It is worth mentioning that Nottingham Forest have actually won the FA Cup twice. It is worth mentioning it because Forest, and their history in particular, have an indelible association with Brian Clough. And Clough, famously, never won the FA Cup.
It took on the status of a holy grail for a manager who won league titles with two different provincial clubs and who twice conquered Europe. And what should have been his swansong turned into the beginning of the end.
In a typically forthright autobiography Clough wrote: "I should have retired after 18 May 1991, the day I witnessed the worst refereeing decision in my 40-odd years in football. The FA Cup final, the only one in which I was involved, Nottingham Forest against Tottenham Hotspur - and Wembley stank to its rafters. Paul Gascoigne committed two despicable fouls."
Tottenham's playmaker did make an early exit, but on a stretcher with a wrecked knee, rather than with a red card. Deprived of him, Spurs won 2-1 on a day that sent two of the great charismatic talents of English football into a downwards spiral.
Gascoigne was never the same player again, Clough never the same manager. It has been said he would have retired happy that day had Forest won. Instead, two years later, ravaged by alcoholism and ending a glorious career with an ignominious relegation, he resigned.
It would be an exaggeration to say Forest have never recovered. They have spent two brief spells in the Premier League since then and a third promotion to the top flight is a possibility.
But they are yet to regain the position of eminence they enjoyed for the majority of Clough's remarkable reign. A club from the lower reaches of Division Two became European champions twice in successive seasons. But for his generation, the FA Cup was the ultimate and the events of May 1991 meant he departed with a wish unfulfilled.
Twenty years later, Clough's shadow remains as imposing and, rather than appointing one of his former players, recent policy has almost been to take the opposite approach. Billy Davies is a second former Derby County manager to follow the A52 (a stretch of which is now renamed "Brian Clough Way") east to Nottingham.
The combustible Scot shares Clough's gift for polarising opinions. He seems to have spent much of his two-year reign at war with the club's transfer acquisitions committee (in Clough's day, Peter Taylor's keen eye for a player ensured there was no need for such bureaucracy) and signings have been a rarity this season.
A run of 33 league games without defeat at the City Ground is much the best since Clough left, however, and after reaching the Championship play-offs last season, where they were beaten by Blackpool, Forest are accelerating their bid for a repeat. They visit West Ham United today with the clear possibility that the two clubs could trade divisions in the summer.
Davies's team, with five successive victories, are the form horse in this particular clash although the manager insisted: "We know we're the underdogs and we're playing a very big Premier League club irrespective of their league position. The priority is the league but at the same time winning is a good habit."
He is likely to rotate his squad as, for different reasons, is Avram Grant. The West Ham manager has new signing Demba Ba available and two other strikers, Victor Obinna and Frederic Piquionne, available again after suspension.
Forest have a pedigree that stirs unpleasant memories at Upton Park. Clough's team progressed to the cup final 20 years at the expense of West Ham and, some in the East End assert, because of Keith Hackett.
The referee gave the Hammers defender Tony Gale the only red card of his long career after a quarter of the game, a decision universally deemed harsh, before Forest scored four times.
In the East Midlands, the greater refereeing error came in the final when Gascoigne's kamikaze approach to tackling did not prevent Tottenham from finishing with 11 men and the trophy. It deprived Forest of a hat-trick.
For the record, their two FA Cup victories were in 1898 and 1959. The latter has become a trivia question: Roy Dwight, who broke his leg after scoring Forest's first goal, subsequently acquired fame as Elton John's uncle.
Clough, however, was Forest's very own Rocket Man, blasting them into the stratosphere and adorning their trophy cabinet with every piece of silverware he wanted. Except the FA Cup.