With the current side bogged down in a quagmire of mediocrity, a readiness to wallow in the warm embrace of nostalgia is something you can excuse the contemporary Nottingham Forest fan. And Forest nostalgia – or Ost(Midlands)nostalgie as I have just christened it – has been rather fashionable this season thanks to Daniel Taylor’s book and Jonny Owen’s film of ‘I Believe In Miracles’, the story of the club’s meteoric rise in the late 1970s under Brian Clough to become champions of England and Europe.
Another worthwhile addition to the celebration of Forest’s golden era is ‘The Miracle Men’, a newly-released series of prints and postcards by the renown artist and illustrator Steve Gulbis. This labour-of-love project is Steve’s distinctive way of commemorating those unlikely back-to-back European Cup successes, and its peerless retro credentials, high production quality and fine attention to detail were always going to appeal to BTLM.
If you have seen Steve’s work spanning the past quarter of a century then the illustrative style here will be very familiar. Forest’s stars of the era are vividly rendered in his trademark 1970s story-strip style that manages to capture something of the essence of an era that was simpler and less cynical than the commercially dominated modern game.
We were especially impressed with the beautifully packaged box of 24 postcards, each dedicated to a member of the playing squad or coaching staff who contributed to those European triumphs. There’s also specific cards to celebrate the winning goals scored in each of the Finals by Trevor Francis and John Robertson.
As a wonderful reminder of happier times at the club, Steve’s ‘Miracle Men’ products are absolutely essential items for all Forest fans and a genuine pleasure for anyone else with an appreciation of football history, a liking for great artwork or even just a penchant for a great underdog story.
Do check out Steve’s ‘Miracle Men’ project and more of his work at the following locations: