ARCHIVE NEWS 2007


Statue Latest

A cheque for more than £70,000 has been handed-over to Nottingham City Council for a statue of Brian Clough in the city centre. The cheque represents the money raised by volunteers in just 18 months, plus interest. The presentation came as the next stage of the statue process was announced (December, 2007). See the cheque handover HERE. 

The work of three short-listed sculptors is going under the spotlight in January 2008, when miniature versions and busts of Old Big 'Ead will be unveiled for the public to see and give their views. A selection panel will meet later in January to make the final decision on which artist will be commissioned by the city council to make the full bronze statue. Fans will also be able to send their views to the panel via this website, in the New Year.

The leader of the city council, Jon Collins, said it was an exciting time for the statue plans. "The tremendous success of the fund-raisers has shown it is vital that we now have a fitting tribute to Brian Clough," he said. The statue fund chairman, Paul Ellis, added that he was looking forward to seeing the artists' submissions. "At a time when the English national team has hit rock bottom, it is time to restore some pride by saluting the best manager England never had." There is more information about the statue and selection process HERE. 


Fears For Play

The team behind the new Cloughie play say their production faces an uncertain future, following financial problems at the Derby Playhouse. 'The Devil's League' was due to open at the theatre in February. But the playhouse has gone into administration and talks are underway to ensure it stays open (December, 2007).

In a joint statement issued first to this website, the writer Stephen Lowe and director Alan Dossor said they were giving their full support to those struggling to keep the theatre alive. They say this latest play promised to be even more ambitious than the successful 'Old Big 'Ead in the Spirit of the Man' which entertained packed houses at Nottingham Playhouse.

"But now of course there's no way of telling as we have no apparent pitch to play on," said Stephen and Alan. "New writing is scarce in contemporary theatre and it takes courage for a theatre to stand by such work. We will miss our chance to take up the challenge. We hope sincerely that, regardless of what happens with us, Derby soon gets back its real theatre."

The new play, with Colin Tarrant once again as Cloughie, is set during the miners' strike in 1984 and recounts a fictional encounter between the Master Manager and Robert Maxwell, who owned Derby County.


Book Award

A book about the Master Manager has won a top award. 'Provided You Don't Kiss Me' by Duncan Hamilton scooped the annual William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award (Nov, 2007). Hamilton was a journalist at the Nottingham Evening Post and the book recounts his working relationship with the Great Man. Other works in the shortlist included books about Sir Bobby Charlton and the cricketer Shane Warne.

Hamilton told this website: "I am flattered, proud and priviledged and I do hope that the book proves to people how much Brian Clough contributed to the game and how much it misses a character like him." This website recently gave away two signed copies of the book in a competition. There's a review HERE. 


Auction Item

A Cloughie book signed by the Great Man to the cricket legend Fred Trueman has been sold at auction for £240. The item was part of the late Trueman's personal library which went under the hammer in Nottingham (November, 2007).

The Master Manager, who was a big cricket fan, signed the copy of Walking on Water with the message, 'Fred, Be Good You Old B!'. The book came with a letter of authenticity from Trueman's widow. The proceeds will be split between Gargrave Cricket Club, Yorkshire Air Ambulance and the oncology unit at Airedale Hospital. For more details visit the auction website HERE.


Charity Windfall

It's been announced that the inaugural Brian Clough Trophy match raised £100,000 for charities in the East Midlands. The game between Derby County and Nottingham Forest attracted a crowd of more than 25,000 at Pride Park in July.

The cash will be divided between the two clubs' nominated charities and the Brian Clough Memorial Fund. The East Midlands Air Ambulance and NSPCC (East Mids) will also benefit. The memorial fund will receive £25,000, which will go to a number of local charities at the discretion of the Clough family. There's more about the trophy HERE. 


Special Praise

A former newspaper editor has described how Cloughie heaped praise on a young disabled lad - after others had tried to ignore the boy. Barrie Williams had invited Old Big 'Ead to present prizes at a ceremony in Nottingham for disabled athletes in the 1980's. Speaking on BBC Radio Nottingham (November, 2007), Williams recounted how, as 200 people waited inside County Hall, a woman came in pushing her son in a wheelchair.

