'BRIAN CLOUGH FIFTY DEFINING FIXTURES'
- BY MARCUS ALTON -
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This fascinating book looks at some of the key matches in Brian Clough's incredible playing and managerial career spanning nearly four decades. It also contains some more classic quotes from the master of the one-liners as well as photographs from the archives.
Using original match reports and first-hand accounts, Fifty Defining Fixtures tells the story of how Clough set an outstanding goal-scoring record before a devastating injury ended his playing career. He then established a reputation for his superb man-management and those brilliant one-liners.
Now, for the first time, this book looks at the incredible Clough story by focussing on some of the key games along the way. Brian Clough Fifty Defining Fixtures is the fourth book by journalist Marcus Alton, the editor of the tribute website brianclough.com.
In a review in the February 2020 edition of Left Lion magazine, the book is described as a 'must-read' for anyone interested in Clough's life: "Alton's uncluttered entertaining narrative flair is perfect for providing the backstory on the football games that made Clough a legend, delivering a perfect balance of statistics, first-hand accounts and context."
As Hartlepool boss in 1967, Clough had turned around the fortunes of the ailing club and commented: "If everyone had increased their rate of productivity as much as my players, the country wouldn't be in the financial mess it's in now."
The book begins by looking back at Clough's great goalscoring record at Middlesbrough and Sunderland and his managerial debut at Hartlepool. It also features the Derby County glory years and his dramatic departure from the Baseball Ground; as well as his less successful spell at Brighton and controversial arrival at Leeds.
As the story continues, the book then reflects on Nottingham Forest's transformation from Second Division strugglers into European champions and Wembley winners, before Clough's emotional farewell.
Said Marcus: "When the publishers asked me to focus on fifty matches, I knew it was going to be a tough task. If you remember the sentiments of Martin O'Neill at the memorial service in 2004, Cloughie would probably have felt insulted to be summed-up in 500 matches, never mind fifty."