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Dirty Tackle

Nottingham Forest fan Stuart Astill misses his first game in 40 years

Ryan Bailey
Dirty Tackle

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The most dedicated football fan you are likely to see (linekermagazine.es)

The most dedicated football fan you are likely to see (linekermagazine.es)

The Nottingham Forest trophy cabinet may not have had an update in the past few decades, but under legendary manager Brian Clough they won two European Cups, a league title, four League Cups and plenty more. One man who watch watched Forest through all their glorious highs and Gary Megson-led lows is Stuart Astill, who has witnessed every single one of his team's games in the past 40 years.

Up until Monday, Astill had watched 1,786 consecutive Forest games, spending thousands on tickets and travel by trains, planes and automobiles across the UK and Europe. He last missed a game in 1973 when he was an usher at a wedding and has seen his beloved side play a staggering 2,534 times since 1956.

A foot infection couldn't keep him from seeing Saturday's 2-2 draw with Brighton, but sadly it ruled him out from a trip to Burnley on Monday. The Mirror quoted Astill before the 1-1 draw at Turf Moor:

Stuart, a retired British rail engineer, of Sandiacre, Derbys, said: “I’ll miss the atmosphere.

"I knew my run would end at some point, but I didn’t expect it to be now.

“It was unusual listening to the game on the radio.”

With Forest chasing a promotion play-off spot in the Championship, Astill has admitted he is not sure he could afford to follow his side through the Premier League next season. Yet something tells us that a man who has only missed two games since 1956 will find a way to fund extortionate away days at the Emirates and Stamford Bridge.

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