Ben Osborn sends Nottingham Forest fans message after 'emotional' transfer to Derby County

Ben Osborn says he hopes Nottingham Forest fans will understand his decision to cross the East Midlands divide and sign for traditional rivals Derby County.

The 29-year-old has put pen to paper for the Reds’ arch-rivals as a free agent after leaving Sheffield United. It comes five years after he left the City Ground with more than 200 appearances in the Garibaldi under his belt.

The move means Osborn has come full circle. He started out at Derby as a youngster before he was let go and went on to progress through the ranks at the Nigel Doughty Academy.

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“It’s been five years since I left Forest. I left on OK terms,” he told Rams TV. “I carried on wanting them (Forest) to do well when I was at Sheffield United. They gave me everything, really. They picked me up when Derby let me go and gave me a career. I owe a lot to them as a club and the people there especially. It’s all about the people, really, rather than the club.

“I think most will understand my decision in coming here. There is always going to be a stick and rivalry because it is what it is.”

Osborn says signing a two-year deal for the Rams has been an “emotional rollercoaster”. His father was a lifelong Derby fan but recently passed away.

“My dad was a huge Derby fan his whole life. When I went to Forest things got a bit messy for him,” he said. “He unfortunately passed away a couple of months ago. It’s been emotional that he’s not seen me play for Derby.”

He added: “I played here when I was really young, got released and went to the other side of the A52 for a number of years but still remained a Derby fan until I started getting close to the Forest first-team. It all got a little muddled up then! I’ve gone full circle, it’s been emotional but I’m really excited to get going.”

The move also stirs up memories for Osborn of his famous Forest goal in enemy territory. He sparked wild scenes of celebration from the visitors when he bagged a late winner at Pride Park in January 2015.

“I think you can tell by my reaction, I was just completely overwhelmed. That’s when my whole life sort of really changed from there,” Osborn said of the memorable moment.

“It was amazing at the time. Every time I bump into a Forest fan, they still bring it up. It’s nice to have that moment.”

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