Kelly remains a folk hero on Tyneside after netting the vital goal that prevented the Magpies' relegation to the third tier in 1992.
He then scored the goals that helped fire Kevin Keegan's side to promotion the following year.
Forest face the Championship leaders in Saturday's televised game and Kelly said: "They are a recent Premier League team and it was one of the best clubs I played for because their support is fantastic.
"St James' Park is one of the best grounds I have played at and their fans go everywhere in huge numbers.
"It will be a good game and I am looking forward to it because our supporters are extremely good as well, so it should be a good day all round.
They won't provide a benchmark. They are a team full of Premier League players, they have lost a few players, but the basis of the squad is still together.
"You gage yourself game by game. We have played some good football and got some good results recently. In fact the performances have been there for most of the season and we will just be looking to keep that going on Saturday."