Former Nottingham Forest striker Kevin Campbell has told the Under The Cosh podcast about his time playing at the City Ground.
The former star man signed for Forest from Arsenal for £2.5 million back in 1995 and would be an integral part of the team which won the First Division during the 1997/98 campaign.
The likeable player had a glittering career turning out for the Gunners, Everton and Trabzonspor in Turkey.
He speaks fondly of Forest, however, and clearly enjoyed his time on Trentside.
Campbell told Under The Cosh: “It started off okay, we had a decent team but ultimately we got relegated and Dave Bassett came in to replace Frank Clark.
“He really bought the squad together and was keen for me to rediscover my form. Dave pulled me for a chat and asked what had been going wrong. I told him I’d been injured and a bit out of form but that I backed my ability to get it back. He told me there and then that I’d convinced him and that I would start the season alongside Pierre van Hooijdonk.”
Campbell’s partnership with the ex-Celtic player was a joy to behold. They both scored a tremendous amount of goals for Forest and although it ultimately ended in tears, it was one of the best pairings the club has ever seen.
The 49-year-old loved playing alongside the Dutchman during a famous title-winning campaign.
He continued: “I had a really good pre-season and the team did really well during that memorable season.
“Me and Pierre scored the most goals in Europe that season. I got 20 and Pierre got 35 or 36. It was an amazing time for the club.”
Having formed part of one of the most memorable partnerships in the eyes of supporters, what was it that made his bond with van Hooijdonk so special?
“I knew straight away it would click with Pierre. He could run in behind but he liked to come deep and play and I liked to play on the shoulder. We had Chris Bart-Williams, Ian Woan and Steve Stone. If you couldn’t score goals in that team you might as well give up”, explained Campbell.
Although the 1997/98 season was memorable for the lethal strike duo, Campbell speaks highly of the whole squad during the campaign.
He continued: “We all had a really good friendship. That squad had no cliques, we all had a laugh and we ended up winning the league. The camaraderie in that squad was amazing.”
Campbell finished his Forest career with 32 goals in 80 appearances and will go down as one of the most underrated players to ever feature for the football club.
He departed for Turkish outfit Trabzonspor with the club’s chairman at the time, Irving Scholar, opting to sell the striker against his manager’s will.
After Campbell’s departure van Hooijdonk went on strike and the club’s first season back in the top-flight would end in a miserable relegation.