EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS OF
STATUE FUND LAUNCH
The actor Colin Tarrant helped to kick start a fund to raise money for a statue of Brian Clough in Nottingham. Organisers launched the fund, hoping to raise around £60,000 for a sculpture in Nottingham city centre. Colin, who was starring as the Great Man in a tribute play at Nottingham Playhouse, joined fund-raisers at a launch event (June 17th, 2005).
They travelled on the Brian Clough tram into the city centre. There, they were met by the city council leader, Cllr Jon Collins, who handed over banners to be auctioned off. Below, Colin is pictured, left, with committee members Rich Fisher, Sarah Alton, Paul Ellis (chairman) and Mick Mellors. The statue was the brainchild of the Editor of brianclough.com, Marcus Alton, who liaised with the Clough family and set-up the committee. He helped to drive the campaign forward from start to finish.
Said Colin at the launch: "I've always been a huge admirer of Brian Clough and I think it would be superb to see a statue of him in Nottingham. He was a brilliant man, a magical manager and a fantastic character. He transformed this city and put it on the map. I really hope this fund does well and succeeds in achieving a fitting tribute for a national treasure."
Sadly, since that momentous day Colin and Mick have passed away. They have left us with many happy memories. Both were generous with their time and their smiles. RIP.
Central TV interviewed Colin and fund-raiser Sarah. Cllr Jon Collins handed over special banners which had been displayed in the city centre in tribute to the Great Man.
The huge Brian Clough banners which were presented to the fund had been displayed in the city centre shortly after Cloughie died in September 2004. They featured his picture and some of his best-known quotes. There was much media coverage of the fund's launch, long before the age of social media. Colin Tarrant, who sadly passed away in 2012, had performed as Cloughie to rave reviews in the play 'The Spirit of the Man' at the Nottingham Playhouse.
The Brian Clough Statue Fund Committee was a small group of fans who were determined to see a lasting tribute to their hero in the city centre. The committee was put together by Marcus Alton, who had liaised with the Clough family first. He had launched this website and organised the knighthood campaign.
The fund had the support of the city council, Nottingham Forest FC, the Forest Supporters Club, this tribute website and the Reds fanzines Lost That Loving Feeling and Blooming Forest. Other committee members not on the photo were Mike Simpson, who was unable to attend the launch, and Paul Lowe, who joined the committee later.
Brian's son Simon told the Nottingham Evening Post: "To have a statue would be very fitting and as a family we would be immensely proud if they manage to raise the money."
Speaking at the fund's launch, the committee chairman Paul Ellis said: "There has been a tremendous reaction from the public since the idea was first suggested and we hope people will take the campaign to their hearts, just as they did the Great Man himself."
Paul continued: "It is fantastic that the city council is donating the banners to help us raise funds. The banners will be forever linked with Nottingham's tribute to Cloughie shortly after he died. Two of the banners were put on the front of the Council House, the others were displayed nearby. We intend to auction and raffle them off, giving fans the unique opportunity to own a special part of Nottinghamshire history."
The leader of the city council, Jon Collins, gave the fund his personal backing. "I hope the fund will go from strength to strength," he said at the time. "I am really pleased to present the banners which were displayed in the city and I hope they will help to raise important funds towards a fitting tribute to a remarkable man.
"You only have to look at the response of people who attended the civic tribute which we held in Nottingham to see what Brian Clough meant to the people of Nottinghamshire and beyond."
Colin Lea of Nottingham Express Transit said: "We are proud to support the Brian Clough Statue Fund by laying-on the special Brian Clough tram for the launch. We wish the fund every success."
The tram driver was even allowed to wear his Nottingham Forest shirt for the launch event.
One of the committee members, Sarah Alton from this website, said at the time of the launch that the fund-raising campaign was a chance for people to repay the success and enjoyment Brian Clough brought to the city and county. "A statue will be something at which fans and visitors to the city can pay homage in years to come," said Sarah.
"It would be a permanent tribute from the people of Nottinghamshire to a man who achieved so much and put the city and county on the map. The statue should be easily accessible to everyone at any time of day."
Another committee member, Rich Fisher, said at the launch: "There are statues of other footballing greats in towns and cities around the country. It is only right we do everything we can as fans to ensure there is a fitting tribute in Nottingham to this incredible man, the best manager England never had."
The banners featured some of Cloughie's best known quotes, including 'I wouldn't say I was the best manager in the business, but I was in the top one'; 'We talk about it for twenty minutes and then decide I was right'; and 'If God had wanted us to play football in the clouds, he'd have put grass up there.'
After lots of hard work by the small group of volunteers, the fund's target of £60,000 was smashed within 18 months. The statue was unveiled in November 2008 by Mrs Clough, who described it as 'perfect.'