1965 AT HARTLEPOOLS
HOW IT ALL STARTED
When Hartlepools welcomed Brian Clough as their manager on October 29th, 1965, no-one could have predicted the huge impact the former goalscorer would have in football management. Cloughie used the humble surroundings on the north-east coast as a fantastic grounding for what would become the greatest managerial career in the sport.
"Hartlepools won't be at the bottom of the Fourth Division for very much longer," he told guests at his testimonial dinner at Sunderland, just a couple of days before he started the new job. And in the outspoken style which would become so familiar, he added: "If you want to see some good stuff from Saturday onwards, get yourself down to a little place called Hartlepools. It won't be a little place for very long."
Cloughie had been recommended to the Hartlepools chairman, Ernie Ord, by the former Sunderland and England forward Len Shackleton, who wrote a well respected column for the Sunday People newspaper. The move followed Brian's terrible knee injury while playing for Sunderland on Boxing Day, 1962, which effectively ended his outstanding goalscoring career. After a brief comeback, he coached Sunderland's youth team.
At just 30 years old, he was the Football League's youngest manager and was appointed on a two-year contract. His first match was a 3-1 win at Bradford City on Saturday October 30th, 1965. Soon afterwards, he brought-in his friend and former Middlesbrough team-mate Peter Taylor as coach. They went on to form an unbeatable managerial partnership in the years to come.