ARCHIVE NEWS 2004


Updated Books

A special edition of Cloughie's book Walking on Water has been published in memory of the Master Manager. It includes two new chapters written shortly before he died. Martin O'Neill has written the foreword.


The book also includes tributes from well-known names and lists a few of Cloughie's famous quotes, as featured on this website. John Sadler, who wrote the book with Brian, has added his own personal memories too. It costs £18.99. You can read a review HERE and order direct from the publishers Headline. 

Another book has also been published in memory of the Great Man. 'The Life of Brian' features tributes and quotes from friends, players, colleagues and fans, including the editor of this website.





The foreword of the book has been written by Dave Mackay. It costs £9.99, with 50p from each sale going to the Brian Clough Memorial Fund. You can read a review HERE.

The journalist Patrick Murphy has updated his 1993 biography 'His Way'. Patrick was a long-standing friend of Cloughie and conducted the last interview with the Master Manager. This new book contains fascinating accounts of their close relationship.





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'His Way' costs £7.99 and is published by Robson Books. Read a review HERE.



Campaign Pledge

Campaigners trying to get a posthumous honour for Brian Clough say efforts will continue to press the government for action, after it emerged that another sportsman was given a Knighthood after he died. Organisers have now written to Tony Blair urging him to look into the matter, following what has been described as a dismissive initial response from a Downing Street official.

A petition with 7,500 names was presented at Ten Downing Street in October. It included signatures and e-mails from around the world. But an official letter dated just a few days after the Downing Street visit said that posthumous honours were given only for gallantry. Yet research has shown that a Knighthood was given to the golfer Henry Cotton in the 1988 New Year's Honours List, after he had died.

Commenting on the reply from Downing Street, campaigner Mike Simpson said the letter was a poor response to a cause which received overwhelming public support. He said the case of Henry Cotton showed there was some form of precedent for bestowing honours posthumously.

"The speed with which the reply was written shows they have not looked into the matter seriously," said Mike. "The strong feelings of thousands of fans around the world have been dismissed with one swipe of an official's pen. We have now sent a further letter urging Tony Blair to look into the issue again, especially after it appears that a posthumous Knighthood has been given to a sportsman previously.

"They have even ignored the request for some other honour to be considered. We have said all along that for a man who re-wrote football's history books, then the history books should be re-written for him. You cannot escape the fact that a Knighthood was bestowed posthumously on Henry Cotton, whatever excuse the officials may come up with in response. They must look into this further and not simply cast aside the views of so many people." There's more about the knighthood campaign HERE.


Memorial Film

A special DVD has been produced in memory of the Great Man. It features parts of the memorial service at Pride Park Stadium, with sales contributing to the Brian Clough Memorial Fund. 'Brian Clough - in his own words' also features footage of Cloughie on top form at a football forum.

The DVD has been produced in Derby with the support of the Clough family. It includes parts of an exclusive interview, film of him receiving the Freedom of the City, plus Brian's last tour behind-the-scenes at the old Baseball Ground. For genuine Cloughie fans of any club, the eighty-minute DVD is a must-watch. It costs £16.99. We offered six copies in a competition which has now closed.


Aiming High

Around eight-hundred people took part in a special fund raising event for the Brian Clough Memorial Fund in Middlesbrough. They streamed across the Transporter Bridge, each paying five pounds (November 7th, 2004). A total of £3,000 was raised.

The money will go towards creating a lasting tribute to the Great Man near his childhood home. Brian's sister-in-law, June, and her grandson Joseph Long (13) were among the walkers. June told the Evening Gazette: "It is so wonderful to see so many people here today. As a family we have been completely overwhelmed by the public's reaction to Brian's death."

Middlesbrough councillor John McPartland, a leading memorial campaigner, added: "Brian Clough was both a majestic player and manager. You can see the effect he has had. What else would bring so many people up out of bed on a cold Sunday morning?"

Website editor Marcus Alton said the efforts of the Middlesbrough people were outstanding. "It's absolutely fantastic that they are actively getting behind the campaign. I just hope we can see some kind of similar response from people in the East Midlands, instead of waiting for officials to shuffle a few bits of paper to re-name a road."


Raising Cash

Fund raising is gathering pace in memory of the Great Man. In Middlesbrough, volunteers are raising cash for a tribute to stand in Albert Park, near Cloughie's childhood home. 

Cloughie's brother Joe says a young boy approached him on his allotment and gave him some money he'd raised. Joe told the Middlesbrough Evening Gazette: "A little lad came over and said 'Joe, this is for your brother'. He handed me £30 and said he had raised the money in a raffle. The bairn was only 12 and I was amazed."

