'The scruffy fat lad who conquered Europe twice'

Pictures of John Robertson

John Robertson, in an elite band of Scots to have won the European Cup twice, is featured in the new series of BBC Scotland's Icons of Football.

Here, those who know him best look back on his illustrious career.

'The personification of Clough on the pitch'

Jonny Owen, actor, writer, producer and Nottingham Forest non-executive director

You can imagine what it’s like in Nottingham for John evermore, he is the man that won the European Cup for them the second time.

Nottingham Forest’s success in those five years, which is one of the greatest stories in the history of sport let alone football, is absolutely pivotal because of two people in my opinion, Brian Clough and John Robertson.

They are the men, on and off the pitch, who are connected, almost.

John is the personification of Brian Clough on the pitch, he played the way Clough wanted to play and knew exactly what Clough wanted.

There’s no debate, the miracle men [Nottingham Forest’s most successful side] all say our best player was John Robertson and they love him for it, there’s not a hint of jealousy.

'A story of hope and inspiration'

Mick Wormald, ex-BBC Nottingham broadcaster and journalist

The undoubted star of the show throughout that period of time for Nottingham Forest was John Robertson. This was acknowledged by management, team-mates, supporters and everybody who watched the game.

He never missed a game, he was consistent. He turned out week in, week out and did, usually, something magical.

In 1980, I’m sorry Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, John Robertson should have been the European footballer of the year.

The John Robertson story, I would suggest, is a story of hope and inspiration to an awful lot of people. After all, John Robertson was the scruffy little fat lad who conquered all of Europe twice.

'Get the ball out to John ASAP'

John McGovern, Nottingham Forest team-mate

It was quite easy to see that if you wanted to create something, just get the ball out to John Robertson as quickly as possible.

Any striker that came to the club knew that once John got the ball out there, they had to get into the penalty box and try get a yard’s difference between you and a defender because he will hit you a ball that is accurate.

All good players are consistent, obviously, but John was remarkably consistent. This guy may not have looked like George Best but he’s as good as him in every way.

In those European Cup finals, without John producing something out of the ordinary, we don’t win them. You could always rely upon him in situations like that.

'An iconic figure, absolutely'

Martin O’Neill, Nottingham Forest team-mate and manager at Celtic

He was a beautiful footballer who could play with both feet, terrific ability.

I keep getting back to this word, fulcrum. He very seldom missed football matches and we needed John to play every single one of those games. He’s played his part in footballing history, I think.

When you consider the things he’s won in the game, he’s an iconic figure, absolutely.

John coming back to Scotland to see his family was a really big thing for him. Very seldom would he have got home and he hears this opportunity to come home as an assistant manager [at Celtic].

John really enjoyed his role. He was a special partner, no question about that.

People, for want of a better phrase, bought into John, they really did. There was something about him.

The players had enormous respect for John as a player and anyone who was playing in his position would come and ask John for advice. I’ve heard of players now, top quality players in the Premier League, that have said that John was influential in his advice to him.

'You couldn’t stop watching him'

Sherrie Hewson, actress and Nottingham Forest supporter

It was a very short period of time that took John Robertson from a player into a superstar.

If you watch him, it’s an extraordinary experience. You couldn’t stop watching him because of the way he just darted and got out of everyone’s way. No one could get the ball off of him, then bang, it’s a goal.

John was special and became an icon because he had every attribute a footballer should have. He got guidance from Brian Clough, but John had the talent.