The city’s main football team, Nottingham Forest, had been treading water since its brief glory days in the 1950s and lay in 13th place in the old Second Division when, in January 1975, a big-mouth young manager, the Jose Mourinho of his day, took charge – his name was Brian Clough.
Within five years he and the team had achieved something that will surely never be repeated – promotion to the top flight followed by the league title, and then two consecutive European Cup victories.
I was lucky enough last week to see I Believe In Miracles, a new film featuring contemporary archive footage (much of it unseen), a marvellous 70s soul soundtrack and new interviews with every player from that triumphant side.
All of this success was achieved with five members of the same team that were stuck in mid-table in the Second Division, most of whom went on to gain international caps and play in World Cups.
There was money spent – most notably the first-ever million-pound player, Trevor Francis – but as a whole it was arguably a fine example of managing finances, budgeting with what you already have and investing wisely, along with Clough’s peerless man-management ability.
Anyone who grew up around that time will have fond memories of what an incredible side they were and what a story it was, and it really is done justice here with a pacy and atmospheric film, with marvellous and often hilarious anecdotes from Robertson, McGovern and co.
It’s one of the greatest sports stories ever told, and something that all of us with a Nottingham connection are proud of.
I Believe In Miracles – written, directed and produced by Jonny Owen alongside Baby Cow Productions and Spool Films/Post, released nationwide on 13 October 2015.