Toronto Blizzard vs. Nottingham Forest
July 31, 1980
Rare KICK Magazine game program for a July 31st international friendly between the Toronto Blizzard (1979-1984) and Nottingham Forest of England. A crowd of 34,187 – a new Toronto record for a soccer match according to the Canadian Press – turned out at Exhibition Stadium. Forest, under the direction of Brian Clough, was an international powerhouse at the time, two-time reigning victors of the European Cup (known today as the UEFA Champions League).
Clough wasn’t on hand this evening, having left the team in the care of his assistant Peter Taylor. Forest also played without their superstar striker Trevor Francis, English football’s first million-pound man. Francis was familiar to North American fans, having starred for the NASL’s Detroit Express in 1978 and 1979 while on offseason loan from his previous club, Birmingham City.
Toronto native Gordon Sweetzer, a first year player with the Blizzard, notched the lone goal for the home side. Nottingham Forest put three goals past Blizzard keepers Blagoje Tamindzic and Tony Chursky. The 3-1 decision was Forest’s loan victory on their brief pre-season warm up tour of North America, after draws against the NASL’s Tampa Bay Rowdies and Vancouver Whitecaps in late July.