When you’ve laid claim to the number of trophies Nottingham Forest have during their illustrious history, there are bound to be plenty of legendary performers.

Largely the back-to-back European Cup-winning team are all regarded as greats but over the years there has been plenty of others.

 

What about the ones who fell at the final fence when it came to etching their names into the legendary territory at the City Ground.

These Forest players threw their scripts out of the window and scuppered their prospects of potentially becoming legends on the banks of the River Trent.

Kris Commons

A lifelong Forest fan it seemed that after the winger had guided the Reds back into the Championship, he’d become a second-tier star too.

Wrong. With his contract up, the skilful winger opted to head along the A52 and chose to completely burn his bridges by signing for Derby County.

(Photo; Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Commons could operate on either flank and during 144 games for Forest he netted 33 goals and registered 23 assists.

Forest struggled the following season without him and were in a relegation battle for a long time.

Had he stayed he could have got even better with Forest and he’d have adhered himself to his loyal supporters even more.

Instead, he moved to the Rams and will be forever ridiculed by supporters of the club he followed as a boy.

Gareth Williams

Williams a massive part of the Nottingham Forest team that reached the play-offs under Paul Hart during the 2002/03 campaign.

His midfield play was, at times, a joy to behold and there was a real sense that Williams would become a future Forest captain.

After coming through the academy ranks he burst onto the scene and made 142 appearances for the Reds.

Williams scored one of his nine goals for the club on the final day of the 2003/04 season during a 2-0 win over West Brom.

(Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

He raced off in celebration kissing the badge on his chest, lapping up the raucous away end who were in their raptures.

Williams seemed to be Forest through and through but just two months after pursing his lips and kissing the badge, he turned down a new contract at the City Ground and signed for Leicester.

A series of knee injuries curtailed his blossoming career and after leaving the Reds he only made another 81 professional appearances in five years.

Pierre Van Hooijdonk

The ultimate Nottingham Forest rebel was the lethal Dutch striker who fired the Reds into the Premier League during the 1997/98 campaign.

Interestingly some supporters don’t blame the talisman for going on strike due to the club selling his strike partner Kevin Campbell.

In doing so, however, he ruined any chance he ever had of earning legendary status on Trentside.

Van Hooijdonk scored 41 goals in 77 appearances for the Reds following his £3.5 million switch from Celtic.

Photo; Ross Kinnaird/Allsport

He was a club-record signing at the time and he looked every inch a player that could become a firm fan favourite.

During the title-winning season, he bagged 34 goals and at times proved unplayable to opposition defenders.

The man capped 46 times by Holland is arguably one of the most technically gifted players to ever play for the club and few would deny that.

Going on strike and ensuring Forest were relegated back to the Championship, however, curtailed his chances of joining other players before him as a Reds legend.

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