BEHIND THE SCENES WITH CLOUGHIE
- CHIEF SCOUT'S BOOK -
Maurice On Target
Cloughie's former Chief Scout has revealed how he once beat the Great Man at darts - and Brian vowed never to play him again. "He just liked to win, that's the way he was," said Maurice Edwards in an exclusive interview for this website.
Maurice, who worked with Clough at every club he managed, has written a fascinating book which describes exactly what happened behind the scenes while working for the Master Manager. It tells the story of how he was introduced to Brian by his friend Peter Taylor, who became Cloughie's assistant. And it describes that memorable darts game which was held in a pub.
Brian and Maurice were on their way back from a scouting mission to Bournemouth when they stopped at a village pub. It was just after 6pm on a Saturday and they were the only customers. "Brian asked the landlord for two sets of darts, then he said to me 'I like to play for money, it makes it more interesting' - so we played for one-pound."
But what Brian didn't know was that Maurice was an accomplished darts player. He'd started playing at the age of 11, having grown-up in a pub, and had once reached the semi-finals of the Burton and District Darts Championship.
"I won the first game - and then Brian said 'Right, it's double or quits, we'll play another game.'" This time, Maurice played even better and won again. Brian was amazed and told Maurice he didn't know he could play so well. "He said, 'here's your two pounds - and I'll never play you again.' And he never did. That is how much winning at anything meant to Brian."
Maurice's book reveals how he was instrumental in many key signings at Derby and Forest - and played a vital role in getting Clough and Taylor together at the City Ground. He later worked for Taylor at Derby after Clough's assistant 'retired' from the Reds.
Among those top signings were Colin Barrett ("that signing game me the most satisfaction because he went straight into the Forest first team") and Garry Birtles ("I saw him score a great goal for Long Eaton United and thought 'he'll do for me!'"). Maurice also describes how he acted as a 'secret agent' during the signing of Trevor Francis. "Brian wanted to make sure nothing leaked out about it," said Maurice.
"Brian had a tremendous effect on people," Maurice told this website. "Whenever I was with him, I got a big lift - I felt two feet taller than I was. He had superb charisma."
This excellent book has a foreword by TV presenter Gary Newbon and costs £16.99 (hardback). It is published by DB Publishing in Derby (JMD Media).