In the final part of our exclusive interview with Chris Cohen, the former Nottingham Forest star discusses what playing for the club meant to him and that famous goal against Ipswich Town.
Cohen played exactly 300 games for the Reds and served the club with distinction.
He was, and still remains, a popular figure among the supporters and the current under-23 manager thinks he knows exactly why that was.
He told Nottingham Forest News: “Hopefully the fans saw, and I think the reason why we had such a strong connection, was that when the going got tough I would always stand up and give it my all no matter what.
“I enjoyed some great times, some unlucky times and then some really tough times and throughout it all, hopefully, the way that I conducted myself and that way that I applied myself never changed. I hope the supporters saw that.
“I’d like to think that’s why the love and support I’ve always had from the fans has been unwavering because they always knew that regardless of my limitation ability-wise, I was always willing to run through anything to get a result for Nottingham Forest.”
One of Cohen’s finer moments in the red of Forest came on the final day of the 2016/17 campaign.
The Reds needed a win over Ipswich Town to secure Championship survival and in style befitting of such a man, Cohen was the man who stepped up.
With Forest leading by a goal to nil but in the bottom three on goal difference, Cohen swung his trusty left foot from outside the area, planting an unstoppable effort into the top corner of Bartosz Bialkowski’s net.
The 32-year-old would rather his moment had come in a promotion-winning campaign but nonetheless he had a feeling he’d get a moment of such importance.
He said: “I always felt like I’d have a big moment. I was hoping it might be a play-off final or a game to get promoted or something like that.
“It ended up being coming back from injury and helping the club stay in the Championship.
“The months and months of rehab were for that moment. I knew as soon as the injury happened for a third time that something special was going to happen.
“Knowing Forest’s history, it’s not going to be remembered for a long time but at that moment we all knew what a big achievement it was on that day.
“To have that as my leaving moment, realistically, was special for me and my family.”
For supporters of a certain age, Cohen will be remembered as a player who constantly came up trumps when it mattered.
He was instrumental during a 3-0 win over Manchester City in the FA Cup, scored a vital goal in a 3-1 win at West Brom and also opened the scoring in Forest’s play-off semi-final against Blackpool.
He thoroughly deserved his Ipswich moment as a send-off and it’s great that the club has recognised him as a man who can nurture the next generation of Forest stars.
Cohen is down to earth and modest and finished our chat with a message for the Nottingham Forest faithful.
He said passionately: “The relationship and the rapport I had with the fans was incredible.
“We never won enough. We had a promotion from League One but we never reached the Premier League which would have been an amazing achievement for me personally, but more importantly for the team.
“I had an amazing time at the football club. Obviously, I would have preferred for the injuries not to have happened but they made me better as a person and they’ll make me a better manager and coach in the future.
“I was able to play football at a truly amazing football club for 11 seasons and there’s not a lot of people who are able to say that.
Cohen’s under-23 side are currently top of their division this season and alongside Andy Reid, they make a formidable team.
The former maestro is a true gent of the game and even now, in his role as a coach, he is proving an asset to the football club.
Chris Cohen was speaking exclusively to Lee Clarke for Nottingham Forest News.