Three Dawson brothers have worn the Forest shirt but in the case of Andy Dawson nowhere near enough times as he should have. Andy was the oldest of the footballing trio and laid the path for his younger brothers Kevin and Michael and signed for Forest in 1996. There is a rumour that Forest signed all three brothers because of the potential of Michael but if that was the case it would be a bit harsh especially on Andy.
Andy was regarded as one of the better products of the mid to late eighties youth team as either a left-back or left midfielder and it seemed only a matter of time before his chance would come in the first team. Then at the start of the 1998/99 season it looked like it was about to happen for Andy and on the biggest stage possible. With Forest back in the Premiership and short of players with the suicidal sales of Colin Cooper and Kevin Campbell as well as the self imposed exile of Pierre Van Hooijdonk Dawson found himself in the squad for the opening fixture at reigning champions Arsenal and expected to play on the left wing.
Perhaps manager Dave Bassett was concerned at his lack of experience and decided to sign veteran Glyn Hodges in the week before the game. Hodges had played under Bassett at Wimbledon and Sheffield United but was no longer the player he once was and was strangely preferred to Dawson to start the Arsenal game. It was obvious to anyone watching that Hodges legs no longer could cope with the pace of the game that they once could but Bassett perservered with Hodges and when Andy Gray was signed from Leeds United chances of appearances became even more remote.
For the record Dawson did make one first team appearance at Forest in a second leg League Cup tie against Leyton Orient but even though he had plenty of admirers at the City Ground he was allowed to move, initially on loan to Scunthorpe in December of 1998.
Playing regular football under former Forest full back Brian Laws allowed Dawson’s talents to blossom as his abilities were clear for everyone to see. He would make his moved to Scunthorpe a permanent one by the end of the season and would become a regular member of the side. Then in May 2003 he made an unpopular move in Scunthorpe fans eyes when he moved to local rivals HullCity then still in the bottom division. Again he became a key member of their side as he helped the club rise through the leagues rising from League Two all the way to the Premier League where he is still a regular starter in the team. He was also named HullCity’s player of the season in the 2006/07 season.
As the only of the Dawson brothers playing regular Premier League football he has certainly showed Forest that they were hasty to release him back in 1998.