On Saturday, Nottingham Forest welcomed arch-rivals Derby County back to the City Ground.
Inside the official matchday programme, Seat Pitch delivered another column – and below is a slightly revised version of that.
Said publication sold out on the day, as revealed on the club’s official website, with £1,500 raised for the Royal British Legion in what was the club’s designated Remembrance fixture.
As those in attendance and keeping up to date with events from around the world paid their respects to those who lost their lives fighting for their country, 50p from every programme sold was donated to charity.
Thank you to everyone who purchased a copy and played their part in a fitting contribution to the most worthwhile of causes.
Here is the Seat Pitch column:
Both sets of supporters were hoping for the smoothest of rides, but history and experience has taught us that a few bumps are always to be expected along the way.
Attempting to predict the events of 90-odd minutes on derby day is a rather thankless and frankly pointless task. Don’t over-think it. Embrace the emotion, soak up the passion, kick every ball, but ultimately try and enjoy it.
This is what football is all about – the occasions that will live long in the memory and forever in the history books. Games that allow you to say ‘I was there’ and have you longing for the next opportunity to drink it all in.
You can sing yourself hoarse in public without people staring at you, express emotions towards strangers that are usually only reserved for close family members and generally lose all touch with reality in a place which feels like, and often is, a second home.
Repeat after me: ‘This is my bubble. There are many like it, but this one is mine’. Woe betide anybody who tries to lure us out of this glorious state of sporting serenity when the Reds are locking horns with the Rams. That is a good way to go about losing some fingers!
It is the big one. The one that really matters. A game which can determine so much, but how do we define it?
Expectation, ecstasy, excitement and entertainment by the bucket load.
Agony, away days and the aftermath of reflecting on what was or could have been.
Sweat and tears, scores to savour and forget by supporters of both sides.
Three points, the desperate scramble for tickets, walking over Trent Bridge, full-blooded tackles and a trophy at the end of it all.
Memories, Yohan Benalouane in a mask, managers calling the shots and Mr John McGovern, who graced both teams.
Instant heroes made in a contest often decided by inches.
Davies, of the Billy variety, dreams, doubts, despair and delirium.
League table – where do we stand? – the first fixture on the list to be checked, Lee Camp’s penalty save and losers, make sure you aren’t one. (We can now add Lewis Grabban firing home to this part of the list!)
A52, to and from, with Britt Assombalonga the man for a big occasion.
Nathan Tyson, corner flag in hand, the net bulging and NG2 erupting.
Defeat doesn’t bear thinking about.
Stoppage time winners, songs aplenty, Peter Shilton and just sixteen miles between us.
Derby, in both name and nature.
Earnshaw, a Red and a Ram, with Robert relied upon to deliver when it mattered most.
Richard Keogh, the pantomime villain, road – heading out on – for an end result which will hopefully deliver no red cards, but quite often does.
Brian Clough, a legend for both teams with his name on the silverware up for grabs, and Ben Osborn, born in Derby but forever remembered for downing them.