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Anorak | On This Day In Photos: Nottingham Forest Make Birmingham City’s Trevor Francis British Football’s First £1Million Player

On This Day In Photos: Nottingham Forest Make Birmingham City’s Trevor Francis British Football’s First £1Million Player

by | 9th, February 2014

ON this day – February 9, 1979: Trevor Francis became British football’s first £1m transfer when Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest sign him from Birmingham City.

 

PA 143950 On This Day In Photos: Nottingham Forest Make Birmingham Citys Trevor Francis British Footballs First £1Million Player

Soccer – Football League Division Two – Sheffield United v Birmingham City – Bramall Lane. 17/04/1971
Date: 17/04/1971

 

The final fee was £1,180, 000, including VAT and £45,000 (5%) for Francis and the League Provident Fund for ex-footballers.

PA 11446751 On This Day In Photos: Nottingham Forest Make Birmingham Citys Trevor Francis British Footballs First £1Million Player

Birmingham City footballer Trevor Francis emerges from the City Ground in Nottingham after a five-hour meeting with, from second left, Nottingham Forest assistant manager Peter Taylor, secretary Ken Smailes, and manager Brian Clough, to discuss his possible move to Forest. Date: 08/02/1979

 

 

PA 721389 On This Day In Photos: Nottingham Forest Make Birmingham Citys Trevor Francis British Footballs First £1Million Player

Clough had been on the squash court when the deal was done. Well, so he said. His bright red jacket made sure he stood out. He was the real star of this show. 

 
Francis was joining a winning team. How would he fit in? Well, before Francis’s debut, Clough instructed him to “just give the ball to John Robertson – he’s a better player than you.”

Francis was being out in his place – which was often out wide on the right, away from his preferred central position.

 

PA 715693 On This Day In Photos: Nottingham Forest Make Birmingham Citys Trevor Francis British Footballs First £1Million Player

Soccer – Football League Division One – Nottingham Forest v Birmingham City
Nottingham Forest captain John McGovern lifts the League Championship trophy
Date: 29/04/1978

 

Forest were the Division One League Champions. Just one year before they had won the Second Division title.

Clough’s Forest were on a meteoric rise. They hadn’t finished yet.

To celebrate success in the league and the League Cup, Forest released We’ve Got The Whole World In Our Hands, in conjunction with local band Paper Lace. We need little excuse to play a football club’s song. Here it is:

 

 

Francis had played for England 11 times.

PA 7258443 On This Day In Photos: Nottingham Forest Make Birmingham Citys Trevor Francis British Footballs First £1Million Player

Soccer – Friendly – Brazil v England – Maracana Stadium
England team group line up before the kick off. (l-R) Brian Talbot, Emlyn Hughes, Brian Greenhoff, Phil Neal, Trevor Francis, Dave Watson , Ray Wilkins , Stuart Pearson, Trevor Cherry and Ray Clemence. Date: 08/06/1977

He was now wealthy young man. In addition to that signing-on fee, Francis received £80,000 from American club Detroit Express to play for them in the closed season as part of a £200,000 package over three years.

Francis had in 1978 cut a deal to play for the Express in the new North American Soccer League.

 

PA 7246447 On This Day In Photos: Nottingham Forest Make Birmingham Citys Trevor Francis British Footballs First £1Million Player

Detroit Express’ Trevor Francis (20) breaks past Ft. Lauderdale Strikers’ goalie Ian Turner (00), on the ground, with Strikers’ Colin Fowles chasing him in the first half of second round of the NASL playoff in Pontiac Silverdome, Aug. 16, 1978 in Pontiac. Francis was tripped up by Turner’s arm and lost control of the ball.
Date: 16/08/1978

 

 

The Express were co-owned by Coventry City manager Jimmy Hill. Coventry had offered Birmingham £900,000 for Francis. Hill was big deal in football.

 

PA 11226361 On This Day In Photos: Nottingham Forest Make Birmingham Citys Trevor Francis British Footballs First £1Million Player

Fashion – Tie Manufacturers Association Tiemen of 1975 – Playboy – London
Bunny Girl Carolyn Moore (r) with TV and sports personality Jimmy Hill who is one of the Tie Manufacturers Association Tiemen of 1975. Date: 23/04/1975

 

Assistant manager of Nottingham Forest Peter Taylor said: “We can afford to pay prices like this because of good management in the past.”

 

The previous record transfer fee of £500,000 was paid by West Bromwich Albion to Middlesbrough last December for David Mills. Remember him?

 

PA 570957 On This Day In Photos: Nottingham Forest Make Birmingham Citys Trevor Francis British Footballs First £1Million Player

 

 

Francis’s new manager was Brian Clough. He had point to prove, having been sacked by Leeds United in 1974 after just weeks in change. Clough was on a mission to succeed. In this wonderful episode, Clough meets his nemesis, Don Revie. I urge you to read David Peace’s book The Damned United.

 

 

Clough was a driven man. Francis would be one part of his master plan.


Did it pay off? Well Francis was part of the Forest team that won back-to-back European Cups in 1979 and 1980.

In 1979, Francis scored the winning goal v Malmo at Munich’s Olympic Stadium.

 

 

PA 339065 On This Day In Photos: Nottingham Forest Make Birmingham Citys Trevor Francis British Footballs First £1Million Player

 

In 1981, Forest sold Francis to Manchester City for £1.2. He played bis last competitive match for Sheffield Wednesday in 1991.

 

 

PA 1316167 On This Day In Photos: Nottingham Forest Make Birmingham Citys Trevor Francis British Footballs First £1Million Player

Former Birmingham City footballer Trevor Francis with his wife, Helen, and Nottingham Forest manager Brian Clough at the City Ground Nottingham after becoming Britain’s most expensive player.
Date: 09/02/1979



Posted: 9th, February 2014 | In: Flashback, Sports Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink

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