The Brian Clough Trophy has been regained by Nottingham Forest following their 5-2 victory over Derby County in a Championship match at the City Ground (December, 2010). The trophy is up for grabs each time the two clubs meet. Reds manager Billy Davies is pictured, below, presenting the trophy to Forest captain Lee Camp. Photo courtesy of John Sumpter/JMS Photography.
Former Cloughie player Kenny Burns has described how Brian became a father figure to him. In an exclusive interview for this website, Burns says he learned a huge amount from the Master Manager, who often reminded him exactly who was the boss.
"He was like an adopted father to me," said Burns. "I was only 22 or 23 when I joined him at Nottingham Forest. He told you what to do - and what not to do. He was like a Dad. When he said something, you listened and you did it.
"He once fined me for making a bad pass across the defence. It was nearly cut out by the opposition. He fined me fifty pounds and I took my punishment. He also fined me fifty pounds for head-butting another player on the back of the head and I was caught on camera." That incident inspired the title of Burns' autobiography which is out now, 'No Ifs Or Butts.'
We're still collecting fans' stories of meeting Cloughie for inclusion in a charity book backed by Mrs Clough. The book will feature fond memories of the Great Man, from fans and well-known names. The author's royalties will go the Brian Clough Memorial Fund which helps the types of good causes Brian supported. More details HERE.
The Nettle Dash
Cloughie player Garry Birtles has revealed some of the Master Manager's more unusual training methods. In an exclusive interview with this website, Birtles described how Brian ordered his team to run through nettles and then squeeze into a small five-a-side net.
"It was so unpredictable - no two days were the same," said Birtles. "He got us running through a clump of nettles in the corner of the training ground. It was like compost corner, where the groundsman dumped all the grass cuttings. You'd then hear him shout, 'last one in the five-a-side net' and everyone would run to the goal and try and squeeze into the net! It was bizarre. It was just another way that the Gaffer showed us who was the boss."
Birtles also became Cloughie's squash partner, playing at the Trent Bridge courts near the City Ground. "Even after training, caked in mud, I'd have to quickly clean myself up ready for a game of squash." And on one occasion, it was even followed by a reserve match against Derby in the evening.
"I thought he might go easy on me during the reserves match because we'd played squash earlier. But far from it. Mine was the one name you could hear him shouting throughout the game. There was no way I was getting any sympathy!"
Birtles, a carpet fitter before he joined Clough at Nottingham Forest, has published his autobiography 'My Magic Carpet Ride' which has a foreword by Brian's son Nigel. "It was a great experience playing alongside him for Nottingham Forest, when he returned for his second spell at the club," says Nigel,who has remained a close friend. "I learned a great deal from the way he conducted himself and the way he understood and read the game."
In the book, Birtles describes his shock when Nigel told him his Dad had passed away. "I will remember Nigel's phone call until the day I die and his hesitant voice telling me he had some 'really bad news'. He was devastated and people who never even knew the man were in a state of shock." Birtles says he still misses Brian. "He was such a colossal man, nothing was beyond him."
An unusual picture of Cloughie has been unveiled at a gallery in Nottingham. The mosaic was created by leading artist Ed Chapman and is made from hundreds of pieces of ceramic tile which were painstakingly cut by hand. It took Ed two weeks to create the portrait at his studio in Manchester.
Ed commented: "I have always been a fan of Brian Clough, not only for his managerial skills but also his complete originality as a person. This is the first time I have done a mosaic of him and I hope I have captured his likeness." The portrait measures 62x62cm and is on show until Saturday (December 11, 2010) at the Cuadros Art Gallery in Hockley.
To mark this month's second anniversary of the unveiling of the superb bronze statue of Brian Clough in Nottingham, we've posted some previously unpublished photo's from the big day. They include pictures of the Clough family alongside the stunning sculpture and former Cloughie players in front of the crowd of more than five-thousand. View the photos HERE or see the original photos HERE.
Former Leeds United player Johnny Giles has revealed more about his successful legal action over the book 'The Damned United' and describes Brian Clough's portrayal as 'outrageous.' Giles says he could understand the injustice felt by the Clough family. He said that contributed to his decision to take court action.
Said Giles: "The book was awful and I found the portrayal of Brian Clough outrageous. I took my stand because I was the only one alive who could do anything about it. The Clough family had no comeback. They couldn't do anything as Brian was dead."
