Brian Clough Statue Brian Clough Statue


Mourinho Memories

The former Chelsea manager, Jose Mourinho, thinks he shares many similarities with Cloughie - and has paid a warm tribute to him. The Portuguese also said how much he likes one of Cloughie's all-time great quotes - which was originally plucked from regional TV obscurity by this website, to become a lasting memory of the Master Manager.

Mourinho says of Cloughie: "A lot of people say we have similarities and there are certainly coincidences." He also admires the way Clough used to project himself in interviews and press conferences. "We all probably remember Clough's best quotes," he says before adding that he loves the quote: 'I wouldn't say I was the best manager in the business, but I was in the top one.'

"He had all that self-esteem and big self-belief. He was very confident about himself, and from what I know about him he was very comfortable with the attention. Maybe because Brian Clough was such a huge personality, with so much charisma, everyone remembers his quotes and the stories and a few people forget his talents.

"He didn't win two European Cups with Nottingham Forest just because of his charisma. History cannot delete what he and Nottingham Forest did - their results, the cups, the achievements, absolutely unbelievable achievements." In the foreword for a new book 'I Believe in Miracles', Mourinho adds: "I have huge respect for what they did. I think if Brian Clough was around today, we would get on." Read a review of the book HERE.

Miracles Film

A film director has described how Brian Clough inspired his incredible football movie 'I Believe In Miracles'. In an exclusive interview for this website, Jonny Owen said Cloughie's impact on world football should never be forgotten.

"He was, quite simply, years ahead of his time," says Jonny who gave this website a special preview of the film which tells the story of Nottingham Forest's amazing five-year rise under Clough, as he took the club from being Second Division strugglers to back-to-back European Cup winners. You can read more about the film HERE.

How It All Started

October 2015 marks fifty years since Brian Clough became a Football League manager. When Hartlepools welcomed Cloughie as their boss 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. His first match was a 3-1 victory. 'Hartlepools Greet Manager With A Win' was the headline in the local newspaper. Read how it all started, in a brand new page on the website HERE.

A Hackett Job

Former Premier League referee Keith Hackett has named Cloughie as one of the best managers and praised the way his teams treated refs with respect. "Brian Clough was the complete opposite to the likes of Jose Mourinho, in that he wouldn't publicly criticise referees in any way, shape or form and neither would he allow his players to dispute decisions," Hackett told the You Are The Ref website.

"His players respected him and so he had a great professional relationship with them. So as a referee when you officiated at Nottingham Forest under Clough, they were without doubt the best team by way of on-field discipline. It was measurable at the time, there was a sense of enjoyment.

"They had one or two players who could dish it out. They had Larry Lloyd and Kenny Burns who were brought to task in terms of how they play and I think that was great credit to him. Clough would never criticise the referee, he may have offered post-match advice, but in fairness from a personal point of view, he was always extremely supportive of referees."

Career Advice

Council bosses in southern England say they've found the right man to be their Chief Executive - thanks to Cloughie. Bob Jackson was playing in the reserves at Nottingham Forest when Brian told him he was "too intelligent" to be a footballer.

Instead of pursuing a career in football, Mr Jackson entered local government and is taking charge at New Forest District Council, where he has worked for seven years. A council spokesman told the Southern Daily Echo (September 2015): "His professional life may have taken a rather different turn were it not for some early advice from Brian Clough.

"Serving time in reserve teams, the young Bob Jackson was told by Mr Clough that he was too intelligent to be a footballer." But Mr Jackson admitted: "The truth is I wasn't good enough."

Milestone Movie

To celebrate this website's 15th anniversary, we've been given a sneak preview of the forthcoming film about Nottingham Forest's glory years under Cloughie. 'I Believe In Miracles' has a feel-good factor which sends a tingle down the spine. Using archive footage, including interviews with the Master Manager and the recollections of the players who started the 1979 European Cup winning campaign, it brings back golden memories of Cloughie's unprecedented success with the Reds and his inspirational man-management.

The man behind the film, Jonny Owen, made sure that the Cloughie tribute website had the opportunity to see some of the special footage, which will be premiered at Forest's City Ground in October.

Fifteen years after the launch of the website, we're still receiving emails of appreciation, like this one from Swindon fan, Gary:

"I stumbled across the Cloughie website this morning and have thoroughly enjoyed reading some of his quotes and escapades. My only connection with Forest was in the seventies when I asked my Mum and Dad for a replica Forest shirt as I thought they were really flash and I think Trevor Francis had not long signed for them!

"I live in Swindon and follow Swindon Town FC but, like millions can't fail to admire what the great man achieved. The word 'legend' is greatly overused, but the true meaning of it was invented for Cloughie. Thanks for the super memories."

Tea For Two

A BBC sports presenter has described how Cloughie made them both a pot of tea and help put the nervous young interviewer at ease. Garry Richardson was a reporter for BBC Radio Nottingham when he asked Cloughie for an interview at Nottingham Forest's City Ground back in 1980.

At first the Great Man declined and Garry admits he was slightly relieved - but then he turned to Garry and said: "I've never done an interview with you, have I?" and invited him into his office. 

BBC presenter Garry Richardson

Garry says the interview was a daunting prospect for a young radio reporter. "I was very, very nervous, but Brian Clough was brilliant because he could sense that - and after we sat down he asked if I'd like a cup of tea." Garry declined the offer but Cloughie had other ideas. "Well, I've been doing a lot of talking, I'm going to make us one," he said. Garry waited in the office, looking around at the replica trophies, the photographs and the track-suit hanging on the back of the door.

