BLOG: Meet the Menorca Forest supporters in tiny town of Mercadel

Saturday's defeat by Wednesday didn't hit me as hard as it normally would, because I had the pleasure of the drowning my sorrows with the Menorca Forest supporters group.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 13th September 2017, 1:43 pm
Updated Wednesday, 13th September 2017, 1:45 pm
The Menorcan Forest followers
The Menorcan Forest followers

Having rubbed shoulders with the New York City branch earlier this year I felt obliged to look up another amazing group of people who pledge their allegiance to my favourite football club.

I happened to stumble across these loyal, travelling aficionados at the City Ground last season.

The 1-1 draw with QPR was their first ever live game.

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Since that fateful day, we have remained in contact and their passion for Nottingham Forest is astonishing; especially when you consider that they were all avid supporters of FC Barcelona a few years ago.

Admittedly, they still have a penchant for the Catalan giants but their love for the Reds is undeniable.

So; how did five lads from the tiny town of Mercadel end up supporting Forest?

Toni Mora, 30, says it was a late calling, but one which has changed their lives.

“It all started when I read an onine article, I can’t remember if it was in Marca sport, about the possibility of Forest returning to the Premier League, because they had produced an unbeaten run of almost 20 games at the time (2010).”

The very fact that Toni and his amigos had chosen to begin their love affair with our failing club, a second tier club, is all the more endearing.

The other mercurial Menorcans are Josep Lluis (AKA Bis) 48, Xavi Segui 28, Alex Alacis 27 and Pau Carreras 30.

Toni proceeded to tell me about how amazed he and his friends were to discover that NFFC were back-to back-European champions.

“I thought who is this club that have two European Cups and are actually playing in the second division? What on earth happened? I started to learn more from blogs and Wikipedia.”

Toni enthusiastically recited his findings to his pals and received a tentative reaction: “At first, they thought I was crazy when I suggested that we travel to Nottingham to support this famous team in the Championship.

“But later, like me, their enthusiasm was contagious, following matches with huge smiles when we win.”

Having booked a late summer holiday to the island of Menorca was purely by chance, as my wife and I scoured the internet for a cheap deal before autumn.

As soon as my wife asked for my thoughts on ‘the small island’ I immediately conjured up a reunion with the amigos I first encountered on a cold November afternoon.

By pure chance, the resort of Arenal d’en Castell, where we were staying, was 8km from Mercadel.

Again by coincidence, Mercadel was to host the Festes de Sant Nicolau (Saint Nicholas Festival) the night of the Sheffield Wednesday match.

A celebration of horses that dance in the street, it’s a sight to behold and one I’d encourage many a Forest fan to see, along with a beer with the Mercadel Forest boys.

On chatting some more I was blown away to hear how they marvelled at Lewis McGugan’s wonder strike against Ipswich, play off heartache against Blackpool and Swansea, and also “How Brian Clough’s miracle was made.”

They rolled with laughter regarding their trip to the City Ground; firstly at the slogan of the very bar I met them in, The Southbank. They were very amused to see the adaptation of Barcelona’s motto, cheekily tweaked to read “Mes Que Un Pub.”

They also found the Nott’s accent somewhat confusing, asking why everyone would demand “bears” prior to the match; ah....Cerveza’s!

As I bring this piece to a close it’s because I’m off to meet the Menorca Forest supporters for the Sunderland match, courtesy of the iFollow stream that EFL clubs have provided this season.

Regardless of the result, I am proud to say that I watched it with the Menorca Forest fans.