Volunteers in Middlesbrough are hoping to raise around £40,000. People are being asked to choose between four possible tributes in Albert Park -- a memorial garden, a memorial wall and two statues. Fans in Nottingham and Derby are still waiting for news on whether there will be a statue in either city.

Cloughie's family have set-up a fund too. It's not been decided where the money will go, but the family want to support Ward 30 at Derby City General Hospital, where Brian was being treated for stomach cancer. (Note: the memorial fund is now closed). 

Special miniature busts of Cloughie were created, with part of the proceeds going to charity. The sculptor Gordon Brown, who made the bronze bust which stands in Nottingham Forest's reception area, produced a limited edition of 350 bronze busts as well as resin replicas, in memory of the Great Man. 


Downing Street

A petition backed by seven and a half thousand people calling for a posthumous honour for Brian Clough has been handed-in to 10 Downing Street. Campaign organiser and website editor Marcus Alton was accompanied by campaign volunteer Sarah Clarke and Bob Laxton MP to deliver three folders full of signatures and messages of support from around the world. They are pictured below.


Outside Ten Downing Street



Said Marcus: "As we stood on the steps of Ten Downing Street, the sun was shining and there was clear blue sky. I'd like to think that was a sign from Cloughie that he was giving his thumbs-up - his approval.

"This campaign expresses the views of grassroots supporters not only across the country but around the world. Fans in places like Australia, the United States, Canada and mainland Europe have sent e-mails and I've even had petition forms sent to me from ex-pats in Thailand.

"Brian Clough touched the lives of so many people. It's now time that the officials did the right thing and confirmed the honour which is so richly deserved, and which should have been given while he was alive."

The presentation was captured by TV cameras and press photographers. View photos of the event HERE. 


Remembering Brian

Around fifteen thousand fans of Brian Clough gathered with his family and friends to remember the life of the Master Manager (21st October, 2004). Forest and Derby supporters braved the wind and rain to attend the memorial service at Pride Park Stadium and pay tribute to the man whose achievements will never be repeated.

A huge screen showed TV clips of Cloughie. The advertising boards at the side of the pitch were covered in shirts and scarves from many different clubs. As well as prayers, hymns and Bible readings, Old Big 'Ead was remembered with poems and music from his favourite singer Frank Sinatra. 


Among the sporting celebrities paying tribute was former Forest player Martin O'Neill. He said: "Brian Clough touched the lives of all of us inside this stadium to one extent or another and we'll never forget him.

"As a player I was terrified of him most of the time, but I'll tell you something, he was a man who, when you felt you couldn't run any more and that your heart was about to burst, you put in your last ounce of endeavour for.

Martin O'Neill pays tribute



"It's fair to say I wasn't exactly one of his favourites, but when he gave you praise he made you feel a thousand feet tall. He was an incredible manager and an even better man." There was laughter after O'Neill added: "I was asked in an interview to sum up Brian in three words. I think he would have been insulted to be summed up in three volumes."

Former England cricketer Geoff Boycott also paid tribute during the service. "There were two sides to Brian. People who thought he was all talk, brash and outspoken did not really know him. He was also a warm, generous person with a heart of gold.

"He was a rare and special friend, funny and amusing. As a football manager he was a charismatic, eccentric maverick. But he had that rare gift for understanding people and getting the best out of them." Former World Cup referee Clive Thomas said Cloughie was unique. "There will never, ever be another."

Brian's wife Barbara read a poem. But before doing so, she raised a laugh from the stands with a comment about the weather. "It was probably Brian's way of saying 'I told you I didn't want any fuss.'"

Son Nigel was accompanied by his brother Simon and sister Elizabeth as he thanked the service's organisers and the crowd for attending. He added: "I'm sure he's going to have a bit of an input upstairs about who's running the show up there. We hope he's sat up there with friends in the sunshine, looking down and saying 'Look at those daft buggers sitting in the rain.'"

In an emotional tribute to his Dad, Nigel said: "He has left us with a massive gap in our lives and while there were many words spoken tonight, we can't seem to find the right ones to say how much we love him and miss him."

A Thanksgiving blesing and the hymn Abide With Me then led to the closing music of Sinatra's Nice 'n Easy and Nat King Cole singing Let There Be Love.

Afterwards, the former England manager Sir Bobby Robson said: "It was an evening that I wouldn't have missed for the world. As tributes go it was great, there's no other word for it. Brian was a great, great manager and a lovely man. He will never be forgotten by his family, friends or anyone who ever met him.

