The sad news about Forest’s owner passing away at the weekend has been quite the shock to the Forest supporting community, and of course beyond. Nigel Doughty was a man who I greatly admired, probably more for his philanthropic nature rather than as the owner of my football team. Being ensconced in a corporate environment that dabbles in good causes, it’s a real tightrope to support charities under a commercial banner without making my cynical-senses start to tingle.
It wasn’t like that with Nigel. He quietly and kindly backed charities like ChildLine generously, he funded the endoscopy unit at Newark Hospital and named it for his mother – all without fanfare, not for ‘PR’, just to put something back – to make the world a better place. I admire that greatly. Certainly his stewardship of Forest didn’t quite hit the targets all fans – and he was a fan – desperately hoped for, but it wasn’t for the lack of good intentions. £100m or so once the ongoing commitments over the next couple of years are met.
That’s a lot of money.
One phoenix from the ashes of this sad news is the initiative kicked off by my mate Paul, and picked up and run with with both Forest fans and beyond is the raising of more than £3,000 (with gift aid on top) for ChildLine in memory of him. What a tremendously fitting way for people to rally together and do some good in the name of somebody who has passed away. It’s always nice to have a bit of faith in humanity restored.
Naturally my and other fans thoughts and best wishes go out to Nigel Doughty’s family, friends and colleagues at what must be an awful time.
That said, of course life does go on for the rest of the world – whilst the weather put paid to the not particularly hotly-anticipated encounter Forest had with Derby at the weekend (normally it would be, but let’s face it, we’d have got a panelling!!) the Reds are back in action at the weekend. It’s bound to be a sombre atmosphere, but bejesus we could do with a win against Watford.
Indeed, in the light of sad news it reminds you to take the time out to live life – this week I’ve a good opportunity to hold true to this. Thursday night it’s off up to Warsop to see Ferocious Dog who are supporting Dan Donnelly and Jon Sevink, which will be great. A day off from work to follow (and a lift – so I can drink!) and Friday marks Night Light in Nottingham, and more importantly for us we’re off to see Billy Connolly. Hopefully the Big Yin doesn’t have a tantrum at hecklers and storm off stage!