Giles told the Yorkshire Post (November 2010) that the book was damaging because it mixed fiction with fact, using real people's names. It wrongly depicted Giles as a key figure in Cloughie's sacking at Leeds in 1974. Referring to author David Peace, Giles added: "He had me having a conversation with Brian Clough that never happened. You then watch the movie and the danger is people take this as a fact." Read more about the Panned United, including the views of the Clough family, HERE.
Brian Beats Fergie
A fans poll has concluded something we already knew - Brian Clough was a better manager than Alex Ferguson. The radio station Talksport invited listeners to decide who was the greatest football manager - Cloughie or Fergie. Brian received 53% of the vote (November 2010). In our opinion there's no contest. We're still waiting for Ferguson to win two consecutive European Cups.
A special film about Cloughie, featuring archive footage, will be shown later this month. 'Brian Clough - the Best Manager England Never Had' will be screened at The Quad in Derby. The film, compiled by The Media Archive of Central England, charts his career at Derby County through to his time at Nottingham Forest. It will be shown on Sunday November 28th, 2010, at 4pm.
Euro Hero Praise
Former Cloughie player Gary Mills says he'll use the same principles taught by the Great Man as he starts a new managerial role. Mills played in Brian's 1980 European Cup winning side at Nottingham Forest and is now manager of York City (October, 2010).
Mills told York Press: "They obviously broke the mould when they made the genius Brian Clough and he was a one-off. I am my own man but, make no mistake, I learned a lot from him about discipline. I was brought up with that in my family and, at Forest, he was also like a father figure to me and I want that same discipline and respect here."
Wise Words Repeated
Some of Brian Clough's original newspaper columns from the 1980's are being re-printed. In the first of a weekly series (October, 2010), the Nottingham Evening Post reproduced Cloughie's wise words from November 16th, 1984. At the time, Forest had won only one of their previous ten matches and were 13th in the First Division.
Said Cloughie: "I can't grumble about the level of our commitment. Our lads are giving their lot and, perhaps, it's their total anxiety to actually win a game which is letting them down. They want three points against Coventry so much I swear it's coming out of their ears.
"I only hope we get them and that we spend as much time on the ball as Gary Megson has done talking this week." Forest went on to beat Coventry and finished the season ninth in the league table.
Fund-raisers who smashed through their financial target to secure enough money for Nottingham's brilliant bronze Cloughie statue have been described as 'inspirational' by another statue group. The chairman of the Alan Sillitoe Statue Fund, Keri Usherwood, was full of praise for the volunteers behind the Brian Clough Statue Fund during an interview on BBC Radio Nottingham (October, 2010).
"They're inspirational in what they did - and we've seen the hard work and sheer grind that goes into raising the money needed," said Keri, who is leading the fund-raising campaign for a statue of the author at his birthplace of Lenton Abbey in Nottingham.
The Cloughie volunteers in Nottingham raised £70,000 in just 18 months for the superb bronze sculpture which was unveiled by Mrs Clough in November 2008. The statue fund committee held special events, sold limited edition memorabilia and even secured £4,000 during a matchday collection. You can see more about the campaign HERE. A tribute book which includes the story behind the statue is still available HERE.
Anniversary of Tribute
Six years ago, Cloughie fans gathered in Nottingham's Old Market Square for a civic tribute in memory of the Master Manager. It followed the sad news of Brian's death a few days previously. Cloughie's captain John McGovern paid tribute to his former boss in front of thousands of fans. Later, all the trophies he won at Nottingham Forest were paraded at the City Ground. There are photo's from the day HERE and pictures of the floral tributes HERE.
Feet On The Ground
Cloughie star Duncan McKenzie has described how the Master Manager ensured he kept his feet on the ground. McKenzie, a flamboyant player who signed for Brian during his brief spell at Leeds United in 1974, described Clough as 'the greatest.'
In an interview for Givemefootball.com (September 2010) McKenzie said Clough never let anybody rest on their laurels. "He certainly was a man for keeping his players on their toes, and he certainly told me my priorities. I remember when he watched me in the early days he quickly put me in my place.
"In his lazy drawl, he told me I was one hundred per cent in dribbling round opponents and setting up goals, but he was always a man for bringing his players down to earth. He was always quick to make sure his players kept their feet on the ground. He told me: 'With all your flicks and back heels perhaps you won't change easily; but scoring those two goals, young man, was very good. But you should have had a hat-trick!'"