"He was a dreadfully disabled boy," said Williams. "Everyone in the hall looked everywhere but at this boy - at the ceiling, at the wall, at their feet. Anywhere but at this boy in the wheelchair. Not Cloughie. He strode very exaggeratedly through the middle of that room and towards the boy."

Cloughie picked up the boy very gently from his wheelchair and kissed him. "And then in front of everyone in the room, he said in a booming voice, 'This boy's a star. Look after him!' These are the things about Brian Clough you never forget." Williams was the editor of the Nottingham Evening Post and has written an autobiography called Ink In The Blood.


Book Criticised

Cloughie's widow Barbara has criticised a book about her husband. Mrs Clough says 'The Damned United' by David Peace misrepresents Brian, portraying him as a thoroughly unpleasant man.

The publishers say the novel is a fictional account of Clough's turbulent 44 days in charge of Leeds United in 1974. But Mrs Clough said: "I have to feel strongly about something for me to make a comment about it so this goes to show how upset I am about this book."(Nottm Evening Post, Oct 2007).

The Cloughs asked a family friend, the Derby-based TV and film writer Don Shaw, to raise their concerns. Mr Shaw is a lifelong Derby County fan who spearheaded the campaign to keep Cloughie at the Baseball Ground in the early 1970s.

In a joint statement, issued by the family and Mr Shaw, he said: "Barbara Clough and I are together in condemning the portrayal of Brian in the book. He was considerate and civilised but with enormous self-confidence which made him a great manager. His small acts of generosity are well known among his friends and ex-players.

The publishers' website describes the book as "a portrait of one of the most idiosyncratic and wilfully perverse Englishmen of the past century, and a story of the power and the paranoia that come together to shape a people and their times."

This website has already declined to review the book, which was published last year.


At The Wheel

A former journalist has described how Cloughie gave an elderly couple a lift in his car, after spotting them waiting for a bus. George Edwards was travelling into Derby with the Master Manager and says the bemused couple were dropped-off at the Market Place to do their shopping, even though Cloughie didn't know them.

"One cold and miserable winter day we were heading along Duffield Road when Brian, having spotted an elderly couple waiting at a bus stop, stopped the car, established that they were off to do some shopping, and ushered them into the back seats," says Edwards in his new book 'Right Place Right Time - the inside story of Clough's Derby days.'

"Not the sort of thing your average commuter does on his way to work, but Cloughie was not your average sort of person…"

George Edwards worked for the Derby Evening Telegraph and was the only journalist to travel home and away with Clough's Derby teams at that time. The book is a highly enjoyable read which captures vividly the Rams' glory days under Clough and Taylor. There's a review of the book HERE. 


Great Wit

Cloughie has been named in the top ten of Britain's greatest wits of all-time. A survey put the Master Manager at number nine, in the company of Shakespeare, Noel Coward and Sir Winston Churchill. Oscar Wilde came top in the poll involving 3,000 comedy fans (Oct, 2007). The survey was conducted for the new digital TV channel called Dave.

As Cloughie fans well know, he was the master of the one-liners. Indeed, some of his best quotes have already been compiled on this website. In our own poll there was a clear winner: "I wouldn't say I was the best manager in the business. But I was in the top one." There are more classic quotes HERE. 


Nigel's Night

Cloughie's son Nigel will be the special guest speaker at a charity event. Nigel will talk about playing for his Dad at Forest, among many other things, when he appears at the East Midlands Conference Centre in Nottingham on November 15th, 2007 (from 7.30pm). The event will include an auction for the Rainbows Children's Hospice. Tickets cost £50, including three course dinner, and are available by phoning 0115-9371280.


Keane Comments

Former Cloughie player Roy Keane says the Master Manager would have had no time for some of today's players, who he says are only interested in earning a fortune and driving a big car. The Sunderland boss told the Daily Mail (Oct, 2007): "I was at Nottingham Forest for three years before I would even have dreamed of asking Brian Clough for a pay rise. And he would have knocked me out. He would have said, 'Who do you think you are?' Now a player plays for six games and their agent is straight on the phone."


