A Tribute From The States....


David Lovato used to live in Britain. He's now in the United States and has sent this tribute from Washington D.C.

 

"Wow! What a treat to find a Brian Clough tribute site, and one that appears worthy of his extraordinary accomplishments in every sense!

"A long time ago, in order to gain some freedom from a somewhat stifling boarding school regime, we used to get permission to travel (in school uniform!) to Luton from Harpenden to watch home games. At the time Malcom McDonald was the big cheese, and our enthusiasm for the sport was in truth more engaged in Park Drive cigs, and beer if we could get it!! Since we played rugby at school (football was non-u doncha-know) our trips to the terraces were a totally liberating experience, especially since at the time there was the added frissance of a good kicking by some skinhead gang or other.

"In any case, although I retained an interest in rugby as a sport, I found myself at Trent Poly in Nottingham in late 1974 - and thus began a great adventure! Since I was living (briefly) in a run-down boarding house next to the City Ground, and had little money (and have never had much common sense!) I went to then Second Division Nottingham Forest's games early in 1975 as a novelty. I became a lifelong supporter following the victory in the Anglo-Scottish Cup competition and despite the many terrace fights, the cold, the rain and the mounting expense of attending, it was surely the best time in the club's history to become a dedicated fan.

"Brian Clough was at the centre of this storming assault on the established 'great powers' of football, and although I never met him, nor shook his hand, I will never forget his hunched-over form (in a down anorack jacket and sweat pants) or his almost shy waves to the growing crowd of spectators gathering to see his team perform its latest David and Goliath feat!

"Funnily enough, for the first year or so of my visits to the matches at Nottingham Forest there was a small town atmosphere to the proceedings. With little obvious glory evident in Second Division football it was visits by fading players like George Best (playing for Fulham I believe) that drew a crowd, but on many occasions you could have half a terrace to yourself, especially for night games. It was at those sparsely attended games that you could hear the players talking, Clough's shouts, and often the sound of the players running, kicking the ball, and digging up the turf it was so quiet.

"We all know that much was to come of that skilfully created and continually improved team, but it is to the early days that my thoughts wander whenever I think of my time in Nottingham, to a clear, wet, cold night on the open terraces of Forest and the bright lights on a sparkling pitch with the ringing cry of "Save yourself Frank!" or "C'mon Robbo" still reverberating around a virtually empty stadium.

"I'm in Washington, DC nowadays but that Nottingham Forest magic still works. Brian Clough and Peter Taylor -- brilliant. Now where's me snap?"

September, 2000.