McKenzie was the brilliant guest speaker at a Gala Dinner attended by Mrs Clough and her family in Nottingham's Council House in June 2006. The dinner raised £9,000 for the Brian Clough Statue Fund, which went on to raise £70,000 for the superb bronze sculpture of Cloughie in Nottingham city centre. Read about the Gala Dinner HERE.
Simply The Best
Former Cloughie player Steve Wigley has heaped praise on the Master Manager, saying he learnt from the best. Wigley played for the Great Man at Nottingham Forest during the 1980's. More recently he worked with the England Under-21's and is now at Bristol City (August 2010).
Wigley told the Bristol Evening Post: "I was very fortunate to start my professional career at Nottingham Forest, because I played for a manager who demanded honesty. If there was one thing you learned there, playing for Brian Clough, it was the importance of being an honest player.
"More than anything else, he taught me how to take a pride in doing my job properly. When you come out of non-league football at the age of 20 and play for the European champions, you cannot help but learn. In Brian Clough, I learned from the best in the business."
A former world champion boxer says Brian Clough was quite simply a 'knock-out'. Carl Froch was speaking ahead of a visit to Nottingham Forest's City Ground, where Cloughie won the European Cup in two consecutive seasons, as well as many other trophies.
Carl, who visited the City Ground with his ten-week old son Rocco, told Boxing News 24: "Rocco's mum is from Liverpool, but despite the great teams that she has up in her neck of the woods, nobody has emulated what the great Brian Clough did with Forest. As a manager, he was pound for pound, the best in this country during his peak."
Cloughie had the last word when his long-awaited tribute in Derby was finally unveiled to family members and VIPS's at Pride Park (August 27th, 2010). The canvas covering the statue became snagged on his head as officials attempted to unveil the sculpture. It took several minutes to uncover the Great Man - as on-lookers were reminded of his nickname, Old Big 'Ead!
The sculpture of Brian, alongside his assistant Peter Taylor, is nine-feet high and stands on a ten-feet high concrete plinth. The unveiling comes nearly two years after Nottingham's bronze statue was unveiled by Barbara Clough, accompanied by members of her family. Another statue, in Cloughie's hometown of Middlesbrough, was unveiled by Mrs Clough in 2007.
Speaking after the unveiling in Derby, Mrs Clough said Brian would have been amazed by the statue. She was accompanied by her family, including her two sons, Simon and Nigel, her daughter Elizabeth and her grandchildren.
The £125,000 scheme was funded through business sponsorship, unlike the previous statue projects in Middlesbrough and Nottingham, where fans were inspired to launch successful fund-raising campaigns involving a range of special events, including a gala dinner in Nottingham attended by Mrs Clough and her family. See more about the unveiling HERE.
Mrs Clough Praises Website
Brian Clough's widow has praised this website in a special message to celebrate its tenth anniversary. Barbara Clough said she hoped the site will continue to be a big success for many more years. There was also a big 'thank you' to all the fans who have visited and sent messages over the last decade.
Mrs Clough said she was sure the website would have made Brian smile, even though he was not from the computer generation. "He certainly thought it was tremendous to receive all the e-mails from fans which were forwarded to him," she said. Mrs Clough was impressed that the site attracted visitors from all over the world.
"I would like to send a big thank you to everyone who has visited the site and sent their tributes over the past decade," said Mrs Clough. She also thanked fans who have bought souvenirs from the site, helping to raise money for the Brian Clough Memorial Fund. "In particular, the badges featuring Brian's 'Be Good' message have been a wonderful idea," she said.
The site has had more than half a million unique visitors since it was launched in August, 2000. Several years ago it became the official site of the Brian Clough Statue Fund which raised money for the superb bronze statue which stands in Nottingham city centre. Said Mrs Clough: "Just as the statue will remain a fitting tribute for future generations, I hope the website will continue to be a success for many years to come." Read Mrs Clough's statement in full HERE.
As part of our 10th anniversary celebrations, we've produced some exclusive Cloughie greetings cards. They feature a colour photo of the magnificent bronze statue in Nottingham and some of Brian's famous quotes. The cards are also helping to rase money for the Brian Clough Memorial Fund. Find out more HERE.
