Book 25 of 2022

‘Reds & Rams’ by David Marples

Now, this is not a book I would normally read, and to be completely transparent, I know the author. Dave, a lovely fella, despite the fact he supports Nottingham Forest. When I say he supports Forest, he really does support Forest.

So, the book. I liked it. Unexpectedly so. Over the years I’ve had my fill of Brian Clough and the European Cup. This book is different: it’s about the rivalry between two teams. In fact, it could be any two teams.

Of course it’s full of Forest versus Derby stats and facts, but also societal, political and cultural references that have made this rivalry very interesting to read about. I never really realised the amount, of players and managers that went to and fro between the clubs.

Also, when you squeeze 150 years of history into 426 pages it makes you understand what a ridiculous merry-go-around of managers and owners these football clubs experienced.

Having said all that, it is a book about rivalry, every team has their rivals.

Regardless of class, race, gender, sexuality or any other identity marker, willing your team to win and the other to lose transcends everything. If your team can’t win, then the next best thing is for the other lot to lose.

David Marples, ‘Reds & Rams’