Stuart Pearce returns to Nottingham this September
The legendary Nottingham Forest hero will be appearing at Nottingham Royal Concert Hall to have photos with fans before a live interview on stage with Nottingham’s finest sports radio presenter Colin Fray who knows everything there is to know about The Reds and will have some great questions to put forward to Stuart.
Stuart is highly rated at Forest as one of their biggest ever legends and certainly one of the best players to ever play for the club and he is looking forward to coming back to the city to see the fans and he can’t wait for the season ahead.
As a player, Pearce played as a defender and appeared for Wealdstone, Coventry City, Nottingham Forest, Newcastle United, West Ham United and Manchester City in a career that spanned twenty-two years. He is best known for his twelve-year spell at Forest, where he regularly captained the team and became the club's most capped international, making 76 of his 78 appearances for England while with the club and captaining the national side on nine occasions.
Back in 1985, Pearce was brought to Nottingham Forest by manager Brian Clough. Pearce was the makeweight in a £300,000 deal that saw Coventry centre-back Ian Butterworth move to Forest. Indeed, so unsure was Pearce of his footballing future that, after the transfer, he actually advertised his services as an electrician in Forest's match-day programme.
Pearce spent twelve years at Forest, most of it as club captain. During his playing career, he won two League Cups and the Full Members Cup, while also scoring from a free-kick in the 1991 FA Cup final, when Forest were beaten by Tottenham Hotspur. In his time at the City Ground, Pearce was one of the Forest players who had to cope with the horrors of the Hillsborough disaster during the opening minutes of their FA Cup semi-final against Liverpool. Pearce played in the rescheduled match at Old Trafford, which Liverpool won 3–1. He helped them finish third in the league that year (as they had done a year earlier), and also contributed to their victories in the League Cup and Full Members Cup. He helped them retain the League Cup a year later and in 1991 he had his first crack at the FA Cup, and despite giving Forest an early lead against Tottenham in a match most remembered for the knee injury suffered by Pearce's opponent Paul Gascoigne, Pearce ended up on the losing side as Spurs came back to win 2–1. He missed out on a Wembley appearance the following season as Forest lost 1–0 to Manchester United in the 1992 League Cup final.
In 1993, Forest were relegated from the Premier League and Brian Clough resigned after 18 years as manager, but Pearce opted to stay at the City Ground and captained Forest to an instant return to the top flight as Division One runners-up. He helped Forest finish third in the Premier League in 1995 and reach the UEFA Cup quarter-finals in 1996.
In 1996–97 season, Forest struggled in the league and manager Frank Clark resigned in December, which saw 34-year-old Pearce appointed caretaker player-manager of Forest in December 1996. His first match in charge was at home to Arsenal in the league. He admitted in an interview with Match of the Day that, in his first attempt at picking a starting XI, he did not realise until it was pointed out to him by his wife that he had omitted goalkeeper Mark Crossley. Forest, however, won the match 2–1, coming from behind after an Ian Wright goal with two goals from Alfie Haaland.
Despite winning Manager of the Month award in January 1997, he would later share the caretaker role with Dave Bassett, and Forest were relegated, finishing in bottom place.
Pearce opted to leave the club on a free transfer at the end of the 1996–97 season after 12 years at the City Ground.
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