"For one person to bring two clubs like Derby and Forest together - and boy did he do that tonight - is the ultimate tribute."


Family Support

Members of Brian Clough's family in Middlesbrough have made the opening contribution to a fund to provide a lasting tribute to the Boro legend. His brother Joe (77) and sister Doreen (79) gave their backing at the second gathering of the Brian Clough Memorial Fund Committee, reports the Middlesbrough Evening Gazette (October 19th, 2004).

Said Doreen: "The thing I will always remember most about Brian is what he would say every time he rang on the phone. He would ask 'Is there anything I can get you, because there are only two things I can give. All my love, which you've got, and all my money, which is yours.' That was Brian. He was a wonderful brother."

A local councillor is the treasurer of the committee and took the first donation from Doreen and Joe. The group also came up with several ideas for fundraising, including a football fans' question and answer evening featuring big names. The Official Supporters' Club is looking into possible Cloughie badges, so fans can make a donation and wear their badges with pride.


Special Guests

Former Clough player Martin O'Neill will be among those paying tribute at Thursday's memorial service. O'Neill, now manager of Celtic, will give a special address at the event, along with cricket star and long-time friend of the Clough family, Geoff Boycott. In a BBC documentary on the life of Brian Clough, Boycott described the Great Man as "a gem, a jewell, a genius." Former World Cup referee Clive Thomas will also pay tribute at the service.

The service will include readings and hymns and is expected to last around seventy-five minutes. The Derby Cathderal Choir will sing The Lord's My Shepherd and lead hymns including Abide With Me.

Fans have been queuing to get their tickets. At the City Ground, the first to collect tickets was fifty-five year old Phil Boam who drove from North Wales to make sure he was there when the doors opened at 9am, Thursday, October 14th. The journey took him over four hours. "The traffic was terrible, but it was all worth it," said Phil. "Cloughie's my hero and I want to pay my respects to a great man."


Memorial Service Update

It's been announced that the memorial service to celebrate the life of Brian Clough will now be held at Derby County's Pride Park Stadium instead of Derby Cathedral. A statement released by officials at the Cathedral and Derby County said that in response to the overwhelming demand for tickets, Brian's wife Barbara felt Brian would love Derby County and Nottingham Forest supporters to celebrate his life together with his family.

The statement added that following discussions with the family and the local police, it's been decided that to accommodate all the fans who wish to attend, the service will be held at 1930 on Thursday October 21st at Pride Park Stadium (gates open at 1830). The previous start time was 1500. The service will be led by Canon Elaine Jones and Canon Nicholas Henshall. The Cathedral Choir will also be there.

Canon Nicholas Henshall said: "As soon as we announced the memorial service, it became clear that there was going to be an overwhelming response. This is a wonderful comment about Brian's achievement in the region. We are therefore delighted that the memorial service will now take place at Pride Park and are putting all the resources of the Cathedral at the disposal of the family to make this a truly remarkable celebration of Brian's life."

Rams chairman John Sleightholme commented: "We are proud that the service is to be held at Pride Park Stadium. This will ensure that Brian's friends and family, football supporters from across the East Midlands and those whose lives were touched by this remarkable man can join together to pay their respects and celebrate his achievements."

Forest Chief Executive Mark Arthur said: "Nottingham Forest respects the Clough family's decision to move the service to Pride Park Stadium and we hope as many Forest fans as possible will make the most of the opportunity to celebrate Brian Clough's unsurpassed achievements."


Beckham Tribute

England skipper David Beckham has paid his own personal tribute to Brian Clough. In a BBC One television programme hosted by John Motson (to be shown October 13th, 2004), Beckham said Cloughie had "a strong personality and a strong mind," adding that he would "do what he believed was right for the team, the player and the club."


Hoon Backing

The Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon has pledged his support to the campaign to honour Brian Clough. "I certainly think some sort of public recognition would be appropriate," Mr Hoon told the BBC (October 12th, 2004). The MP for Ashfield, Notts, said Cloughie deserved recognition for his achievements in football. He also praised his work in politics. "He was a great supporter of the Labour Party and someone I identified with -- not only as I grew up in Derby as he transformed the team into the best in the country, but also because of his considerable personal qualities." Mr Hoon said it had been "a terrible mistake" that Cloughie had not been given the job of England manager. "His ability to motivate players would have brought enormous success," he said.


Thank You

The family of Brian Clough have thanked the website editor Marcus Alton personally for passing on the e-mail tributes and messages of sympathy received through this site. Said Marcus: "All the messages have been very much appreciated by Brian's family and have brought comfort at a very sad time. I would like to thank everyone who has sent messages through the website. I passed them on to Brian's family and I know they have helped tremendously."


