I am no authority on Nottingham Forest but I’d like to say a few words about Nigel Doughty owner of the Trentside club who passed away at his home yesterday at the young age of fifty-four.
Nigel by all accounts seemed a very decent man and although fabulously wealthy, never one to flaunt that wealth. I read a nice story about him today which told of him catching the Saturday afternoon train into Nottingham to watch his beloved Reds and walking from the station to the ground with the fans. This seems to typify the man. A true lifelong Nottingham Forest fan, perhaps latterly some of his decision making was questionable but he did an awful lot for Forest over a period of twelve or so years at the club and didn’t deserve to be spoken about the way he was by a vocal minority. I was much in admiration of the man as a hands-on owner with his heart definitely in the right place. Also a man who was a great supporter of charities
We know that football supporters can be fickle, I think many more appreciated him than didn’t, but when you look at some of the abuse he got, particularly towards the end when I feel he was hounded out of the Forest stewardship a little, you really wonder why on earth anyone would bother.
Nigel Doughty didn’t get every decision right for Forest. I believe for instance that he bitterly regretted the parting of the ways of Billy Davies and the club. He was served badly by several managerial appointments (not Davies) in my humble opinion. A lot of the money he made available to the club was squandered on mediocre players, particularly but not solely by David Platt, leading to the forming of the ‘transfer acquisition panel’ headed by David Pleat The TAP to me seemed unwieldy, dysfunctional and crucially, headed by somebody who should have been shown the door. Maybe I’m wrong but as an outsider that’s the view I perceived.
There appeared a lot more to Nigel Doughty than being the Chairman of a football club. He was a philanthropist, a decent and kind family man and as was said earlier, a man of the people, in spite of his vast fortune. He took over Nottingham Forest because he was a fan all of his life an he loved the club.
There might well be one or two Forest supporters, not the majority I hasten to add, having a little look at themselves today – and where their club goes from here. The point about what happens regarding the cool 100 million he loaned to the club might be the first question on a few people’s lips. Now is the time however to commemorate one of Nottingham’s finest sons. Life’s work well done.
Thoughts go to his loved ones.
Rest in Peace Nigel.