"He came back five minutes later, with a teapot, milk and biscuits and he poured it out," says Garry. They then chatted about Garry's background and whether he had ever played football. "Brian Clough suddenly had no fears for me, we were just chatting away."

Garry noticed there was no sugar on the table, but didn't want to mention it. Brian realised this and asked Garry if he'd like some sugar. Despite the young reporter pretending he didn't need it, Cloughie insisted on getting some sugar for his guest. Garry told BBC Radio Nottingham's John Holmes (June 2015): "To this day, I look back 35 years and - credit to Brian Clough - he could tell I was a young nervous reporter and he made me a cup of tea."

Statue Fund Memories

It's ten years since the launch of the Brian Clough Statue Fund in Nottingham. A special launch event, involving the Brian Clough tram, was held on June 17th, 2005. Huge banners featuring some of Cloughie's best-known quotes were presented to fund members by the the city council, to be auctioned off. The small group of volunteers smashed their £60,000 target in 18 months, organising various events and selling memorabilia including badges and sweatshirts. The statue was unveiled in November 2008 by Mrs Clough who described it as 'perfect.' You can reflect on that launch event - held long before the age of social media - with a collection photo's and quotes HERE.

Campbell Memories

Former Nottingham Forest player David Campbell has described Cloughie as a genius who taught him how to behave both on and off the football field. Campbell joined the Reds in 1985, playing alongside the likes of Nigel Clough and Neil Webb, and spent several years working for Brian.

"He was a genius who could lift you up and also bring you back down to earth when he needed to," recalls the former Northern Ireland star. "I wasn't necessarily the best player but come match days I would have run through a brick wall for that man. He made you feel special.

"He taught me a lot, not just about football but about how to conduct myself off the pitch which has stood me in good stead to this day," Campbell told the Belfast Telegraph. Clough also helped him get into the Northern Ireland squad by encouraging boss Billy Bingham to select him at international level. Campbell inspired the movie 'Shooting for Socrates' which premieres at the Belfast Film Festival (April, 2015).

Tributes For Mackay

Tributes have been paid to the man Cloughie described as his best ever signing. Dave Mackay has died at the age of 80 (March 2015). Brian used all his persuasive powers to secure Mackay's signature for Derby in 1968 - the Scot had intended leaving Spurs to become assistant manager of Hearts.

Clough converted the tough-tackling Mackay into a sweeper at Derby and the Scot helped the Rams win promotion to the First Division in his first season. In his 1994 autobiography, Clough recalled: "When I look back across all the many and varied signings during my time in management...Dave Mackay has to be the best. Not only did he have everything as a player, but he was the ideal skipper: a supreme example to everybody else at the football club."

Among those impressed by the example he set was a young Roy MacFarland who played alongside Mackay in defence. Says MacFarland: "Brian Clough brought in Dave Mackay and what an experience it was to play with him. He taught me everything. But it wasn't just me, he taught the senior players too."

Mackay once recalled: "When I walked into the dressing room for the first time, Brian Clough more or less told the other players they were lucky to be playing alongside me. He put me on a pedestal. For the three years I was there and all the time I've known him, he kept me there."

Trophy Match

The Brian Clough Trophy returned to the City Ground in January 2015 after Nottingham Forest's 2-1 win over Derby at the iPro Stadium. The Reds' manager Stuart Pearce was presented with the trophy while being interviewed by Sky Sports after the match. The trophy is the prize each time Cloughie's two former clubs meet. Derby had regained and retained it in 2014. You can read more about the trophy HERE.

Forest Fortieth Anniversary

January 2015 marks the 40th anniversary of Cloughie's arrival at Nottingham Forest - and the start of an amazing story which saw an average Second Division club transformed into European Champions. Cloughie had been in the football wilderness after his infamous 44 days at Leeds United, but Forest took the decision to take him on - and he arrived in the pale blue Mercedes he'd received as part of the Leeds pay-off which made him financially secure.

Cloughie recalled: "When I walked into the City Ground in January 1975, it was like entering a desert - a barren place void of life, lacking in colour with not even a green leaf to give hope. And, like a desert, there didn't seem to be any end to it all. Supporters, sick and tired of seeing their best players leave to be replaced by others of lesser ability, were totally disillusioned."

The Master Manager said although the picture didn't look bright, he didn't regret 'for one minute' coming off the nation's unemployed list and joining Forest. "So, like my mother always used to do when she had a big job on her hands, I decided to clear the decks and start from scratch. It wasn't easy or pleasant but something had to be done in a dramatic way because the club was heading for bankruptcy and I didn't fancy sinking with it."

Club chairman Jim Willmer was pictured welcoming Clough, despite initial reservations over the new appointment. Soon after his arrival, Clough was telling the kitchen staff they would be getting a new cooker and fridge - funded through the Master Manager's exclusive deals with newspapers for interviews. The impact of Clough's arrival could not be underestimated. Within days, £4,000 worth of season tickets had been sold.

Journalist John Lawson remembers: "What amazed Forest was that no top club had had the enterprise to offer Clough employment during his time in the wilderness, for once he had accepted Forest's offer his impact was both immediate and stunning. A report written at the time stated, 'It was not so much a breath of fresh air that swept through the corridors of the City Ground...more like a hurricane."

You can read the full story of Cloughie's arrival at Forest - and the work behind the scenes to attract him to the City Ground - in a special article HERE.