Cork's Patsy White on his lifelong love of Nottingham Forrest

Forest are off the Wembley this Satuday, one win away from a return to the Premier League
Cork's Patsy White on his lifelong love of Nottingham Forrest

Patsy White, outside his home in Crossbarry, wearing his Notts Forest satchel which is over 50-years-old.

IT'S just five days until Steve Cooper takes his Nottingham Forest side to Wembley Stadium for the club's first-ever play-off final, as they look to make it back to the Premier League.

Cooper's side reached the Championship play-off final after beating Sheffield United 3-2 on penalties.

Forest went into the second leg of the semi-final with a 2-1 aggregate lead and they extended their advantage early in the first half through Brennan Johnson.

Sheffield United, however, clawed their way back into the fixture with two goals in the second half from Morgan Gibbs-White and John Fleck to force extra time as both sides were tied 3-3 on aggregate at full-time.

Neither side could find a winner in extra time however, Forest went on to win the penalty shootout and now Forest are aiming to end their 23-year exile from the Premier League since suffering relegation in 1999.

Nottingham Forest players react during the penalty shootout win. Picture: Zac Goodwin/PA Wire.
Nottingham Forest players react during the penalty shootout win. Picture: Zac Goodwin/PA Wire.

Steve Cooper's side will play Huddersfield Town at Wembley on Sunday, and I caught up with one of their biggest supporters, who lives in Crossbarry: Patsy White. 

Patsy has supported the club since 1970 and here he tells us about his reaction to the semi-final win and his hopes of seeing his beloved Forest playing back in the Premiership.

“The semi-final win over Sheffield United was absolutely amazing but not great for the heart,” laughs Patsy.

“I watched it at home with my daughter Tracy and I went through every emotion there possibly could be. I had aches, pains, nerves and the blood pressure went through the roof but it was worth it all to advance to the final. 

"I didn’t have my voice back for two days but ever since I haven't stopped talking about the win and how much I’m looking forward to this weekend's cup final. I can’t wait.” 

Patsy White, outside his home in Crossbarry, wearing his Notts Forest Satchel which is over 50-years-old.
Patsy White, outside his home in Crossbarry, wearing his Notts Forest Satchel which is over 50-years-old.

Patsy, a gent, is well known and loved in his local area. A founder of Knockavilla Celtic where he played many roles within the club, Managing the club to many great successes. 

A keen follower of all sports, but mostly known for his love and dedication for his five children, daughters Pamela, Marie, Lynda and Tracy, and son Keith, RIP, and 13 grandchildren, here he tells of the importance of sport in his family.

“I love all sports and I love being active in general. I try to walk five miles at least a day. It’s great for the body and mind. 

I’ve had brilliant years involved in sport, my best being memories with my late son Keith who was a super player and gave me plenty to smile about when he played. 

"As a club we competed in the West Cork league for a few years before moving to the Cork AUL Division 3 in 2001 going on to win the County Cup, St Michael's Cup and the AOH before folding in 2012 while finishing in the Premier Division. 

Patsy White with his Knockavilla team. Included is his late son Keith White.
Patsy White with his Knockavilla team. Included is his late son Keith White.

"The kids and grandkids have a huge interest in sport and I love that because I think it’s really important to have some sort of hobby or interest. I now enjoy watching the grandkids and also my beloved Forest.

“It’s been a real mix of a year. At the beginning of the season, I did not hold out a lot of hope until the sacking of manager Chris Hughton."

It’s hard to believe we were bottom of the table in the month of September. 

"In came Steve Cooper and off we went. What a manager he is. Up there with the likes of Brian Clough.

“Overall we’ve had a great cup run and climbed up the league table and now here we are back at Wembley on Sunday. It’s going to be a tough game against Huddersfield and could possibly go all the way to penalties. 

It would be amazing to play back up in the Premiership. We deserve to be there. 

"We are a huge club with a great history and it would be a dream come true to get back up there. If we do get there obviously we will need to sign a few players in order to compete and to keep Cooper as manager would be a massive bonus.” 

Nottingham Forest manager Steve Cooper celebrates. Picture: Mike Egerton/PA Wire.
Nottingham Forest manager Steve Cooper celebrates. Picture: Mike Egerton/PA Wire.

An avid supporter since a child, with John McGovern and Stuart Pearce being his favourite players, the 67-year-old knows just a few Forest supporters locally but he knows they'll make plenty of noise on Sunday.

DEDICATED

“There aren't a lot of Forest supporters I know locally however there are the Sullivan and Butlers from Inishannon, Kiely family from Castlelack, and of course, there’s my own family in particular the grandkids who I’ve turned into big fans," laughs Patsy.

“I am really looking forward to Sunday. A huge day for us. Let’s hope it can be a positive one. While I expect the final to be a close contest, hopefully, Huddersfield will feel the fear factor against a club that was feared in the past. I still believe we have that in us."

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