Funeral Service

The funeral of Brian Clough was held on Thursday October 7th, 2004, reports the Nottingham Evening Post. It was a private family service in Derby. Fans can pay their respects at the memorial service at Derby Cathedral. A spokesman for the funeral directors said the family had asked that any donations should go towards hospital equipment. Donations can be sent to AW Lymn Family Funeral Service, Derwent House, Becket Street, Derby DE1 1HT.


Memorial Service

It's been announced that a memorial service for Brian Clough will be held on October 21st at Derby Cathedral, following a request from his family. Around seven-hundred invited guests are expected to attend. Loudspeakers will relay the service to the crowds outside. Former players from Derby County and Nottingham Forest will be among those attending. The service will begin at 1500.

Canon Nicholas Henshall said: "The service is a celebration of Brian's life. There will be poems, readings, prayers and songs, reflecting Brian's life and his achievements. At this early stage, the exact details of who is going to speak are yet to be confirmed but our intention is to make the service truly reflect how Brian was a man of the people. It is a service for everyone."

In a BBC interview, the Canon added: "There was clearly a need for a public memorial at which people can be present and feel they have gone through a process of not just mourning but celebrating Brian's life. This is not a Derby celebration, but a regional one. We are encouraging people from across the region and beyond to be present on the day."


World Praise

The top official of world football has paid a personal tribute to Brian Clough. In a letter to the chairman of Nottingham Forest, the President of FIFA, Sepp Blatter, said he was writing "with a heavy heart." He described Cloughie as "one of the game's greatest personalities."

The letter sent from Zurich continued: "Brian Clough's career on the football stage attests to his role as a magnificent promoter of the game. He will especially be remembered as a gifted mentor and respected manager who brought out the best in players in the clubs he coached.

"The fact that in the year following promotion to England's then Division One with Nottingham Forest, he won the league and also subsequently took the European Champions' Cup twice, stands out in the history of football as a truly unique achievement." Blatter concluded, "Please be assured the worldwide football community stands by your side. We would ask you to convey our sincere condolences to the family of Brian Clough and hope that in some way our words of support may help bring a little bit of peace and solace to you and to all whose lives have been touched by him."


Campaign Support

Cloughie's legendary goalkeeper Peter Shilton has backed the campaign for a posthumous honour for the Great Man. "The Gaffer was brilliant and of course I agree there should be a posthumous honour," he told BBC Radio Nottingham. "People want to remember him for what he did for football. Everything he did for the game was good."

The Derby MP, Bob Laxton, has pledged to continue his support and will help the campaign organiser Marcus Alton to present the petition to Ten Downing Street later this month (October). Mr Laxton (Cloughie's MP) told the website: "I'm still fully behind the campaign and I'll be doing all I can to try to get a posthumous honour." Among those still collecting signatures are Nottingham Forest's official sponsors Capital One.


The Driver

The man who drove the team bus for Brian Clough at Derby County passed away just a few days after the Master Manager. Eric Kitchen (83) had been the Rams' driver for nearly thirty years. His widow Elwyn said his favourite memories always involved Cloughie.

"Before one game, the team had had a big meal and Mr Clough didn't like his players to eat a lot before the match," Mrs Kitchen told the Derby Evening Telegraph. "He ordered them to run alongside the bus until they reached the motorway." 

Mrs Kitchen said Cloughie confided in her husband, who always called the Great Man "boss", even when he left the club. She added: "Perhaps Brian Clough's up there in the sky and he wanted a driver, so he sent for Eric." Before his death, Mr Kitchen went to Pride Park Stadium to sign the book of condolence in memory of the Master Manager.


England Job

Sir Bobby Robson has revealed that he urged the Football Association to sack him and appoint Brian Clough as England manager in the late Eighties. When Robson was going through a difficult spell after a disastrous European Championship in 1988, he offered to step aside for the 'People's Choice'.

"I had the England job at the time everybody was calling for Brian Clough," Robson told BBC Radio Five Live. He asked FA chairman Bert Millichip to give the job to Cloughie. "He would have disturbed the corridors of power at the FA. But in my opinion he would have been a very good England manager," said Robson.

"To win two European Cups in successive years is remarkable, a fairytale. But I also liked the way they played at Forest, what I call carpet football. Football on the ground, to feet. The discipline on the pitch was remarkable. Yes, he was outspoken but everybody respected his views."


