15:58, Fri 12 Oct
Reading this on F365 and have to say I knew nothing about it - I thought he went straight from us to Forest and had no idea about his time in America.

Most will know that many of Trevor Francis’ England caps came during his spell in Sampdoria, but he also earned a couple of call-ups while on a weird kind of loan with NASL side Detroit Express. He headed to America at the end of the 1977/78 season with Birmingham, returned to become the first £1m footballer with Nottingham Forest in February 1979, then went back to Detroit that summer, never fully losing his grip on an England place.

Can any of our more "experienced" posters fill us in on what led him to go from us to America before being sold to Forest?
DES
16:03, Fri 12 Oct
$$$$$$$

as an aside, i've got a pair of custom made adidas trainers in detroit express colours and badge with TF's number (20) on the heel
16:05, Fri 12 Oct
Pigeon
Reading this on F365 and have to say I knew nothing about it - I thought he went straight from us to Forest and had no idea about his time in America.

Most will know that many of Trevor Francis’ England caps came during his spell in Sampdoria, but he also earned a couple of call-ups while on a weird kind of loan with NASL side Detroit Express. He headed to America at the end of the 1977/78 season with Birmingham, returned to become the first £1m footballer with Nottingham Forest in February 1979, then went back to Detroit that summer, never fully losing his grip on an England place.

Can any of our more "experienced" posters fill us in on what led him to go from us to America before being sold to Forest?

He played over there in our close season,yet today ,players complain about being tired.
16:07, Fri 12 Oct
I think it was a case of us wanting to keep him happy, and perhaps making a few $$$$$ on the side. He signed a two year agreement, and so Forest had to let him go in the summer of 79. You can imagine how Cloughie felt about that!

The fact that it didn’t keep TF happy (he left six months after getting back) and that there weren’t too many who followed in his footsteps goes to show that it wasn’t the greatest idea in the world.

Unless you were involved with Detroit of course!
Come on you Blues
16:08, Fri 12 Oct
DES
A_n_E
$$$$$$$

as an aside, i've got a pair of custom made adidas trainers in detroit express colours and badge with TF's number (20) on the heel
He still wears them.

A_n_E - always at the forefront of fashion.
Come on you Blues
DES
16:14, Fri 12 Oct
They've not been worn yet. They were only made earlier this year.

I've still got the sports Argus special from when tf went over. I'll see if I can dig it out later
16:17, Fri 12 Oct
Yeah, that was pretty much it.

He'd had an offer to go somewhere else...Coventry of all places I think, but we offered to let him do the NASL gig on top of his Blues contract and that made him better off than going elsewhere.

As you say though, he didn't stay that much longer in any case. And he would have left sooner if Sir Alf had had his way because he wanted to sell him and Gallagher and use the money to strengthen other areas. So when Ramsey didn't get his way he buggered off as well.
16:18, Fri 12 Oct
Sir Heisenberg
I think it was a case of us wanting to keep him happy, and perhaps making a few $$$$$ on the side. He signed a two year agreement, and so Forest had to let him go in the summer of 79. You can imagine how Cloughie felt about that!

The fact that it didn’t keep TF happy (he left six months after getting back) and that there weren’t too many who followed in his footsteps goes to show that it wasn’t the greatest idea in the world.

Unless you were involved with Detroit of course!

So was it a competitive league, or was it a bit of a knock about to make a few quid?

Seems crazy that a player would play all year round!
16:23, Fri 12 Oct
Depends what you class as competitive

They certainly had “talent” playing there.

Trev, pele, Marsh. There were loads of players out there
@Bluewurst1875
16:25, Fri 12 Oct
The NASL was trying to become a proper league - just look at the players the NY Cosmos had at the time.

There's a wonderful book about it I'd recommend:

[www.amazon.co.uk]

As said above, Trev went so he could earn more cash and still stay with us. Went over with Jimmy Hill as he'd arranged it (I have the Tiger annual from 1978 with an article about it in the cupboard).

I think he held a record for most goals in fewest games/per game.
Thongs
Number8 is the worlds best forum poster. FACT. End of chat.
DES
16:26, Fri 12 Oct
as part of the obscure facts thread, did you know jimmy hill was part owner of detroit express.
16:26, Fri 12 Oct
I do remember Jasper Carrott hosting an American team with cheerleaders and pre match entertainment during this period.
16:26, Fri 12 Oct
It had a lot of great players - mostly at the end of their careers. Beckenbauer, Cruff, Pele, Best and the likes. Francis was one of the bigger catches because of his age.

It wasn't great, they used to show highlights on World of Sport.

It overlapped with our season a bit.

Frank Worthington also played over there whilst at Blues, one season he didn't get back from America to start playing for us until well into September.

We played well and beat Man City 3 0 - Tony Evans got a hat-trick and Worthington was only on the bench. Frank came on and hit the post with a free-kick. Evans started that season like a house on fire but Smith dropped him once Worthington was back, which was harsh. But Worthington was a great player.
16:29, Fri 12 Oct
We played LA Aztecs in a home friendly , so you got to see Cruyff at St Andrews.

I think we also played the Tampa Bay Rowdies but I don't remember that one.
Thongs
Number8 is the worlds best forum poster. FACT. End of chat.
16:29, Fri 12 Oct
number8
I think he held a record for most goals in fewest games/per game.

Didn't he also have the record for being the most deadly player at that thirty yard one-on-one with the keeper thing they used if the game ended in a draw?

I seem to have that in my memory somewhere as well. Apparently he'd run through and buried it before the keeper had chance to blink.
16:31, Fri 12 Oct
He didn't do too badly either!

Wiki
Francis negotiated a secondment from Birmingham in 1978 to play for the Detroit Express in the North American Soccer League (NASL), where he scored 22 goals in 19 league matches

He went back in the first close season as a Forest player and scored 14 goals in 14 appearances. So 36 goals in 33 appearances when there were some very decent players out there in the mid to late 70s. Pele managed 31 goals in 56 appearances across 3 seasons for NY Cosmos.

Trev made the NASL team of the season in both of his stints out there. In 1978 he was named alongside the likes of Carlos Alberto, Franz Beckenbauer, Rodney Marsh and Giorgio Chinaglia. The following year he was accompanied by all of the aforementioned as well as Johan Neeskens and Johan Cruyff. Not bad company to keep!!
16:32, Fri 12 Oct
DES
A_n_E
They've not been worn yet. They were only made earlier this year.

I've still got the sports Argus special from when tf went over. I'll see if I can dig it out later

I recall seeing a photo of TF over there wearing a mainly orange kit
16:33, Fri 12 Oct
Some of us saw Cruyff at Wembley when Trev made his England debut.

We don't like to mention it though...nor the fact that Krol played as well. We're modest like that.
16:34, Fri 12 Oct
Always got one up, always... ;-)

I saw Batistuta at Wembley, that'll do for me.
Thongs
Number8 is the worlds best forum poster. FACT. End of chat.
16:35, Fri 12 Oct
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