Poll's Position

A former Premiership referee says he's pleased that former Cloughie players have taken the principle of good discipline into their management careers. Graham Poll says the nicest manager he had to deal with was Stuart Pearce and adds that Roy Keane has shown "great restraint and respect" when dealing with match officials as Sunderland boss.

Poll told the Daily Mail (Sept, 2007): "Brian Clough's players were known for their discipline and their respect for referees at Nottingham Forest. Their manager demanded it and two European Cups and a League title are proof that it didn't exactly damage their results. Those who played under Clough, such as the Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill, seem to have continued that trait."


Artists' Delight

The three sculptors shortlisted for Nottingham's Cloughie statue have described their delight at reaching the next stage of the selection process. Speaking exclusively to this website - the official site of the statue fund - Keith Maddison said it was like "reaching the FA Cup Final." Les Johnson said it would be "an absolute privilege" to be awarded the final commission, while John McKenna said he was delighted and also admired the way Cloughie spoke his mind.

Over the next few months, the three artists will work on miniature versions of a statue, as they aim to secure the commission for the prestigious project. It follows the success of the statue fund which raised £69,000. Read more of what the three sculptors said, plus other details of this latest stage of the process, HERE. There is more about the statue fund HERE. 


Next Stage

The actor Colin Tarrant says he's looking forward to the challenge of the new Cloughie play. Colin will take the role of the Master Manager in the forthcoming production of 'The Devil's League', following his success as Old Big 'Ead in 'The Spirit of the Man'. The new play recounts a fictional encounter between Cloughie and Robert Maxwell, who owned Derby County.

In an exclsuive interview for this website, Colin said: "It should be a sparky confrontation between Brian Clough and Robert Maxwell. The big challenge will be doing justice to a very good script." Colin will be teaming-up again with the writer Stephen Lowe and director Alan Dossor for the play which opens at Derby Playhouse in February 2008.

Colin said audiences can certainly expect some humour. "Stephen has really got inside Mr Clough's way of expressing himself, including his humour, and I think people will be guaranteed a few laughs." (Note, Feb 2008: the play was cancelled due to financial problems at the Derby Playhouse - see further reports).


Statue Shortlist

Plans for a Cloughie statue in Nottingham city centre have taken a significant step forward. There is now a shortlist of three sculptors who will compete for the prestigious task of making the statue of the Master Manager.

Eighteen submissions were received from artists and these were considered by the city council, Brian Clough’s family and members of the statue fund, who raised £69,000 for the sculpture.

The shortlisted sculptors are Les Johnson, who is based in Hampshire; Keith Maddison from Northumberland and John McKenna from Ayrshire in Scotland. They will each be asked to make a miniature version of a statue of Brian Clough, called a maquette.

Officials have also revealed there is now a preferred location for the statue in the city centre - it's hoped it will be where King Street meets Queen Street, close to the Old Market Square. There are more details about this latest stage of the project, including an exclusive photo HERE. There is more about the statue fund HERE. 


Win Signed Book

The latest competition on this website gives you the chance to win a signed copy of the latest Cloughie book. Duncan Hamilton has signed two copies of the hardback 'Provided You Don't Kiss Me'. There is more information about the book HERE. And you can enter the competition HERE. 


The Big Match

More than twenty five thousand fans watched the first Brian Clough Trophy match between his two former clubs, Derby County and Nottingham Forest. Cloughie's widow Barbara presented the trophy to the Rams at Pride Park (July 31st, 2007). The proceeds of the game will go to charities in the East Midlands. More details and a special photo HERE. 


Buy A Badge

Limited edition tribute badges have been produced, featuring Cloughie's famous phrase: 'Be Good'. The badges, in the shape of his green sweatshirt, also have his signature on the front, recreating the message he used to write when signing his books.

The metal pin badges have been specially made for this website and are being sold with the approval of Mrs Clough. The proceeds will go to the Brian Clough Memorial Fund and the running costs of this non profit making website. They cost just £3.00 each. They will be back on sale in October.


Play Date

Derby Playhouse has now confirmed the date for the premiere of the new Cloughie play, details of which were originally reported on this website several weeks ago (see below). 'The Devil's League' by Stephen Lowe will run from February 2nd til March 1st, 2008.

