Florida-based Jordan Leeming has become the latest #faceofforest.A talented footballer who once represented our Academy, Jordan used to have a season ticket at The City Ground before he moved to California to pursue a football scholarship.
Now in Florida, where he is a children’s football coach, many would assume he is living the dream. But for Jordan, one key thing is missing.
“Right now I’m in the process of deciding whether I want to stay here for good or if I want to go home,” he says. “The big thing is, I love going to watch Forest with my dad. I like that time with him and it means a lot more when you take it away.
“A few months ago I lost my godfather, Colin Gent, who was a die-hard Forest supporter. He, along with my dad, is the main reason for me being such a huge fan. The next time I go to The City Ground will be emotional because he was a massive part of my life.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re half way round the world in the sunshine - spending time with your family and going to The City Ground means more than just nice weather.”
Jordan’s location means his opportunities to watch The Reds are restricted to trips home in the summer and over Christmas, although he did manage to catch a number of televised games last season. The ones he can’t watch he listens to on Forest Player.
But one game he can’t bear to miss is the 2014-15 season-opener, when a man who has shaped Jordan’s approach both as a player and coach takes charge of his first game as Forest manager.
Jordan says: “When I coach the kids I tell them all the time that ‘hard work beats talent unless talent works hard.’ It’s what the great Cloughie used to say, but Stuart Pearce epitomised it.
“He was my hero growing up. He had so much heart and determination, and that’s what I try to instil in the kids I coach.
“I have to be there for his first game.”
Jordan’s Forest factfile
How long have you been a season ticket holder? I was for six years before moving to America.
What is your favourite Forest memory? Nothing comes close to beating Derby 5-2.
What is your typical matchday routine? My dad and I always park behind the cricket ground, walk around to get battered sausage, chips and beans from the fish and chip bar and then head into the stadium. It sounds like nothing, but the walk to the stadium is my favourite part. The thought of what could happen, seeing my favourite team play. Love it.
Who is your favourite all-time Forest player? Easy, Stuart Pearce. With Stan Collymore and Chris Bart-Williams close behind.