Nottingham Forest’s remarkable homegrown record – 4,058 games and counting

At some point soon, it feels inevitable that Nottingham Forest will relinquish what should, if more people knew about it, count among their proudest records.

Ryan Yates might twist his ankle in training. He might take a kick, or be suspended, or he might fall out of favour. And then, almost unnoticed, that would be that. In selecting his squad, would Nuno Espirito Santo realise the significance of what it means?

Because, to let you into the secret, that will almost certainly be the day Forest break a sequence that goes back to October 1941.

In all that time – 82 and a half years, 31 changes of manager (not including caretakers), roughly 850 players – the club have included a homegrown player, or someone for whom Forest was their first professional team, in every matchday squad. In total, that’s a whopping 4,058 games. But, realistically, it is looking pretty vulnerable now Yates is the only first-team regular to come through the youth system.

All of which feels a pity given that Forest’s run is almost as impressive as Manchester United’s rather mind-boggling record of including a youth-team graduate in every first-team fixture, either in the starting line-up or on the bench, since October 1937.

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