The play, set in 1984, recounts a fictional encounter between Robert Maxwell, the then owner of Derby County, and Cloughie. Maxwell considers the Master Manager the key player in his bid to rescue the Rams and return them to the big time – but the stakes are high. Playwright Stephen Lowe reveals more about the production, below. The playhouse is offering a ticket discount for season ticket holders at Derby County and Nottingham Forest, plus ticket holders for the Brian Clough Trophy match.

Special Trophy

A new trophy carrying the name of Cloughie will be competed for by his two former clubs, Nottingham Forest and Derby County. The Reds and the Rams will play for the Brian Clough Trophy for the first time at Pride Park Stadium on Tuesday July 31st, 2007. It's hoped the match will raise a six-figure sum for East Midland charities.

The trophy will be presented to the winning club by the Great Man's widow, Barbara, who said: "Brian would have thoroughly approved of this trophy, to be played between two clubs he loved so much. It is brilliant to harness the healthy rivalry of both sets of fans into an occasion that benefits local charities."

Special guests will include members of Forest's European Cup wining sides and Derby's 1972 Championship team. Tickets went on sale first to Derby season ticket holders, priced £10 adults, £5 seniors and £2 under-16's. Any future game between the two clubs will automatically become a Brian Clough Trophy match.


New Play

Writer Stephen Lowe has revealed details of his new Cloughie play. The comedy, called 'The Devil's League', is set in 1984 during the miners' strike. Said Stephen: "It's a titanic battle for the soul of British football between Brian Clough and the publisher and new owner of Derby County, Robert Maxwell."

Actor Colin Tarrant will again take the role of the Master Manager, following his success in the play 'Old Big 'Ead in the Spirit of the Man' at Nottingham Playhouse. "If anything, this new play is even wilder than that one," said Stephen, who was speaking at a Cloughie tribute evening - the opening event of the Lowdham Book Festival in Nottinghamshire (June 2007).

"There will be some special guest appearances in the play, including Frank Sinatra making his final comeback," smiled Stephen. "We're in discussions with theatres but ideally we hope to open at Derby Playhouse next February."

During the tribute evening at the book festival, Colin performed extracts from the original Old Big 'Ead play and received a fantastic reception from the audience. Also on stage were author Duncan Hamilton, who talked about working with Cloughie, and website editor Marcus Alton, who recalled meeting the Great Man and explained the inspiration for the website. Colin closed the evening with a memorable rendition of 'My Way' in Cloughie-style. There are more details on the festival HERE.


Banned By Brian

Former football writer Duncan Hamilton has described how he received a stern telling-off from Cloughie in the Forest dressing room. In an exclusive interview for this website, Hamilton revealed he knew something was wrong when a Reds youth player came to the City Ground Press Box to summon him. It followed a critical match report which had the headline 'Reds Morale Nose Dives.'

Cloughie had stuck the report to the dressing room wall. "I remember Clough emerged from the mist of the shower and pointed to the wall. He said he hadn’t needed to give a motivational talk - he just showed the players the newspaper cutting. Then he told me I could stick my typewriter where the sun doesn’t shine."

Hamilton said Cloughie then told him he was banned from the City Ground. However, several days later the journalist received a call from the Master Manager, asking where he was. Cloughie invited him back to the ground, saying it was all forgotten. “I spent the afternoon with him and my notebook was full of stories,” said Hamilton.

Read a review of the book and more of the interview with Hamilton HERE. We have two copies to give away in a competition HERE. 


Statue Unveiled

Cloughie's wife Barbara has unveiled Middlesbrough's statue of the Great Man, with help from youngsters from his old school in the town. During an emotional day, Mrs Clough praised the fund-raisers who had made it all possible. "You have done him proud and I thank you from the bottom of my heart," she said.

The seven-foot bronze figure stands in Albert Park, near his childhood home. It shows Clough as a 24-year-old with his boots slung over his shoulder. All generations of the Clough family attended the ceremony. Cloughie's son Nigel said: "Dad would have been very proud."


Boro Tribute

The chairman of the fund-raising committee, John McPartland, said he was delighted. "There is a deep feeling for Cloughie from the people in this town and they don't want him to be forgotten." Brian's sister Doreen said: "I think it's lovely. The ears are perfect and his nose is just right. The statue even has that twitch around the mouth which was just like Brian." There's a full report, photo's and a video clip HERE. 

