Ex-Rangers star to lead Premier League side out in front of 52k fans
Photo by Jon Hobley/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Ex-Rangers star to lead Premier League side out in front of 52k fans

Ex-Rangers star Joe Worrall has been handed the Nottingham Forest captaincy ahead of the club’s historic return to the Premier League against Newcastle United.

The boyhood Forest fan, now 25, will lead the club out against the Magpies at St James’ Park as they return to the English top flight after a 13-year absence.

Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

Former European Cup winners, the Midlands club have prestigious history and now Joe Worrall will follow in the footsteps of several legendary captains at the City Ground.

Before Steve Cooper’s side mark a return to the Premier League on home soil they face an away day at Newcastle and Worrall will be the man leading his club out at the 52k seater stadium.

“First of all, I’d like to thank Steve Cooper and the coaching staff for giving me this opportunity,” said Worrall [Nottingham Forest].

“To be given the chance to captain my hometown club means so much to me and it’s an absolute honour, and I say that with all my heart.

“All I’ve ever wanted to do since I was a kid was to play for Forest, so to captain them too is a dream come true. I’ve been here 7-8 years and worked under some great captains, and I know what’s demanded of us.”

Ex-Rangers star Joe Worrall to captain Forest v Newcastle

Rangers fans will remember Worrall from a season at Ibrox in 18/19 where the defender polarised supporters amid some high-profile mistakes and disappointing performances.

In the big matches Joe Worrall always appeared to be preferred over Nikola Katic by Steven Gerrard and rarely put a foot wrong in Europe or against the likes of Celtic.

But it was in matches against lesser opposition where a perceived defensive arrogance cost the club and Worrall surrendering possession to Eamon Brophy in a 2-1 Kilmarnock defeat in 2019 is famous for all the wrong reasons.

Joe Worrall has spoken openly in the past about dealing with the abuse as a result of this but also about his growth as a player during that 12 month stint at Rangers.

There’s little doubt that the spell in Scotland, playing under such intense pressure and scrutiny, helped develop the defender into the player he is today and Joe Worrall deserves credit for his evolution.

The fact he has been routinely linked with an exit from Nottingham Forest – most recently a £15m move to West Ham [the Sun on Sunday (13/03/21: print, p60)] – is a testament to this progress.

Now set to captain his beloved Nottingham Forest in a historic return to the Premier League, Joe Worrall has certainly come a long way since his stuttering, if not important, spell at Rangers.

Meanwhile, here’s why one South American club have been extending an open invite to Rangers supporters.

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