City Council Leader David Mellen has today passed on his best wishes to Nottingham Forest as they prepare to play their first Premier League match in more than 20 years.

The Reds kick off their historic 2022/23 season at Newcastle United tomorrow afternoon (Saturday) after securing promotion in a dramatic play-off final at Wembley in May.

Forest’s last match in the top flight was at the City Ground on Sunday 16 May, 1999, when a Chris Bart-Williams goal in the 76th minute was enough to beat local rivals Leicester City.

Their fate had been sealed a few weeks before and Forest spent the next 23 seasons in the second tier, with a three-year spell in League One during the mid-2000s.

Fortunes have been transformed under the leadership of Chairman Evangelos Marinakis, his son Miltiadis, Chief Executive Dane Murphy and Head Coach Steve Cooper, and the club and its supporters head up to St James’s Park with much excitement.

The Council House will be lit up red this weekend in recognition of Forest’s first Premier League match.

Councillor Mellen said: “We’re all so excited about Forest’s return to English football’s top tier. It’s been a long time for supporters to wait and I’m sure they will be counting down the hours until 3pm tomorrow.

“The triumph of Wembley is still so fresh in the memory and we hope it will inspire the team to achieve more success this season.

“On behalf of everyone at the Council, I wish Forest the very best of luck – both tomorrow and for the rest of the season. They’ve done the city proud and we’re looking forward to welcoming West Ham to Nottingham the following weekend.”