Stuart Pearce – The Church Of…

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I’d like to thank my mate Rich Fisher for giving me an advance copy of his book (signed by Forest legend (legend?!) Brian Rice – who has written the foreword).

The book is out on Monday and I implore you to buy it if you love football and have supported a team all your life.

I started supporting West Ham in 1970 and it’s been a life of misery, mostly! We won the FA Cup in ’75 and 1980 and nearly won it again in… er, I don’t want to think about that particular one too much.

I chewed my nails to the bottom listening (on the radio in Germany) to the rest of the Final in 1980 against Arsenal after Brooking scored his header.

“Surely they can’t!!”

I cried my eyes out in ’76 when we lost to Anderlecht in the Cup Winners Cup final. Oh man, how great that next day at school could and should have been.

Everyone who follows a team, other than teams that constantly win stuff, knows exactly what I mean. It’s like being in the trenches, you win the odd battle but it’s mostly just dirty and wet and unpleasant. Occasionally you get the chance to stop Man Utd winning the title or you knock one of the big boys out. It doesn’t last. But it’s worth it.

Rich’s book is all about this. What I love is his spirit and the infectious way in which he writes. It’s the sort of book you can leave on your coffee table and pick up at random and start from almost anywhere in it and half an hour later you are still sitting there chuckling away to yourself.

I’ve met few men like Rich. He takes out of life all he can get and his relationship with his team (and cheese) is exactly that. He is the ultimate supporter. He spent years writing the Forest Forever fanzine and was responsible for getting a fantastic statue of Brian Clough made in the City Centre. That statue was put there by the fans and not the council. It’s all in this book and so much more. It’s hilarious and you won’t be able to put it down.

I’m glad I met Rich in this life and I’m happy to say I was the first person to take him to the City Ground in style on the back of my motorbike! All I can say is:

“Rich, good work son, this should be a best seller. You Reds.”

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