Manchester United treble winner, AC Milan founder, Forest European Cup winners, England manager and West Brom’s ‘king’ among nine Notts footballers who made it

Sky Bet Championship League Football - Barnsley FC v Leeds UTD 'Liam Lawrence heads up against Luke Murphy
Sky Bet Championship League Football - Barnsley FC v Leeds UTD 'Liam Lawrence heads up against Luke Murphy

Footballers from Nottinghamshire have made a big impact on the footballing world.

We’ve picked out nine of the county’s players to have made it big, including one half of a lethal partnership for Manchester United, the founder of Italian giants AC Milan and two of Forest’s historic European Cup winners.

Ex-England boss Graham Taylor has blasted the Sunderland defence

Ex-England boss Graham Taylor has blasted the Sunderland defence

This is just a small cross section of Notts’ footballing exports however – who would you say was the best?

Email sport@worksop-guardian.co.uk or tweet @GrahamSmyth

1. Andrew Cole

The striker from Nottingham showed real promise at Bristol City, before his first big move to Newcastle United.

Tony Woodcock

Tony Woodcock

He scored a remarkable 68 goals in 84 games for the Magpies, and then Manchester United came calling with a £7million deal.

Cole spent almost seven years at Old Trafford, and formed a lethal partnership with Dwight Yorke, playing a key role in United’s treble winning 1998/99 season.

He scored 121 goals for United, and then moved to Blackburn Rovers, where he hit the net 37 times in 100 appearances.

Spells at another six clubs followed, and Cole finished his career in his city of birth, playing 11 times for Forest.

2. Viv Anderson

A defender, born in Clifton, Anderson began his career with Nottingham Forest.

He won the European Cup in 1979, a year after making his England debut.

Anderson won 30 caps for his country.

His club career was a successful one, taking him to Arsenal, Manchester United, with whom he won the European Cup Winners Cup, and Sheffield Wednesday.

Spells with Barnsley and Middlesbrough came before his retirement.

Anderson was awarded an MBE in January 2000.

3. Graham Taylor

This ex England manager might forever be associated with Scunthorpe, where he grew up, but he was born in Worksop, Notts. And that was where he first experienced live football, watching Worksop Town.

As a player he represented just two clubs - Grimsby Town and Lincoln City.

But it was as a manager that he made his name, taking Watford from the Fourth Division to the First in five years, then from bottom of the second division to the Premier League in two seasons two decades later.

He managed England from 1990 to 1993.

4. Kris Commons

Celtic star Commons was born in Mansfield.

Four years at Stoke City started his career, before a move to Nottingham Forest.

And four years later he went to Derby County on a free transfer.

In January 2011, despite interest from Glasgow Rangers, he joined their bitter rivals Celtic.

The attacking midfielder has played well over 200 times for Celtic, and scored 90 goals.

Although he was born in Notts, Commons qualifies to play for Scotland through his grandmother who was born in Dundee, and has been capped 12 times.

5. Herbert Kilpin

Kilpin was born in Nottingham in 1870, and at the age of 29 founded AC Milan.

He had moved to Italy in 1891 to work for Edoardo Bosio, a textile merchant, and that same year Bosio founded the first Italian football club, Internazionale Torino.

Kilpin played for the team, becoming the first-ever Englishman to play football abroad.

After founding a club of his own, Kilpin became player-manager of AC Milan and led them to the national title in 1901.

He spent nine seasons at the club, making 23 appearances and scoring seven goals, taking the Rossoneri to two more titles in 1906 and 1907.

6.Tony Woodcock

This Eastwood man had a stellar career.

The striker began life in football with Nottingham Forest, winning the First Division and Football League Cup in 1978, the same year he was crowned PFA Young Player of the Year.

In 1979 he won the European Cup with Brian Clough’s Reds, along with another Football League Cup.

Woodcock went to 1. FC Köln for £600,000 at the start of the 1979–80 season and went on to score 28 goals in 81 matches for the West German club.

Terry Neill brought him back to England in 1982, Arsenal shelling out £500,000, and he was the Gunners’ top scorer for four seasons.

Five goals in a single game against Aston Villa made him a post-war record holder for his club.

1. FC Köln re-signed him in 1986 and he played out the rest of his career in Germany, finishing at Fortuna Köln.

Woodcock made 42 England appearances and bagged 16 international goals.

7. Liam Lawrence

Retford-born Lawrence began his professional career with Mansfield Town.

Five seasons with the Stags, culminating in a play-off final loss in 2004, earned him a move to Sunderland, for £175,000.

It was a successful first season with the Black Cats, winning the Championship title.

But their stay in the Premier League was short, relegation coming thanks to a then-record low of 15 points.

A loan move to Stoke became permanent in January 2007, and he once again found himself in a promotion-challenging team.

But it wasn’t until the end of the 2007/08 season that Stoke clinched a place in the Premier, finishing second in the league for automatic promotion.

Lawrence scored Stoke’s first home goal in the Premier League against Aston Villa.

But a bizarre ankle injury, sustained tripping over his pet dog, meant surgery and he missed most of the season, coming back to score winning goals against Blackburn and Hull, the latter securing Premiership survival.

Lawrence has also played for Portsmouth, Cardiff, PAOK, Barnsley, Shrewsbury Town and most recently Bristol Rovers.

He has been capped 15-times by the Republic of Ireland, scoring twice.

8. Jermaine Pennant

Another winger, Notts County’s Pennant was signed as a 15-year-old by Arsenal for £2million.

But discipline issues plagued him both with the Gunners and then Birmingham City, although he still managed to impress while on the pitch with the Blues.

Birmingham were relegated to the Championship in 2006, and Liverpool snapped him up for a fee of £6.7 million.

A move to Real Zaragoza was also hit by disciplinary problems and he moved back to England to sign for Stoke City.

Pennant had an unsuccessful loan spell with Wolves, and having played 52 times for Stoke, was released in 2014.

Indian Super League side FC Pune City signed him, and then Wigan brought him in during February last year, but he couldn’t stop them from being relegated.

Earlier this month Pennant went on trial at the Singapore-based football club, Tampines Rovers FC and has since signed a year-long deal.

9. Jeff Astle

A striker, born in Eastwood, Astle played 361 games for West Bromwich Albion and scored 174 goals.

Astle turned professional with Notts County when he was 17 and in 1964 he signed for West Brom for £25,000.

He became such a club legend he was nicknamed the King.

Scoring the only goal in the 1968 FA Cup final, he completed the feat of scoring in every round, en route to lifting the trophy.

In 1974 he left Albion to join South African club Hellenic. His final bow came with a brief spell at the non-league Dunstable Town where he teamed up with former Manchester United star George Best.

He also won five caps for England, but without scoring.

Astle died in 2002 from a degenerative brain disease, aged 59.