Meanwhile, the process to find a sculptor to make the Nottingham statue is continuing. The selection process is now in the hands of Nottingham City Council who will commission the statue. The Nottingham fund was launched eight months after the one in Middlesbrough.


Key To Success

A former sports journalist has revealed how Cloughie used to listen to Frank Sinatra songs while writing out the teamsheet. Duncan Hamilton, who worked for the Nottingham Evening Post, says Old Big 'Ead would play music by Old Blue Eyes and sing along to tunes like Fly Me To The Moon and I've Got You Under My Skin.

In his new book, Hamilton says Cloughie even sang down the phone to him. He would hum Sinatra songs while working at the City Ground, before breaking into song. Recalls Hamilton: "'You know,' he said one day, handing me the teamsheet. 'I'd love all of us to play football the way Frank Sinatra sings...all that richness in the sound, and every word perfect. How gorgeous would that be?'"

Hamilton's book, Provided You Don't Kiss Me, is a fascinating account of a journalist's close working relationship with the Master Manager over twenty years. We have two copies to give away in a competition HERE. Read a review of the book HERE. 


Special Message

Cloughie's wife Barbara has sent a good luck message to Derby boss Billy Davies. It came ahead of the Rams' match against Crystal Palace (April 2007). Derby officials had contacted Mrs Clough about naming a square after Brian, as part of a new £20-million development at Pride Park. Davies received Mrs Clough's best wishes when she returned the call (reports the Daily Mail).

"It came totally out of the blue and her phone call has given me a tremendous boost," said Davies. "For that lady to take time out and send her kind regards was fantastic and shows that the Clough family still hold the club very close to their hearts." The Rams lost the Palace match and missed-out on automatic promotion to the Premiership.


No Kissing

A new book about Cloughie is hitting the shelves. Entitled 'Provided You Don't Kiss Me,' it has been written by Duncan Hamilton, who worked at the Nottingham Evening Post for more than 20 years. In their publicity, the publishers have provided a Cloughie quote: "Look Duncan, you're a journalist. One day you'll write a book about this club. Or, more to the point, about me. So you may as well know what I'm thinking and save it up for later when it won't do any harm to anyone..."

The promotional literature adds that Hamilton 'paints a vivid portrait of a huge personality, a man with a God-given gift for management and the watertight confidence and ego to stare down his detractors in the media, boardroom and beyond. A man who grabbed life - and most of his players - by the balls and wouldn't let go until he got his way.' The book is out in May. More details to come, along with a competition to win two copies.


More Film Folly

Cloughie's son Nigel is reported to be disappointed that the proposed film about his Dad will focus on the turbulent 44 days at Leeds United. Like many fans, Nigel says such a project should reflect his father's thirty years in football management, including his successful years at Nottingham Forest and Derby County.

Nigel told the Derby Evening Telegraph: "It is a pity they have chosen to focus on that small period. If you spoke to the people of Derby or Nottingham about my father they wouldn't talk about those 44 days at Leeds United. I bet a few people wouldn't have even heard of his time at Leeds."

The planned film is due to be based on the bitterly disappointing book 'The Damned United' which contains imaginary thoughts and conversations. True Clough fans feel it doesn't do him any justice, by ignoring the amazing, unprecedented success the Great Man brought to two formerly small clubs.

One fan posted the following e-mail on the Telegraph website: "How negative to just focus on this very small period of a very great man's long and highly successful professional life. Like most people in Derby and Nottingham, I would have much preferred to see a film that depicted and celebrated Brian Clough's many successes."


Boro Statue Latest

The finishing touches are being put to Middlesbrough's statue of the Great Man. Sculptor Vivien Mallock consulted Cloughie's family to get their approval on the final design, which shows him as a young man in his football kit. Said Vivien: "Everything has gone well and we are considering a small bronze plinth that will stand on top of a stone plinth.

"The memorial itself has Brian with his socks well down his legs, just the way he liked it. It also has football shorts that are ruffled up, which is how his family said he used to wear them." The bronze statue is being forged in Hampshire before taking pride of place in Albert Park.

