1984 State Teams


Brian Clough's Nottingham Forest flew into Perth towards the end of May. It rained as they arrived. It rained while they were here. And it rained, I think, as they left. Although their controversial manager was not with his team in Perth, they were in fact just about the strongest side they could field. They came with an impressive list of both domestic and overseas honours. F.A. Cup Winners, League and League Cup Winners, European Cup Winners, U.E.F.A. Super Competition Winners, in fact over the last few years these visitors had joined the ranks of the immortals. Their line up was most impressive, and to match this, Alan Vest was given the task which was made all the more difficult by the fact that all of our players were to line up in local league competitions on the day prior to the big match.

The small Velodrome area looked packed as the two teams took the field; although sunny and bright at the time of kick off, ominous black clouds were building up out to the west and the game had just got under way when the district was hit by a storm that seemed close to cyclone intensity. The rain swept across the field in torrents, soaking everyone unfortunate enough to be without cover. Some indication of the storm's strength could be measured by the numerous "inside-out" umbrellas found amongst the debris on the next day. In spite of the atrocious conditions, the game must have been of high quality, for very few people left the ground. They stayed to see the Western Australian team face another storm in the shape of the Forest players.

Although the State side tried hard to match the skills of the visitors, they never seemed to have the same space and time to control the ball and formulate their moves. Strangely, W.A. scored first through Graham Normanton after the referee had penalised the Forest goalkeeper for taking too many steps. Normanton's shot was deflected past the goalkeeper for W.A. to take the lead, but this did not last long as first Davenport, then Gary Birtles scored.

After half time it was hoped that the gake force wind would assist the home side, but Swain and Bowyer sealed the issue giving Forest a well deserved victory. The team members were some of the most friendly we have had here. One innovative move by their manager was his decision not to do any training before the match at all; this threw the media into a spin as well as surprising all the local coaches, but he maintained the team had been playing football for over six months without a stop and did not need additional training. The result of the game proved his point.

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This page was last updated on the 24th February 2006