Brian's son Nigel still refuses to watch the controversial film The Damned United, reports The Daily Mirror (August, 2010). The film is based on David Peace's book of the same name, which the Clough family say portrays Brian in an inaccurate and damaging way.
Said Nigel: "I haven't seen it. It was on in the plane coming back from holiday recently but I'm very pleased it was a night flight - I went to sleep instead. My little lad William said, 'There's a film on about Grandad' and I said, 'Yeah get to sleep.' We had a quick game of cards, ate our dinner and went to sleep. I can't see any benefit at all of seeing it." Simon Clough described the book as a disgrace. Read more about the family's views of the book and film HERE.
Win Signed Book
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of this website, we're giving you the chance to win a tribute book signed by Barbara Clough (note: competition now closed). Mrs Clough has written the foreword of the book, 'Young Man, You've Made My Day.' For the chance to win this rare prize, in which Mrs Clough has handwritten 'Love and Good Wishes, Barbara Clough,' visit the competition page.
Statue in Reds Shirt
The Brian Clough statue in Nottingham has been given a new look - it was dressed in the latest shirt from Nottingham Forest, the club where the Great Man won two European Cups. Forest stars Lee Camp and Chris Cohen were there to unveil the new strip and spoke exclusively to this website as part of a special video about the event.
Commenting on the statue, unveiled by Mrs Clough in November 2008, Camp told this website: "It's a fitting tribute to the man and for what he achieved for this city." Asked about the sculpture dressed in the Forest shirt, Camp added: "I am sure he would be pleased to be wearing it. Nottingham Forest were obviously a big part of his life and I am sure he would be immensely proud."
Photograhers and TV cameras captured the moment when the statue was unveiled wearing the red shirt. Both players posed alongside the bronze sculpture for photo's and signed autographs. Chris Cohen told this website: "It's a fitting tribute to Nottingham's most famous man." You can see an exclusive video of the event HERE. There are photo's from the event HERE.
BBC TV Doc
Television audience figures show that more than two million people watched a BBC documentary reflecting on Cloughie's career. Entitled 'Brian Clough - The Best Manager England Never Had?' it was largely a re-production of many previous interviews with family members and former colleagues, plus a wide range of archive material of the Great Man himself.
Among the new content was an interview with the BBC commentator, Barry Davies, who interviewed Cloughie after his final first team match at the City Ground back in 1993. Looking back at the times he had met Brian, Barry commented: "Time in his company would be provoking, interesting and fun - and I think I'm a better person for having known him."
The programme, broadcast on BBC Two on July 18th, 2010, also featured the Brian Clough statue in Nottingham several times and an interview with Barbara Clough which was conducted especially for the statue unveiling in 2008. In the final scenes, the statue is shown while Mrs Clough comments: "He used to say 'I hope I've contributed and I hope somebody liked me' - I think a lot of people did."
Praise from Shilton
The former World Cup goalkeeper Peter Shilton has paid tribute to Brian Clough. In an exclusive video interview for this website, the ex-England stopper said he enjoyed 'the best years' working with the Master Manager.
Shilton won two European Cups while playing for Cloughie at Nottingham Forest. He described Brian as a tremendous personality to work for. "He could be tough, but he could also be very understanding and I think you need that in order to be a successful manager," said Shilton.
He also respected the Master Master's man management. "It didn't matter whether you were one of the star players in the club, or whether you were the tea-lady, everybody was treated the same. There were no particular stars and everybody got on and did the job they were paid to do and that's very important." You can watch the video HERE.
Date For Statue
A date has been set for the unveiling of the long-awaited tribute to Brian Clough in Derby. A special ceremony involving family members and VIP's will be held on Friday August 27th, 2010, at Derby County's Pride Park stadium. But fans are being invited to a separate event the next day before the Rams' home game against Queens Park Rangers.
The sculpture of the Great Man, alongside his assistant Peter Taylor, stands nine-feet high. It will be placed on a ten-feet high concrete plinth outside the ground. The £125,000 scheme has been funded through business sponsorship, unlike previous statue projects in Middlesbrough and Nottingham, where fans were inspired to launch successful fund-raising campaigns involving a range of special events.
Brian's son Nigel commented: "The whole project looks magnificent and has gone beyond being just a statue. I believe it will become a key landmark for Derby."