Collymore: “I never had a pineapple on my head!”

I certainly made the right choice this evening, instead of going to the City Ground to watch Forest slump to a by-all-accounts embarrassing 3-2 defeat to Peterborough United in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, I headed into Nottingham to The Approach to enjoy an evening in the company of a certain Stanley Victor Collymore.  And I have to say it was a top top night.

Before I recount it, as a fan of a certain age I can categorically say that Stan is the most complete and entertaining footballer I have ever had the honour to cheer on in a Forest shirt.  To me, too young to witness the true heights Forest have once scaled, he epitomised a monumental immediate-post-Clough era which cemented my love of football into my psyche.  He ranks almost as high as Stuart Pearce in my league of ‘best players’, despite only having two seasons with us and leaving under a cloud.

I realise immediately some readers are bristling over the “add comment” option, phrases like “greedy bastard” and “traitor” possibly not far from your keyboards, but given the pre-Bosman circumstances at the time, I think we have to remember that in those days before uber-player-power, it took two to tango in transfer dealings, and frankly, if Forest had wanted to keep hold of him, we could have – we elected instead to cash in and buy Andrea Silenzi.

So anyway, having arrived at the venue Stan was already there holding court at the bar, and having grabbed a few words I have to say that he’s a charming and genuine seeming guy.  Given his tumultuous relationship with the press off the field I imagine he’s had a few lessons in humility, but he was warm and funny both on and off the stage – a genuinely intelligent and witty chap, who makes an excellent subject for the ‘An Evening With..’ format.

I won’t go into massive details about “what was said” – he recounted happily his times with the Reds, pointing out it was his most productive time as a player – and consequently, with hindsight, perhaps his happiest.  He joked about his ‘Spice Boys’ skullduggery whilst he was with Liverpool, and was even happy to talk us through his introduction to the world of dogging – to very amusing ends!  The first part of the evening following a pre-planned session with the talented-yet-strangely-punchable Darren Fletcher formerly of Century 106.

There were a couple of amusing revelations, my favourite being that it was our very own Neil Lennon who suggested to him that setting off a fire extinguisher in La Manga having just joined Leicester City under Martin O’Neill was a good idea.  Not really surprising I suppose, but quite amusing!  He also made reference to the recent shenanigans over at LTLF when a petition was started to get him to come back, he evidently met the chap who started it because he pointed him out from the stage, and spoke of posting over there with some of the Forest fans online at the time.

After a half-time auction of a signed team picture and a shirt, and a queue of people paying a tenner to have a photo taken with Stan, which he’d later sign, the session was opened to questions that could be jotted down on bits of paper on the tables in the venue.  My favourites were Stan’s revelations about who had the biggest “third leg” in his experience, the fact he ranks his second goal against Peterborough (how topical!) that got us promoted as ‘probably his best’, and not least that some poor fool in the audience appeared to think he and Jason Lee were the same person (hence the headline!).

All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable evening.  I do actually have access to a dictaphone recording somebody made, so I may dip into it and recall more details – his revelations about his cohorts on ‘The Farm’ were amusing.  “Well, he’s a big American dick” was his summary on Vanilla Ice, and of Rebecca Loos he simply said “she’s an old dog!”  Perhaps the revelation of the evening was that he was recalled to record his scene in Basic Instict 2 at Sharon Stone’s request, because she wanted to do it again with no underwear on!  Apparently his left little finger has “seen the light!”. 

I can’t think what he means!  A thoroughly entertaining night, and well worth forgoing an apparently abysmal cup performance – and if you feel you missed out, apparently he will be making another appearance at The Approach in January 2008.  So look out for that, I’d thoroughly recommend it for an entertaining evening – I’ll keep an eye out and post details nearer the time when I find out about it.