The team that praises Garibaldi returns to the greats of English football

Red sweaters like red shirts, a sense of belonging that has its roots in the time of the foundation: “The Garibaldi we wear proudly was made in 1865.” The slogan placed on the curve of Nottingham Forest’s most popular fans leads to the Hero of the Two Worlds, complete with an image of the legendary Italian patriotic leader buried in Caprera: “We have been wearing Garibaldi proudly since 1865.”


A fascinating historical-sporting link that leads to the birth of the Midlands football club, the “middle regions” in the heart of England. A University of Nottingham scholar Roger Bromley, a big fan of the Forest Reds, after a long investigation into the history of the team, clarified the origins of his relationship with Garibaldi. Decisive was the trip of the Italian general to England in 1864: the fame and enthusiasm around the Hero would have led up to 500,000 people to acclaim him in London Square. And widespread admiration convinced a group of young people from the Midlands to approach it with the baptism of a company that combined “bandy”, a kind of hockey, and newborn football (in Italy came only twenty years later brought by English enthusiasts). Thus was born in 1865 the Nottingham Forest Football and Bandy Club, which played at the Forest Recreation Ground Racecourse (currently the third oldest professional club in the world after rivals Notts County and Stoke City). There is no doubt about the color of the shirts: red Garibaldi, with an explicit dedication to the shirts of the protagonists of the Expedition of the Thousand. Fifteen pieces of flannel were bought which paved the way for the history of the Reds. In addition, there is not only the Nottingham Red Garibaldi: according to the reconstructions, some Forest jerseys were taken to form a new club in London, Woolwich, from which Arsenal was born in 1886. And the prestigious Northern Gunners of the capital still have a red band on his white T-shirt.


These are the days when the red Garibaldi shines again in the Premier League after twenty-three years of suffering in the Championship, our Serie B, or, worse, in the third series. A success that puts a club back in its place, the protagonist of one of the most important companies in the history of world football. In the land of Robin Hood, the popular hero born of the fusion of history and literature, who stole from the rich to give to the poor, in the late seventies the reds of Nottingham were the protagonists of a walk unrepeatable under the guidance. of the legendary Brian Clough. In 1976 the Reds finished third in the then Second Division, winning promotion to the top English league. A goal that could satisfy the Garibaldi team? Not even for a dream: in the first attempt – in 1976-77 – Nottingham Forest won the championship (their first and only), leaving behind all the great English footballers and gaining the right to participate in the Champions Cup, the current. Champions League. First participation and punctual victory, incredible, in 1979, which surprised the football world of the time. From Sherwood Forest to the legendary Big Ears cup, which these days is at home (for a change) at Real Madrid. But Nottingham’s incredible history did not end there: in the 1979-80 season the Reds returned to the starting line of the most prestigious European club trophy and returned to the final, repeating the success of the previous year and entering right to the history of football.


Since then there has been little satisfaction from the Garibaldi reds, with long dark periods that led the club to sink into the third series, League One, in the early 2000s. But now is the time to shine again among the England’s majors: Nottingham Forest is ready to make its history heard in the world’s biggest national tournament, challenging battleships like Manchester City or Liverpool: the people of the Midlands are ready to sell. his skin much to follow in the Premier League recovered after so much effort. And from the red stands of the City Field, Giuseppe Garibaldi will remind everyone who is the Hero of the two worlds that gave birth to Italy.

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