Meanwhile, the process to find a sculptor to make the Nottingham statue is continuing and more details will be announced in the near future. The Nottingham fund was launched eight months after the one in Middlesbrough.


Cheque Mate

A former Chief Scout at Nottingham Forest has revealed how Cloughie saved the club from folding, by paying a £35,000 tax bill with his own money. Alan Hill said Old Big 'Ead intervened and spoke to the tax man directly. "He got him on the phone and said, 'It's Mr Clough here. I understand you are going to close my football club down tomorrow if we don't pay a VAT bill for £35,000.'"

The official confirmed the situation and Cloughie got his cheque book out. Hill told BBC Radio Nottingham (March, 2007): "He wrote the cheque from his personal account and it stopped the bailiffs coming. The following month we sold Peter Davenport for £650,000 and that kept the club afloat."



England Dream

The BBC's chief football correspondent Mike Ingham says Cloughie could have changed the complete history of English football if he'd been made manager of the national team. "I think one of the greatest mistakes we ever made at international level was not appointing Brian as manager," says Ingham.

"He was so ready made for the job. Yes, he was abrasive; yes, he was argumentative; yes, he was controversial. But he was also at the very top of his profession and I can't help but wonder what an impact he would have had on our national side." Ingham's comments came in a column in a Forest matchday programme (February, 2007).


Boro Statue Latest

The statue of Cloughie in Middlesbrough is set to be unveiled in May, 2007. It follows a slight delay in the sculpting process, which means the original unveiling on March 21st (which would have been Cloughie's 72nd birthday) has been put back.

Brian's wife Barbara made a special journey to Teesside from Derbyshire to help sculptor Vivien Mallock perfect the facial likeness. His brother Joe and sister Doreen also helped advise on the bronze statue which will stand in Albert Park. Joe told the Evening Gazette: "The face had a sad look about it. I suggested it should have a bit of a smile."

Meanwhile, efforts to select a sculptor for the statue in Nottingham are continuing. The selection process will involve members of Cloughie's family and council experts, with the aim of drawing-up a shortlist.


Film Folly

A film director has confirmed there are plans to make a movie about Cloughie. Stephen Frears, who made the film 'The Queen', said he hoped to start shooting this latest project at the end of the year (reports the BBC, February 2007). Frears said the actor Michael Sheen, who has previously portrayed Tony Blair, was lined-up to play the Master Manager because he "looks like him."

However, true Clough fans (who appreciate the glory days at Derby and Forest) won't be impressed to hear the film is said to be based on the disappointing novel 'The Damned Utd', which covers Cloughie's 44 days at Leeds United in 1974.


Signed Sweatshirt

A green tribute sweatshirt signed by Brian Clough's sister Doreen is the prize in the latest competition on this website (this competition is now closed). There was such a good response to the last competition to win a similar signed sweater that we decided to give you another chance to own one. The jumper has an 'Old Big Ead' motif on it. It was one of a limited number produced for the statue fund in Nottingham and - now signed - is a special piece of memorabilia for any true Cloughie fan. Enter the competition HERE. 


A Clean Sweep

Goalkeeper Mark Crossley has revealed how the Master Manager surprised him when he handed him his debut at Forest. Crossley, who was then 18, was sweeping the corridor outside the dressing room before a game against Liverpool. "Suddenly Brian Clough appeared," he said.

"He took me into the home dressing room, pointed and as I looked down I saw my boots were under the bench. He said 'young man you're playing, now get changed'. I think I was fifth choice but because of illnesses and suspensions I was in. And kick-off was in 45 minutes!"

Crossley found himself sitting between Stuart Pearce and Brian Laws in the dressing room and they reassured the youngster. "Pearcey just told me I'd be fine and I was. We won 2-1 and Cloughie made sure I got the match ball to keep. I still have it. Brilliant."

Crossley's anecdote was part of a report in the Daily Mail, as he and Sheffield Wednesday boss Laws prepared to face Pearce's Manchester City in the FA Cup (January 2007). Crossley's gratitude to, and affection for, Clough remains clear. At Christmas he received a canvas painting of the Great Man from his family. "I was choked," he said. "I will treasure it forever."