, and from it there was an almighty scramble in the goalmouth. The ball was cleared but there was a Forest player left prone in the box.

A hushed silence descended on the Trent End - was it "Psycho"? No, Stuart Pearce was all right - kicking lumps out of John Salako upfield; was it Roy Keane? No, he was shouting abuse at the referee; Nigel Clough? No. Then out of the silence someone at the front of the terrace called out something after which relief started to spread throughout the crowd. I didn't hear, though.

"What was that?" I said to my mate.

"It's all right, it's only Steve Chettle," he replied.

"Thank God for that," I said.

Now, as a supporter of Forest, I would just like to make a case for the defence of Jason Lee. As someone who has suffered over the years by watching the likes of Ian Wallace, Justin "Toblerone boots" Fashanu, Trevor "Comfy reject" Christie and Robert Rosario shoot narrowly wide of the corner flag from inside the six-yard box, Jason Lee, by comparison, is a lethal marksman.

I admit he misses the odd chance and, of course, his touch on the ball could do with a wee bit of fine tuning. And in order to break into the very top bracket he may need an extra half a yard of pace. But give the lad a break, he only cost pounds 200,00.

If I were being uncharitable I could argue that for the same money you may get Paul Furlong's kneecap, Chris Sutton's haircut, Savo Milosevic's earlobe or Andy Cole's eyebrow. Anyway Lee has got a pineapple on his head - just in case his team-mates get thirsty during the course of a game.

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