The London and Southern Counties’ Branch of the Nottingham Forest Supporters’ Club (“the Branch”) was co-founded in September 1977 by two enthusiastic Forest fans living in the capital, Robin Morris and Ron Rulton.
Potential members were acquired through advertising in Forest programmes, London clubs’ programmes when Forest was visiting them and a number of other football periodicals.
In addition, Robin and Ron made contact with the Association of Provincial Football Supporters’ Clubs in London (“APFSCIL”) whose committee also assisted with ideas to help launch the embryonic club.
From the work undertaken by Robin and Ron, sufficient interest was gleaned to make the formation of the Branch a going concern and all those showing interest were notified of an inaugural meeting to formally launch the Branch.
This meeting took place in the upstairs room of a public house in Wandsworth called the Foresters Arms on Tuesday 13th September 1977.
The room was quite full of interested parties with the club captain John McGovern and the NFFC Commercial Manager, John Carter also attending along with representatives from APFSCIL.
In his address, John Carter spoke about the great interest shown in Nottingham at the potential forming of a supporters’ branch in London and welcomed us as being the first official supporters’ branch to be formed from outside the normal expected catchment area of and around Nottingham. Of course, numerous others from around the UK and abroad have been formed since.
The APFSCIL representatives promoted the Association to the audience, fully emphasising the togetherness that signifies the Association and also the cheap group train fares available for parties of 10 or more travellers.
A Committee was formed from volunteers on the evening under the chairmanship of Robin Morris, with Ron Rulton opting for the job of travel secretary, a position he carried out with distinction for many years.
We had been notified that, for its first season, the Branch had to have a player as a president and, as this meeting was co-incidentally held on the same evening that Forest signed Peter Shilton from Stoke City, he was the only appropriate choice. He did actually visit us on one occasion.
Most, if not all the attendees on the night joined up, the two John’s stayed behind after the meeting to talk with groups of people and Ron immediately set about organising a train trip to Forest’s next Saturday home match.
The branch was officially formed and little could we have foreseen that evening what success and enjoyment was to come our way in the next three seasons with a League Championship, two European Cups, two Football League Cups, the Charity Shield and an unbeaten Football League run of 42 matches, the equivalent of a full season and a record that stood until broken during the 2003-04 season by the Arsenal “invincibles”.