‘Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away’.
The above is a phrase coined, not solely, by Will Smith’s lead character in 2005 hit film ‘Hitch’ and it is perhaps a poignant passage ahead of tonight’s hotly anticipated East Midlands derby between Derby County and Nottingham Forest.
You see, being a football supporter isn’t necessarily about measuring what success you see as a fan and more often than not the moments you remember are the ones that literally take your breath away.
Take for example Ben Osborn’s stoppage time winner against the Rams back in 2015.
Forest were in abysmal form going into the fixture and found themselves three down in 30 minutes during their next game at Fulham.
For the split second his shot ripped past Lee Grant and into the Derby net, however, those of a Forest persuasion were breathless in their celebration – handed a moment they would never forget by a player nurtured at the City Ground.
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Likewise Craig Bryson, the Derby man who will be forever held in high-esteem by the Rams’ faithful, as the man who netted a hat-trick in a 5-0 thrashing of the Reds back in 2014.
The Scotsman is by no means the best player to ever grace a ram upon his chest, but that day he left a lifelong imprint in the memory of Derby supporters.
The point is that anyone can become a hero on derby-day.
Breathless Forest moments in the fixture in recent years have hardly come from world-beaters.
Zach Clough is currently on loan at Rochdale, Dani Pinillos is kicking his heels at Barnsley, whilst Nelson Oliveira is way down the pecking order at Norwich City.
The trio will forever be remembered on the banks of the River Trent, however, as men who stuck the ball in the Derby net.
It remains to be seen who, if anyone, will become Forest’s hero of the hour this evening. Will it be another masterclass from Joe Lolley, a scrappy winner off the backside of Lewis Grabban, or maybe a completely different member of the current squad who etches their name into Forest folklore?