Stephen Henderson has reflected on his turbulent spell at Nottingham Forest, branding the club as a “circus” when reflecting on his time at the City Ground.
Following Charlton Athletic’s relegation to League One, Henderson was brought to Forest by Philippe Montanier in the summer of 2016, putting pen to paper on a three-year deal.
Despite initially arriving as a back-up option to Dorus de Vries, Henderson came on as a substitute 19 minutes into their opening day victory over Burton Albion after de Vries limped off injured.
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Then, when de Vries signed for Celtic, Henderson became Forest’s number one choice in-between the sticks, and he was to make 15 appearances for Forest before sustaining an injury of his own.
23 minutes into their eventual 5-1 defeat to Norwich City, Henderson ruptured his Achilles and spent six months on the sidelines as Jordan Smith became Forest’s number one.
That was to mark the end of Henderson’s time at Forest, with the Irishman enduring loan spells at Portsmouth and Wycombe Wanderers before seeing his contract run out last summer.
Henderson is now at Crystal Palace and has failed to make a single appearance for the Eagles, and he has now reflected on his turbulent time at the City Ground.
Forest’s ownership was up in the air during Henderson’s time at the City Ground, with fans turning against owner Fawaz Al-Hasawi who was looking to sell the club.
Speaking to Portsmouth News, he said: “Forest showed interest and I signed a three-year deal. It ended up being twice the circus that Charlton was. I would have eight managers!
“Philippe Montanier was the manager, while the owner who signed me, Fawaz al-Hasawi, was trying to sell the club, so wasn’t investing.
“Dorus De Vries was the goalkeeper, so I knew I was going in as a number two. Then, during the first game of the season, he rolled his ankle against Burton and I came on with the score goalless.
“It was a chance to make an impression in front of the home fans – we won 4-3 and I was poor. I didn’t do anything to write home about. That represented the beginning of the end of my social media career.
“They were tough times, so many different managers, players you wouldn’t believe were coming in and out, in and out.
‘Then, in February 2017, Wes Hoolahan shot from the halfway line, I tried to back peddle to save it and heard a gun shot and fell to the floor. I had ruptured my Achilles.
“When I returned the following season, Mark Warburton was manager and I pestered him for a chance, knocking on his door every day and he was getting the hump.
“Eventually he changed it – Chelsea away in the Carabao Cup. We lost 5-1. I never played for Forest again.”
Henderson has endured some tough years in his career due to injuries and other things, which is a shame.
He was a good goalkeeper for Charlton but they were an absolute mess off the pitch, so it was impossible for him to succeed.
He deserved his move to Forest, but injuries occur in football and unfortunately that has tarnished Forest’s career.