Kevin Campbell recalls strike that rocked Nottingham Forest as promotion hero taken ill

Kevin Campbell in action for Nottingham Forest against Wolves in December 1997.
-Credit: (Image: Ben Radford)


People from across the football community are offering messages of love and support to Kevin Campbell after hearing that the former Nottingham Forest striker is unwell. According to the Liverpool Echo, the 54-year-old is in hospital after falling ill last week.

Campbell made 88 appearances for the Reds, both on loan and after a permanent move from Arsenal in 1995, scoring an impressive 36 times. He left for Turkey and Trabzonspor in 1998, just a short time after helping fire Forest to the Division One title, sparking an unlikely reaction from his City Ground strike partner Pierre van Hooijdonk.

Campbell and Van Hooijdonk scored 52 goals between them as Forest romped to the championship title, thereby securing a return to the Premier League. It was a feat the club would not repeat until Stever Cooper led them back to the top-flight in 2022.

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Reds fans were stunned when the club decided to sell Campbell - a decision that infuriated a fed-up van Hooijdonk who famously went on strike in protest and never played in England again after leaving the City Ground.

Campbell later recalled the incident and admitted he was still baffled by the decision to split a devastating front pair with Premier League football in the offing.

“I really enjoyed playing with Pierre,” said Campbell. “He was a fantastic talent and a good lad, and we had a fantastic dressing room at Forest.

“The pair of us together were the top-scoring partnership in Europe in the Championship and we were really looking forward to doing our stuff in the Premier League together. Then all of a sudden Forest accepted a bid for me.”

Supporters have rallied round, offering their support for Campbell, who also played for Arsenal and Everton during a hugely impressive career.

Fellow pro Trevor Sinclair wrote on X: Sending prayers, love & light to Kevin Campbell - absolutely lovely human.

And Reds fans were quick to pile in to, YouAreMyForest posting: “Sending best wishes to Kevin Campbell. Great player for #nffc - still confused as to why we sold him when we did. That decision was a big reason for our decline. Anyway, get well soon Kev. Keep fighting.”

Other Forest fans also had their say on X…

Mickey: Hoping & Praying for a speedy recovery for Kevin Campbell. One of the best…….#nffc We are all with you.

Alex: Fingers crossed for Kevin Campbell #nffc

Jarvalho: Thoughts with Kevin Campbell who has kidney failure. Fingers crossed something can be done #NFFC

Send your message of support to Kevin Campbell in the comments HERE