Nottingham Forest will be celebrating the life of paramedic Tony Chadbourne before Wednesday night’s match against Middlesbrough after he died from COVID-19.
Tony, 46, was a lifelong supporter of the club, having first started to attend matches at The City Ground with his brother Martyn and dad Michael in 1980, and served as a member of the emergency services since starting his career with East Midlands Ambulance Service in 1997.
The club will be remembering Tony’s life with the first-team squad wearing warm-up t-shirts featuring an image of Tony, a tribute to Tony in the matchday programme and dedications on social media and the big screen at The City Ground before the game, with both sides taking part in a minutes’ applause before kick-off.
Tony, known as ‘Chad’ or ‘Chadders’, started out as a Junior Red in the Main Stand before moving to the open terrace in the Bridgford End and starting to attend away matches. Tony’s favourite memories of standing on the Bridgford terrace included Johnny Metgod’s free kick against West Ham in 1986, Stuart Pearce’s free kick against Coventry in the 1990 Littlewoods Cup semi-final, and Des Walker scoring his only goal against Luton, with several visits to Wembley also among the highlights. He also started going to England matches over the last few years alongside brother Martyn, going to as many away matches as possible as he loved to travel and they attended the Nations League finals in Portugal in 2019.
A keen player for Keyworth United when he was younger, Tony also took up refereeing until his work commitments took priority. He started his career with the East Midlands Ambulance Service in 1997 in Lincolnshire as an ambulance technician before transferring back to Nottinghamshire and qualifying as a paramedic in 2007, working as a paramedic team leader at Beechdale Ambulance Station and since 2017 as a paramedic clinical operations manager at Newark Ambulance Station.
Tony worked on numerous occasions as a paramedic on matchdays at The City Ground, including the League Cup tie between Forest and Leicester in 2007 when Leicester player Clive Clarke collapsed, with Tony rushing to his aid and helping to save his life.
Tony loved working matchdays at The City Ground, even if it meant giving up his season ticket for the day, but he did so for the love of his job. A humble and dedicated man, Tony will be greatly missed by his family and friends, both in England and in Poland, and all at Nottingham Forest.