Stoney: I was glad Cloughie retired!

Whilst Dobie (yes, him!) was busy firing Carlisle United back into second place at Crewe, I was blissfully unaware sitting in The Approach in Nottingham being merrily entertained by Chris Waddle and Steve Stone – both of whom were there as part of ‘An Evening with…’ format night with Darren Fletcher compering to a packed crowd.

Stoney quite bravely announced he was quite pleased Clough retired when he did, owing to the manager’s loyalty to Gary Crosby which prevented Stone from breaking into the side – which of course he did to some accolade under Frank Clark, and eventually enjoyed a promotion, a third place finish, England appearances and eventually another promotion under Dave Bassett before leaving us for Aston Villa.

Both guests provided plenty of entertainment over the course of the evening, initially interviewed individually by Darren Fletcher before being set upon by the questions written down by the audience during the interval.  Waddle in particular was very articulate and entertaining – particularly with his tales of the incredibly newsworthy Paul Gascoigne during their time together as England teammates, and as friends beyond their footballing careers.

The time when Bryan Robson injured himself by taking his toenail off during a ‘lifting up the bed’ prank after a sneaky piss-up prior to the 1990 World Cup was particularly amusing, the terrified Gazza being quizzed by Bobby Robson was very amusingly told by Waddle – who was rooming with Gazza at the time – brought plenty of laughter from the crowd.  Since I hold Gazza at least partially responsible for Forest’s current plight, it was hard to share the general sympathy being spat out from the stage for the recently certified lunatic.

Stoney too came out with a couple of pearlers – on the football front he recalled he, Scot Gemmill and Andrea Silenzi being substituted at half time in a friendly at Hastings, at which point the hapless Italian apparently turned to Stoney and said “I played with Careca, I played with Maradona, and now I’m shit!” – it’s a shame that Frank Clark hadn’t had that conversation with him before signing him!

My favourite revelations were probably Waddle talking about when he convinced Gascoigne on a Concorde flight to Saudi Arabia that a random passenger was Frankie Howard, leading him to end up stalking the man as far as passport control before announcing something like “Howay man, look how pretentious he is, he’s got a fake name on his passport!”, or Stoney admitting that when at Portsmouth he had Yakubu calling him shit for THAT open-goal miss against Reading!

The absolute highlights for me though were Waddle’s tale of Gazza’s revenge (he talked a lot about Gascoigne!) for Waddle hitting him in the face with a cake – which basically involved Gazza offering to make his teammate a coffee, which turned out to be spiked with the hotel toiletry selection.  And from Stoney, it was a tale of him indulging a fan and signing her breast in the Black Orchid in Nottingham only to find his wife walking past him!

All in all, a top night, so if you didn’t heed my call at the start of the month then you missed out!  I’m still intrigued to know what Stoney might have got upto in a Biffa Bin behind Ritzy’s back in the day – a crowd question asked it, but he was suitably coy as to not ‘fess up to anything on the night.  He also wouldn’t retract his claim on the Gary Charles own goal at the Baseball Ground all those years ago… some people have no shame!

11 Responses

  1. NFFC, sounded like a great night!

    I feel urged to type though following your ‘Gazza partially responsible’ for our plight; I have read your blog with great interest and enjoyment over the past 18 months or so you have been writing it and have never seen mention of this view; can you tell me why you feel this way?

    Now don’t get me wrong I was as gutted as every other Forest fan not to see the Reds lift the FA Cup for what will probably be the one and only time I see them in an FA Cup final in my lifetime but I think it’s going a bit far blaming our demise on that… or have I missed something?!

  2. It’s partially imbitterment, and partial blatant fantasising… and of course, the referee Roger Milford was the main culprit that day…

    .. however, my outlandish theory is that if Milford had sent of Gazza for studding Parker in the chest (which wouldn’t have been unreasonable!) then Forest would’ve gone on to win against 10 men Tottenham – of course, we would’ve been denied the freekick opportunity Psycho scored from after his second ridiculous challenge on Gary Charles…

    But, think of it this way, Gascoigne would’ve walked – Forest would’ve won the cup (assumptions abound, of course, but this is all about fantasy!)… Clough would’ve won that elusive FA Cup and retired – just as his health was starting to fail him, and we would’ve got in a new manager to enliven us rather than let us start to drop downhill.

    The unifying happy ending is Gascoigne would’ve had a chance to reflect on his stupidity and develop some professionalism that would’ve seen him maximise his potential and fulfill it in an England shirt – having never suffered the injury – seeing us at least qualify for 1994, and maybe go one better in Euro 96.

    I’m being over simplistic of course, and I don’t really blame Gazza at all – I blame Roger Milford 😉

  3. NFFC, you were right the first time. If it was not for Gascoigne then Milford would never have been put in the position he was. However because he started the game like a Tasmanian Devil the knock on effect was Milford bottled it. Which lead to what we all know. If Milford would not have bottled it then we would have won! Mr Clough would have retired and would have been knighted. We would have gone from strength to strength. Mr Clough would not have drank and would had lead a far more healthy and relaxed lifestyle. This would have obviously kept him alive for many a year.
    So yes it was Gascoigne’s fault !!!

  4. Spot on, attrocious ref who should have sent Gazza off that day. It was a horrid horrid tackle which robbed us of the Cup because of a dumb stupid ref who hadn’t the guts to send off Gazza because he got injured in that tackle (if memory serves me well). He should never been allowed to stay on, so much for learning though. Some refs just do not learn…

  5. In fairness to Stoney, he didn’t get that many goals, and as he got the final touch on Gary Charles’s admittedly goalbound ‘effort’, why shouldn’t he claim it?

  6. My memory of it (which is hazy – as I’d had a few beers, and the view from the Baseball Ground away end wasn’t the best) was that Stoney had the initial effort which clipped Charles to send it in… but I guess it could’ve been the other way around!

  7. Totally agree with you that Milford bottled it, and he is responsible for all our woes since. Well, apart from when Frank dragged us back then got the boot. And Hart.
    So on reflection, he fucked up, but the reason we are in this particular mess (and have been for some time) is incompetent top management of our football club. And Platt. So there.
    As for Charles’ goal (sorry Steve, but it just adds to his humiliation)…the best bit of that particular evening was our help in getting him subbed. Never before have I seen a player go into such meltdown due to the abuse. Quality!

  8. There’s plenty of pivotal moments if you think about it…

    Dismantling the European Cup winning squad to build the Executive Stand.

    The erosion of the relationship between Clough and Taylor.

    Liverpool fans getting us banned from Europe.

    Not replacing Sheringham.

    Our immaculate timing in being relegated just as money was streaming into the game.

    Not replacing Collymore (not that he was replaceable by anyone!).

    Allowing Scholar and the bastards in to sell Bassett’s team from under him.

    Employing David Platt and giving him money to spend.

    Not investing in Paul Hart’s side (although given the cash he did spend, perhaps that might be a questionable one!).

    They’re just the ones that occur to me off the top of my head… I’m sure there are plenty more!

  9. makes yer proud to be a red eh ?!
    you could not make it up

  10. I still say we’re only where we are now because we sold Bohinen to Blackburn for 250k

  11. interestingly, the Duncan Hamilton book says Cloughie was scared and the players knew it. I prefer to blame Gascoigne though.

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