Special Tributes

More than two thousand fans attended a civic tribute for Brian Clough. The event in Nottingham's Old Market Square was a moving occasion featuring television clips of the Master Manager's career, a stirring rendition of the football anthem Abide With Me and a minute's silence. Many fans wore green sweatshirts, like the one worn by the Great Man.

Civic dignitaries from Nottingham and Derby gave speeches and there was a special tribute from Cloughie's captain John McGovern. He told the crowd: "The last time I stood on this balcony we brought back a very large gold cup from Europe." (applause) "Brian was a teacher, he taught players how to pass the ball, and told them to keep the ball on the floor and to respect authority.

"He was one of the greatest teachers of players that the game has ever seen. If ever I need memories of Brian, I just have to look at my medal cabinet - it's full of them." McGovern ended with one of Cloughie's favourite expressions: "Be good." There are exclusive photos and video clips from the event HERE. 

Nottingham Forest held their own tribute before the game against West Ham. Trophies won by the Great Man were displayed in the middle of the pitch before kick-off and some of his former players walked round the centre circle. They included John McGovern, Garry Birtles, Peter Shilton, John Robertson, Kenny Burns, Tony Woodcock and Trevor Francis. Some of Cloughie's favourite songs were played, including My Way, before a minute's silence was held.

Much of the match was played in brilliant sunshine. Perhaps it was a signal that Cloughie was looking on, now comfy in the armchair he'd hoped for - God's favourite one. And with the Reds winning the match dramatically with virtually the last kick of the game, perhaps someone up there had the final say. "It only takes a second to score a goal."

There was also a minute's silence before the home games for Derby County and Middlesbrough. The Rams paid tribute to their former manager by displaying the League Championship trophy before their match against Wigan. Members of the Championship winning side stood proudly on the pitch.


Lasting Tribute

Fans continue to e-mail this website calling for a significant lasting tribute to Cloughie. Over the coming days we will be urging officials to grant permission for statues of the Great Man in Nottingham, Derby and Middlesbrough, as well as looking for part of the re-built Wembley Stadium to be named after him. 

Some supporters have suggested naming the A52 between Nottingham and Derby after Brian Clough. "Fans would like to see lasting monuments to the Great Man," said website editor Marcus Alton. "The road would be a start, but naming a dull and dreary dual carriageway after the most colourful manager of modern times does not go nearly half the way to a suitable tribute." The petition is continuing to grow and will be handed in to Downing Street in the near future in the search for a posthumous honour.


Lasting Tribute

As tributes continue to flood into this website by e-mail, fans can be assured that the petition will still be handed in to Downing Street as a mark of respect for the greatest football manager that ever lived, in the hope there will be a posthumous honour. The website editor, Marcus Alton said: "We owe it to him for the joy and entertainment he brought into our lives. The job is not yet finished."

The coverage in the national and international media of the sad death of Brian Clough shows the warmth and affection fans have held for a legend of the game. You can send tributes or knighthood support to this website, as hundreds of fans continue to do. We would like to see a lasting tribute: statues in Derby, Nottingham and Middlesbrough and ultimately part of the re-built Wembley Stadium should be named after him. MP's wanted to overhaul the honours system - and many, many fans still believe a posthunous knighthood should be considered by those at the top.


Tributes

Tributes have been paid to the Master Manager following the sad news of the death of The Great Man. Thanks for all the e-mails. They will be passed to his family. 

Former Clough players are among those paying tribute. Garry Birtles said: "He's probably the best manager of all time. It's like a member of your own family dying." He added with a smile: "I can't believe I won't get another rollicking off him."

Said Trevor Francis: "Brian will go down in history as one of the best, if not the best, managers in England. It is a sad time for the whole of football."

Kenny Burns added: "I don't think he will go down as one of the greatest. He IS the greatest English manager. I know Sir Alf Ramsay won the World Cup but nobody could hold a candle to what he did at Derby and Forest."

Former Derby skipper Dave Mackay said: "He was a one-off. Lots of former players have tried to follow his style in management but nobody could get anywhere near him. Nobody was like Brian Clough." Forest's former captain Stuart Pearce added, "He is irreplaceable."

The Sun newspaper on its comment page described Cloughie as "probably the best manager that ever lived." It's writer John Sadler was a personal friend of Old Big 'Ead for thirty years. He described him as "a phenomenon, an institution, a national treasure."

In a moving tribute, Sadler concluded: "Born on the first day of spring, sadly Brian Clough will not see his 70th birthday or his favourite sight next year - the first glimpse of the snowdrops and crocuses. But somebody will need to make a little concession once he's through the pearly gates. When I go, he once told me in that unmistakable tone of his, God's going to have to give up his favourite chair. If you hear thunder over the next day or so, don't be confused. They'll just be responding to that voice again. And re-arranging the furniture."

