Brian Clough grew up in Middlesbrough and went on to set a phenominal goal-scoring record for his home town club. As a boy he often played football in Albert Park, near his home. His natural talent and working-class roots provided a sound base for him to flourish, eventually becoming the greatest manager the game has ever seen. Here are some photo's of a few of the Boro landmarks associated with the Great Man -- and a few of his memories of those special places in The Land of The Legend.
Cloughie's childhood home was in Valley Road. "Some might have thought No.11 Valley Road, the end of the terrace, was just another council house, but to me it was heaven."
"I absolutely adored that red-brick house, with its lovely wooden gate and the garden round the side where Dad grew his rhubarb and his sprouts." On the front of the house there is now a green plaque.
"The front step was scrubbed regularly. Mam was so proud of her net curtains and the fact she managed to keep the same stair carpet for thirty years."
One of Cloughie's favourite places was Albert Park, where he would play football, cricket and tennis. In later years he would stroll through the park or hire a boat on the lake. "Blissful days, when you could walk along the pathway from the cannon to the fountain or down the avenue of chestnut trees, picking up conkers along the way if it was autumn."
"Eventually you would reach the lake where the ducks and the rowing boats were. If you had a tanner (two and a half pence in modern money) for a boat, then you felt as if you were in Paradise. If you were lucky enough to have a watch as well, you made sure of being at the furthest point from base when the boatman yelled, 'Come in Number 6, time's up.'
Cloughie met his wife Barbara in Rea's Cafe on the corner of Ayresome Street, where some of the players went after training. "I'd spotted a girl in there with a smile as wide as Stockton High Street. Little did I know then that my future wife had been brought up so close to where I lived - just on the other side of Albert Park."
Brian and Barbara married on April 4th, 1959, "the most important day of my life, apart from the day I was born." The wedding was held at St Barnabus Church in Middlesbrough. "The speeches, such as they were, had to be short, because I needed to be at Ayresome Park before two-o-clock to play against Leyton Orient."
At Ayresome Park, Cloughie's goal-scoring exploits for Boro became legendary. In 213 league appearances he scored 197 goals between 1955 and 1961. He also played for England. Some of the key games of his playing career are included in the book 'Brian Clough: Fifty Defining Fixtures'.
"I was the kid who came from a little part of paradise."