Jamie Ward: Nottingham Forest sign ex-Derby County striker

Ward hopes for Forest forgiveness

Nottingham Forest have signed Jamie Ward on a four-year deal following his exit from local rivals Derby County.

The 29-year-old Northern Ireland international striker played 29 games for the Rams last season, but was not offered a new deal for this campaign.

Ward admitted he was surprised he ended up at Forest having irked Reds fans in previous meetings between the sides.

"What's in the past is in the past. I like to wind people up," he told BBC East Midlands Today.

"I think quite a few people will be surprised but I am delighted to be here and Nottingham Forest is the only thing that counts now.

"It was to spice up the local rivalry and it got me a bit more stick than I wanted. I enjoyed it at the time but hopefully the fans can see past that and get behind me."

Ward has often riled Forest fans with pre-match comments prior to derby matches and also became a target for abuse when he played on during a particularly fiery derby in 2011 and scored a goal when Chris Cohen was injured.

Jamie Ward (right) in action for Northern Ireland
Ward (right) made his Northern Ireland debut in 2011 and has won 15 caps

"Obviously, if I had known the injury was that serious I would never have carried on," Ward said. "That's not me. I am not nasty like that."

Ward started his career at Aston Villa and has also played for Torquay, Chesterfield and Sheffield United.

Forest completed the signing of defender Matt Mills on Wednesday.

Find all the latest football transfers on our dedicated page.