ALL LIFE'S A GAME
- BY TREVOR FRECKNALL -
A Sports Editor's Reflections
This book by the former journalist Trevor Frecknall has some great Cloughie stories, including how the Master Manager promised to give Frecknall a story for every day he gave up smoking. "He did, too," reflects the former Nottingham Evening Post Sports Editor. "Sometimes they came straight from the Gaffer's mouth. Some were so outrageous that I'd be almost rolling around laughing and he'd be growling: 'Stop ****ing laughing and start writing!'"
Frecknall also describes how Cloughie kicked him out of Forest's City Ground during an industrial dispute which had seen Brian's trusted friend John Lawson sacked (along with other striking journalists) from the Evening Post. The author was eventually accepted back and Cloughie even paid for a celebratory lunch for Frecknall and his wife's wedding anniversary.
Cloughie also asked him to carry the League Cup, that Forest had just won, as they made their way from Wembley. Frecknall was travelling on the Reds' team bus following the victory over Oldham in 1990. The author says that as Cloughie climbed aboard the coach, he asked him and the club secretary to swap seats.
"Baffled, I dutifully perched on the front nearside seat, immediately behind the door, instantly fearing I was to be evicted at the first railway station. So imagine how I felt when Clough plonked the newly-won Cup on my knee and said: 'Wave that to our supporters, please.'
Frecknall added: "The huge wooden doors of Wembley swung open, Albert eased the coach out into the throng...and thousands wondered who the hell that was in the Forest bus holding the trophy they had just retained."
However, we were disappointed by the book's reference to Cloughie's most famous quote: "I wouldn't say I was the best manager in the business. But I was in the top one." The author says Brian gave the quote to national newspaper reporters after he was turned down for the job of England manager in the late 1970's. This is wrong.
For the record, the quote came from a regional TV interview after his retirement and was picked-up by this website for posterity. No other media outlet had highlighted or even featured the quote and it would have been lost forever if we had not included it on this tribute website. There is more on this in the tribute book 'Young Man, You've Made My Day'.
That aside, it's worth a read. 'All Life's A Game' is published by Brewin Books at £14.95.