Brian Clough Statue Brian Clough Statue


Beware Of The Dog

A former pub landlady has recalled how Cloughie escaped the attentions of a dog by climbing up a ladder. Rita Jones says a number of Forest players used to visit the Willow Tree pub in West Bridgford, Nottingham, along with boss Cloughie. Although Brian loved the pub's ham-off-the-bone cobs, he did not like Mrs Jones' Alsation, Saba.

One night, Saba could not be found in the bar after all the glasses had been collected. Mrs Jones says she wondered if the dog had followed Cloughie. "There was a ladder that workmen had left up," she recalled. "Brian Clough was at the top of the ladder and the dog was at the bottom! I had to fetch my husband to take the dog away so he could get down." Mrs Jones was speaking to the Nottingham Post during a visit to the re-vamped pub

Clough Aid Memories

Ten years ago a special music event helped to raise money for the brilliant statue of Cloughie in Nottingham. Volunteers followed in the footsteps of Sir Bob Geldof by organising 'Clough Aid' featuring a number of local bands (December 2006). The event was compered by Clough's European Cup captain John McGovern, who read a special message from Mrs Clough. MORE ON CLOUGH AID


How Pele Helped Statue Fund

A football signed by Brazilian legend Pele helped volunteers close-in on their fund-raising target for a statue of Cloughie in Nottingham, thanks to an internet auction ten years ago (November 2006). Bidders from Australia and the United States were among the buyers in the second Grand Internet Auction for the statue fund. The ten-day auction on ebay raised more than £1,400.  AUCTION DETAILS

The highest bid was £510, for a banner which was displayed at the civic tribute in Nottingham and featured one of Cloughie's most famous quotes. A framed green 'Old Big 'Ead' sweater signed by Cloughie's son Nigel and two European Cup heroes, Martin O'Neill and John Robertson, sold for £210. Another rare item signed by the trio was a Paul Smith designer football, which was also signed by the fashion king himself. 

The statue fund was launched in June 2005 and volunteers smashed through their target within eighteen months, an amazing achievement in the days long before social media came along to help publicise similar fund-raising schemes. After a selection process to find a sculptor, the statue was unveiled in November 2008 by Mrs Clough who described it as 'perfect'. 

Hall Of Fame

It's eight years ago that Cloughie was officially included in the National Football Museum's European Hall of Fame. He was one of five British managers to be inducted at a special event. His son Nigel received an award on his father's behalf and described it as a huge honour.

Speaking at the dinner in Liverpool, Nigel told this website's editor that his father would have been extremely proud. "He would have loved to have been here in such company, with so many people who he had an immense amount of respect for in his business. I think pretty much everyone who's anyone in European football in the last 30 years is here. A lot of people he competed against and a lot of them he supported over the years."

Among the other managers inducted was the late Liverpool boss Bob Paisley. Nigel said his father often spoke with affection and admiration about Paisley. Former Liverpool defender Phil Neal was among the guests and told this website that he was pleased that both Clough and Paisley were being honoured (they were the only two managers out of five being inducted who had not received knighthoods - the others were Sir Alex Ferguson, Sir Bobby Robson and Sir Matt Busby).

On Clough's inclusion, Neal said: "It is justified in recognising Brian Clough for what he did for the national game let alone Nottingham Forest too." Cloughie's captain John McGovern said: "It's nice when the football world gets together and says this is true recognition from everyone." The event was held in Liverpool because it was the 2008 European Capital of Culture. Clough's European Cup winning squads (1979 and 1980) are now being inducted in the Hall of Fame of the museum in Manchester.

Special Welcome

Thirty-two years ago this month (September 2016), Cloughie was pictured welcoming the families of striking miners. They presented him with a miniature set of miners' lamps during a visit to Nottingham Forest's City Ground. Said Clough: "We have close associations with the mining community because a lot of our supporters are involved in the industry. It gave me a lot of pleasure to entertain the kids and I hope their visit to the ground gave them a bit of a lift."

Ultimate Motivator

Cloughie has been named as one of the all-time great managers who invented modern football. His unrivalled motivational skills are highlighted in the list of twelve pioneering bosses in the August edition of Four Four Two magazine. Alex Ferguson is not included.

Describing him as 'The Ultimate Motivator', the article says Cloughie was able to make a team better than the sum of its parts, encouraging average-looking players like John Robertson to become world-beaters. 'Clough told Forest fans that he could walk on water,' says the article. 'And they - and his teams - loved him for it. A First Division title and two European Cups simply proved it.' 

The new Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is said to be following in Cloughie's footsteps. Ferguson is described as following in the footsteps of legendary Liverpool boss Bill Shankly who is named as 'The Master of the Mind Games'. Sir Matt Busby is also included, as 'The Dynasty Creator'.

No Comparison

Former Cloughie striker Garry Birtles says Leicester City's success in winning the Premier League title is no comparison to the incredible achievements of Brian Clough's Nottingham Forest. Birtles says that while the Foxes' deserve praise for succeeding against the odds in their second season following promotion, it doesn't come close to the glory years under Cloughie, in which the Reds went on to lift the European Cup twice in successive seasons.

"We won what is now called the Premier League the year after we got promoted and then won the European Cup and League Cup the following season," Birtles told the Daily Telegraph (May 2016). "For a Chelsea or Manchester United to do that now would be an achievement. I still see a lot of the Forest players from that time and while we're happy for Leicester, we do get annoyed that people tend to ignore something because it was nearly 40 years ago."

Birtles goes as far as to say that Forest's success has been overlooked to such an extent that it has been demeaning to the players involved. "The people who are scraping the surface don't consider who we had to beat when we won the league - Liverpool were kings of Europe and the First Division at the time. It's also derogatory towards players like Graeme Souness and Kenny Dalglish. We didn't have billionaire owners and let's be brutally honest, the Premier League has been very ordinary this season."

Former defender Viv Anderson is also adament that Forest's achievement will always be the greater. He says that while City's title win is the most fantastic achievement of the Premier League era, Forest had 'snuck in the back door', reaching the top flight after finishing third in the 1976-77 Second Division. They were expected to be also-rans in the division above but instead they stormed it straight away with largely the same group of players, finishing above reigning champions Liverpool by seven points and playing in a style that attracted neutrals.

"It was all new to us," Anderson told the Daily Mail. "We were used to playing Second Division players, and then went up to the First Division, and played against sides we had only seen on television." That's in stark contrast to the Leicester story. " least they had a season of playing against these top opponents week in, week out. We never had that opportunity. We had to come up and hit the ground running."

Fellow former defender Frank Clark says City's title win is fantastic - but he told the Nottingham Evening Post: "If Leicester can win the Champions League a couple of times in the next few years, then we can compare their achievements." Clark said it was also fitting that Clough's achievements at Forest had been recognised with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the club.

Birthday Memories

There are special memories of the Master Manager on what would have been his 81st birthday. Cloughie was born on March 21st 1935 in Middlesbrough, where he became a goal-scoring sensation for his home town club. After entering management, he became the greatest club manager in Britain, twice winning the League Championship (once with Derby and once with Forest) before going on to win the European Cup in consecutive seasons. At Forest, his team won the league title in their first season after promotion and won the European Cup in the following two seasons. It's a feat unlikely to ever be repeated. He had further trophy success some years later with another exciting team he created at Forest. There are #cloughiememories HERE.