The Daily Star's Brian Woolnough described Cloughie as "the greatest man-manager of them all, who could transform an ordinary player into a great one." He added: "If there is a football team up there in heaven, they are lucky. Trophies are on the way."


Sad news

The sad news that Brian Clough has died was announced on September 20th, 2004. He died that morning in hospital. His family were at his bedside. They have paid tribute to the medical team who had been looking after him. All his fans pay tribute to a man whose talent and sheer personality touched so many lives. He will be sadly missed by fans around the world. You can send tributes via the message board or via email.

A private family funeral will be held and a memorial service will be held at a later date.


Latest Total

More than five thousand fans have so far backed the campaign to get a knighthood for Cloughie. It's a fantastic figure in a short space of time and further petition forms are still to be collected. You can also continue to send e-mails of support to this website, using the above link. E-mails of support will be included with the forms which are presented to Ten Downing Street in October. Please include your name and address.

Thanks to everyone who has 'signed-up for Cloughie' so far, and to those who have helped to collect signatures. Due to the high number of e-mails it is not always possible to reply to everyone. But all your messages of support are read and will be included with the petition. We will make sure the opinions of grassroots fans are not ignored. We now have photos of fans handing over their petitions HERE. There's more about the knighthood campaign HERE.


The Jose Way

The Master Manager says the Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has the right qualities to succeed in the Premiership. "Some people have compared him to the way I went about managing and I can see the similarities," Cloughie told the September edition of Four Four Two magazine.

"I was almost as good looking as him when a young manager and I had even more to say than him. He strikes a chord with his remarks about discipline. He refuses to be mucked about players who can't make up their minds about moving to Chelsea, and that's absolutely right."


Support Grows

Supporters groups have been presenting their petitions as part of the growing knighthood campaign. The Middlesbrough Official Supporters Club has handed-over more than two-thousand signatures during a special presentation at the Riverside Stadium. The Nottingham Forest Supporters Club gave the website editor around seventeen-hundred signatures during a pitch-side presentation at half-time during the Reds' match against Cardiff at the City Ground (Sept 11th, 2004).

Derby fan Marcus Shukla has presented hundreds of names he collected outside Pride Park. The Derby County Supporters Club and RamsTrust are also sending-in forms. At Burton Albion, fanzine editor Karl Savill presented more than two-hundred signatures, including club chairman Ben Robinson. Individual fans are also sending forms and e-mails. One supporter, originally from Middlesbrough, has sent signed forms from Thailand. 


Petition forms will continue to be collected over the next few weeks. Keep sending your e-mails too. These will be added to the forms which will be taken to London. Remember to include your name and address and a short explanation of why you think Cloughie deserves the ultimate accolade. Media coverage has been tremendous, with The Guardian being the latest national newspaper to feature the campaign. Latest details on the knighthood page. 


Campaign Update

Thousands of fans have been supporting this website's campaign for the Master Manager to be knighted. Supporters all over the country have been signing the petition. The response has been incredible. Signatures will continue to be collected in the next couple of weeks and the forms will be gathered in. Individual e-mails can still be sent to this website and will be added to the petition forms.

Thanks to all the supporters groups and individuals who have helped this massive operation so far. Middlesbrough, Forest, Derby, Sunderland and Hartlepool have all been involved. Fans have also signed-up at Nigel Clough's Burton Albion. 


At Forest, the Coventry manager Peter Reid added his signature after stepping off the team bus. Former Reds defender Kenny Burns signed-up on his way into the ground. BBC TV cameras also filmed fans signing the petition at the City Ground (East Midlands Today). There was a report in The Sun newspaper, four evening papers, six radio stations, the Forest and Derby match programmes and the official Boro website. 


Sign-up for Cloughie

Cloughie fans are gearing-up for the big weekend of the knighthood petition, with hundreds already pledging their support. That number is due to grow over the coming days as more people add their names to the petition forms. Supporters at Middlesbrough, Nottingham Forest, Derby County, Sunderland and Hartlepool will be collecting signatures.

The response so far has been incredible and we'd like to thank everyone who has pledged their support so far. It will be a busy time and signatures will continue to be gathered after the weekend, but we will attempt to give progress reports. 


Boro Backing

The Middlesbrough manager Steve McClaren has pledged his support to the knighthood campaign. On the eve of the big weekend for the petition, McClaren declared: "I emphatically support the campaign to get Brian Clough knighted. Cloughie was a legend of the game."

