Born in Nottingham Viv Signed as an Apprentice, Tall and rangy, he was universally known as “Spider” because of his long legs, which enabled him to win the ball cleanly in ever more unlikely situations. He was also quick, good in the air and no slouch when going forward.
Viv signed professional forms and made his debut in 1974, when he was 18. By 1976 he had cemented his place in the promotion team, and 2 years later his consistent excellence for Forest’s Championship winning side meant that he fully deserved the honour of being the first black player to win a full England cap.
After well over 400 games for Forest and a part in all of the great triumphs of his era, he left Forest for Arsenal in 1984. Eventually he became Alex Ferguson’s first signing at Manchester United, before a series of injuries led to a free transfer to Sheffield Wednesday, where he finished his playing career.
Viv briefly managed Barnsley, but his managerial career has mostly been as Bryan Robson’s no 2 at Boro. Given the fact that he is still only 5 years older than Forest’s current first choice goalkeeper, time would appear to be on his side if he ever wishes to branch out on his own again. Truly one of the all-time great Forest players.
Anderson was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2004 in recognition of his impact on the English league.
- Black football pioneers from Arthur Wharton to Viv Anderson and beyond – The Guardian
- England Caps – Viv Anderson