To Nottingham Forest fans of a certain age, Andy Reid will undoubtedly be considered as the most naturally gifted footballer to ever don the Garibaldi.

For me, as a 33-year-old supporter, I struggle to think of another player who has shown grace, technical ability and brilliance quite like the twinkle-toed Irishman.

I always remember his debut. Sat in the Main Stand, right by the tunnel we saw Reidy head down in after the warm-up and couldn’t quite believe how young he looked.

Nottingham Forest v West Ham United - FA Cup Third Round
(Photo; Laurence Griffiths; Getty Images)

He was 18 at the time and handed a start in attack alongside Jack Lester during a game against Sheffield United.

Forest, led by David Platt won the game 2-0 with Reid scoring a neatly taken second goal – a talented youngster firmly on the way to stardom at the City Ground.

With that in mind, I couldn’t produce this feature on my favourite goals and not include at least one of Reid’s crackers. Narrowing it down to just one proving the tricky part.

I’ve plumped for a YouTube classic and one that taking everything into consideration must go down as one of the best he scored for the Reds.

During the 2002/03 campaign West Ham and been relegated from the Premier League and that meant a mouth-watering tie with the Hammers the season after.

Naturally, their team still boasted real class. They would go onto make the play-offs that year before losing out to Crystal Palace.

Forest headed south to Upton Park looking at a thankless task to thwart a side who only months previously had been playing in the top-flight.

The Reds actually drew the Hammers in the FA Cup during 2002/03, with Reid scoring in a 3-2 defeat and he seemed to relish a trip to East London.

 

Thanks to Reid in October 2003, however, Forest got off to the perfect start and what a beauty of a goal it was.

Audacious

The winger picked up the ball around 30 yards from his own goal and a quick pirouette left Rob Lee for dead and massively out of position.

As he advanced down the pitch akin to a racehorse closing in on the finish line, he danced past Hayden Mullins; leaving the Hammers defender on the floor in a heap.

With no real options on Reid decided to fire one towards goal and with the outside of his boot lofted an audacious effort past the stranded David James.

The reaction of the former England stopper was priceless. A look on his face that said ‘why on earth have we let him do that after five minutes of the game?’

A Jermain Defoe goal in the second half meant that Forest would have to settle for a point. In fairness, however, that would have been most welcomed prior to kick-off.

The West Ham line-up that day included Defoe, James and Michael Carrick but it was to be Reid who would steal the show with his early effort.

Nottingham Forest v Watford - Sky Bet Championship
(Photo; Laurence Griffiths; Getty Images)

Forest would go onto finish 14th that season with Reid firing 13 goals despite a struggle for the Reds.

The current under-23 manager was a player who epitomised what playing for the football club should be all about.

During his second spell at the City Ground he was a leader in the pack and was often found wearing the captain’s armband.

Reid has been a jewel in Forest’s crown for many, many years. With that in mind, there should always be a place for people like him at the club.

Nottingham Forest v Blackpool - Sky Bet Championship
(Photo; Tony Marshall; Getty Images)
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