Quoted on Boro's official website, McClaren said Middlesbrough fans would never forget his wonderful strike record. "He scored two-hundred goals for Boro at a rate of almost a goal-a-game, so he was obviously something special. But there is no doubt that his managerial achievements, especially with Derby and Nottingham Forest, make him a very obvious candidate for a knighthood."


Record Breakers

Brian Clough has again been on top form, even though Arsenal beat his record of forty-two unbeaten games with Forest. The Gunners made it forty-three by defeating Blackburn. "All records are there to be beaten," he told BBC Five Live (August 26th, 2004).

"Arsenal are nothing short of incredible. I'm loathed to confess it, but they could have been nearly as good as us," he joked. "They are brilliant. And as a guy who's been in the game around fifty years, that comes as a real compliment."

Cloughie admitted he was disappointed the record had been beaten, as he cherished that more than the European Cup wins. "It sticks in the craw a little bit because it's Arsenal. No-one likes Arsenal, only Arsenal fans like Arsenal. I was brought up not liking them. Of course there's a Frenchmen in charge and not many English people like Frenchmen. But he is a top, top manager."


For The Record

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has become the latest big name to praise the Master Manager, as the knighthood campaign gathers pace. Wenger says Cloughie's achievements at Forest were "nearly impossible to imagine." His comments came following Old Big 'Ead's clear admiration for the Frenchman as Arsenal were poised to break the Reds' record of forty-two unbeaten games in the top-flight.

Cloughie told The Sun newspaper the Gunners were as close to perfection as any side he'd seen. "When I watch them I drool - and not because I'm nearly 70. It's because I see a team who have brought to football the art of simplicity. High technical skills, rhythm, a joy to behold. And the killer instinct." He added that their disciplinary record had vastly improved and he described Wenger as brilliant. "It is no exaggeration to say Wenger has become an idol of mine. And from somebody as conceited, biased, bigoted and big-headed as me, that is a compliment."

In response, Wenger told The Sun: "Clough says he idolises me. May be that is too much, but it is good to get such a compliment from him. I rate highly what he did at Nottingham Forest. It's incomparable. And the fact he likes the way we play football makes me so very proud." Wenger went on to say he hoped to match Cloughie's record of two European Cups. But he admitted that to achieve it with Forest's resources had been "totally surreal in today's terms."


Burns Knight

The former Clough player Kenny Burns says the Master Manager would be delighted to receive a knighthood if the accolade came his way. Burns, who is still in contact with Cloughie, was interviewed on 106 Century FM in the East Midlands, in response to this website's knighthood campaign. "He would be absolutely delighted to take it," said Burns. "It is a great honour to be knighted. For what he has done for football in the East Midlands, it is long overdue."

Garry Birtles repeated his support of the campaign. He said: "He thoroughly deserves a knighthood. If they don't give him one, it's a disgrace. They didn't give him the England manager's job, so they should do this for him."

Thanks for the huge number of e-mails supporting the campaign and the requests for petition forms. Due to the high number of e-mails it may take a couple of days to respond, but please be assured all requests for forms will be answered. We will also publish more details of where you can sign-up.

We are also looking for more Derby fans to help collect signatures outside Pride Park before the home game against Crewe on August 28th. So far, the campaign has been featured on regional television news in the East Midlands, both ITV and BBC, as well five local radio stations in the region and newspapers in Derby and Middlesbrough.


Knighthood Campaign

The campaign to get a knighthood for Brian Clough is being stepped-up, in one last push to secure the ultimate honour for the Master Manager. A national petition is being organised in which fans can put pen to paper to show their support, by 'signing-up for Cloughie'. Supporters clubs are helping, including Middlesbrough, Nottingham Forest, Derby County, Hartlepool and others.

Cloughie's MP, Bob Laxton, has agreed to help present the forms to Honours officials. The move comes as two leading managers add their praise of Brian Clough. Charlton manager Alan Curbishley said, "he'll always be a Sir in my eyes". Sunderland boss Mick McCarthy has backed the campaign, saying Brian would be "a worthy recipient of a knighthood." It's now a race against time with the possible phasing-out of 'Sirs'. 

Back in the Stand

Old Big 'Ead has been taking-in plenty of pre-season action, watching his son Nigel's Burton Albion and being a guest at Nottingham Forest. Cloughie saw his two former sides Forest and Middlesbrough face each other in a friendly at the City Ground. He sat in the directors' box to see Boro beat the Reds four-one. Two days later, he watched the Brewers lose two-nil to Notts County in the final of the Bass Charity Vase.


