There was some footage doing the rounds on Twitter recently of a Robert Earnshaw strike for Nottingham Forest at Pride Park.

It was a goal which gave Nottingham Forest their first-ever win at Pride Park and one which sparked mass debate among supporters.

This goal was on the list I compiled for this feature at the start of the season so whilst it’s fresh in everyone’s memory, I felt the time was right.

Earnshaw was a quality player for the Reds. He wore his heart on his sleeve, gave his all in every single game he played and perhaps crucially, he arrived at the City Ground with an open hatred for Derby County.

He had signed for the Rams following their promotion to the top-flight, yet struggled for game time as Derby set the record for the lowest ever points total in the history of the Premier League.

(Photo; Clive Mason; Getty Images)

One year after his move he swapped black and white for red and being totally honest, it almost seemed as though he did it out of spite.

After being treated in rotten fashion by Paul Jewell, what better way than to stick two fingers up at the Rams?

Earnshaw scored some memorable goals for the Reds and who could forget his celebration which followed.

Class

The sight of the imperceptible Welshman somersaulting his way into Forest folklore really was one for sore eyes.

Arguably my favourite goal of his came on a January afternoon at the home of our rivals.

(Photo; Laurence Griffiths; Getty Images)

A cagey affair didn’t really show any signs of having a winner.

It was the sort of game where one chance would undoubtedly win the day and when Billy Davies summoned Earnshaw from the bench, you sensed it might fall to Forest.

The man who so often came up trumps didn’t disappoint and as with most goals against Derby, the memory is so vivid.

 

It was in the day when Forest used to get allocated the entire stand at the back of the goal at Pride Park – around 4500 tickets.

I was sat just to the left of the goal as you look it from behind and remember the goal well.

Nathan Tyson caused problems for John Brayford all afternoon and with 11 minutes remaining he skipped past him once again.

With nobody in the box he opted to find Paul Anderson on the edge of the box instead.

It proved a little high for the winger to control and the only option he had was to cushion a header into the path of Earnshaw.

Instinctively the striker cracked a low effort beyond Stephen Bywater and into the back of the Derby net.

With Earnshaw there was none of this respectful no celebrating rubbish, he set off in full flight, somersaulting in front of the army of travelling supporters behind the goal.

(Photo; Laurence Griffiths; Getty Images)

I always remember that I didn’t know what to do when the ball hit the net. We had become accustomed to not really doing that well at Derby and instinctively I pulled the hat off the bloke’s head in front of me and just tossed it away.

I’ve no idea why but he seemed to take it in good spirits anyway!

Star qualities

After the game, Earnshaw adhered himself to the Forest supporters by staying on the pitch and orchestrating a rendition of ‘Robert Earnshaw is a Red’ with the supporters in fine voice.

Nottingham Forest's Welsh forward Robert
(Photo; ANDREW YATES; AFP; Getty Images)

The images of Earnshaw and Lee Camp arms aloft, Brian Clough Trophy in hand on the pitch at the end are special ones to Forest supporters – with both players having a knack of getting one over their former club.

The man who played 59 times for Wales goes down as one of my favourite strikers during my time watching Forest.

He scored 35 goals in 98 games and seemed to get the football club and understand what it meant to pull on the famous shirt each and every week.

(Photo; Laurence Griffiths; Getty Images)
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