John Robertson

Nottingham Forest goalscorer John Robertson celebrates after his side's victory over SV Hamburg in the European Cup Final at the Bernabeu Stadium in Madrid. 28th May 1980. Pic courtesy of Mirrorpix.

Nottingham Forest goalscorer John Robertson celebrates after his side's victory over SV Hamburg in the European Cup Final at the Bernabeu Stadium in Madrid. 28th May 1980. Pic courtesy of Mirrorpix.

Still regarded as one of the greatest players in Nottingham Forest’s history, Brian Clough once said of John Robertson, "Give him a ball and a yard of grass, and he was an artist: the Picasso of our game."

Born in Uddingston, Glasgow, Robertson played his youth football in Scotland, before moving south to join Nottingham Forest in 1970.

Initially out of the first team picture, Robertson’s career at the club took off following the arrival of Brian Clough as manager in 1975. Excelling as a left winger, Robertson remarkably appeared in 243 consecutive games for Forest between December 1976 and December 1980.

A player often delivered in big games, Robertson scored the winning goal in the League Cup final replay against Liverpool in 1978 and, the following year, supplied the cross for Trevor Francis’ winner in the European Cup final against Malmo. Perhaps his crowning glory came in 1980 when Robertson scored the goal which retained the European Cup against Hamburg.

John Robertson with his National Football Museum Hall of Fame award.  Picture © Jason Lock Photography

John Robertson with his National Football Museum Hall of Fame award.
Picture © Jason Lock Photography

Robertson made almost 400 appearances for Nottingham Forest in total, over two spells. He also spent two years at rivals Derby County and made 28 international appearances for Scotland.

John McGovern, who captained Robertson at Forest, offers this assessment of his team-mate; "John Robertson was like Ryan Giggs but with two good feet, not one. He had more ability than Ryan Giggs, his ratio of creating goals was better and overall he was the superior player."

Inducted to the National Football Museum Hall Of Fame in 2016, Robertson's award was presented by his friend and former Forest and Scotland team-mate John O'Hare alongside PFA Chief Executive Gordon Taylor. From the stage, Taylor suggested Robertson's talent meant he should be mentioned in the same terms as Finney and Matthews when discussing British football's greatest wingers. No-one who saw Nottingham Forest conquering Europe would disagree with that.

Clubs: Nottingham Forest, Derby County
Honours: 2 European Cups, 1 First Division, 2 League Cups, 1 European Super Cup
Caps: 28 (Scotland), 8 goals
Inducted: 2016