Having A Say

The Master Manager has admitted he'd have liked to have been a TV pundit during the Euro 2004 Finals in Portugal, instead of watching at home. Cloughie, who was a radio summariser during a game at the City Ground last season, tells the August edition of Four Four Two magazine that he'd fancied a return to the media this summer.

"Personally, I wish I'd accepted one of those many offers to work for TV or radio, because I heard so much rubbish being spouted by so many big names," he said. "The best summarisers in sport tell you what to look out for and speak honestly without worrying if they're upsetting anyone. That's why Hansen is good." Cloughie also reveals his star of the tournament, the worst coaching decision and most memorable moment of Euro 2004, in the latest edition of this excellent magazine.


Support Campaign

The campaign to get a knighthood for Brian Clough has become far more urgent, following suggestions that the current Honours system may face a shake-up. A committee of MP's has recommended changes, including the possible phasing-out of 'Sirs'. This website agrees the selection procedure is too secretive -- however, the overwhelming public support we have received shows Cloughie deserves the ultimate honour. 


Tram Man

Old Big 'Ead's name can now be spotted around the streets of Nottingham. One of the city's new trams has been officially named after Cloughie. Tram 215 has the name of the Master Manager emblazoned on its side.


Signed Book

There's now another chance to win a signed copy of Cloughie's superb book, Walking on Water. It's the updated paperback version of the Master Manager's life story, including his controversial views on the game. (Competition now closed, see results page).

Euro 2004

The Master Manager has warned England's Wayne Rooney to keep his temper under control during the Euro 2004 Championships in Portugal. Cloughie says fans shouldn't expect too much from the teen sensation. "He needs to watch his discipline," Clough tells the latest edition for Four Four Two magazine. "Rooney is an eighteen-year-old in a twenty-eight-year-old body. He's right to let defenders know he won't be pushed around, but he'll be up against crafty characters who know how to wind a young lad up."


Olympic Winner

Watch out for Cloughie at the Olympics! That's because a competition winner from Greece has promised to wear his Cloughie T-shirt when the Games are held in Athens later this year. Pavlos Argyriadis, who lives in Athens and used to study in Nottingham, is one of two winners in the latest competition on this website. "I'll make sure I wear the shirt during the Olympics," said Pavlos. "Many people will now learn about Mr Clough here in Greece." Full competition results HERE.


Magic Touch

The former Forest star Tony Woodcock has been recalling Cloughie's magic touch as he reflected on the twenty-fifth anniversary of winning the European Cup. Woodcock remembered how Old Big 'Ead had predicted their victory over Cologne in the semi-final second leg. The first leg had ended in a 3-3 draw at home.

Woodcock told The Times newspaper (May 24th, 2004): "In the dressing room, he said, 'It's going to be pretty tight in the first half, but we can do that. We will go forward when we can, but we will stay a pretty tight unit. And then we will strike in the second half.' At half-time it was 0-0 and he said, 'It's all going to plan and halfway through the half we will go 1-0 up and then we are going to get it tight again and keep it until the end'."

The match unfolded just as Clough had said it would. Added Woodcock: "It may sound amazing to you, but these things happened all the time with him. I can't explain it. You just knew in yourself that if he said it, it would happen."


Special Reunion

The Master Manager received a standing ovation at a special reunion dinner to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of Forest's European Cup success. Cloughie was on top form as guests were treated to stories about each of the former Reds stars. A replica trophy was also on show at the private event at the East Midlands Conference Centre in Nottingham (May 21st, 2004).


Charity Tribute

A former Nottingham nurse who now lives in the United States has paid tribute to Cloughie and his contribution to charity. Tina Chetwynd-McHargue e-mailed from Oregon with memories of watching the Master Manager's Forest teams and the way he helped a fund-raising appeal.

Wrote Tina: "Mr Clough, you once donated a Forest plate to the Nottingham City Hospital Renal Unit. I was raising money to take the transplant patients to the British transplant games. What a roll it started. We had so many gifts donated after we received yours. We raised more money than any other year. And what a time we had at the games. Thank you for your generosity, thank you for the memories. We love you."


In The Stand

Old Big 'Ead watched his son Nigel's Burton Albion play their final home match of the season (April 24th, 2004). Cloughie took his place in the stand at Eton Park, alongside his wife Barbara and son Simon. He was also accompanied by five-year-old grandson William, who was a mascot for the game. After the match, in which Burton were beaten by Dagenham and Redbridge, the Great Man presented some of the end-of-season player awards. There are exclusive photos HERE. 


A Big Hit