Welcome to the brianclough.com News Page  


ON ME WEB, SON

August 2020 marks the twentieth anniversary of this website. It was originally set-up by Cloughie fan Marcus Alton, who constructed the site by learning the technical side from a book. Since then it has developed into a mobile-friendly site which has raised lots of money for good causes. 

The website also has the support of the Clough family, who Marcus worked closely with when plans were drawn-up for a statue of the Miracle Manager in Nottingham. Take a step back in time, to August 2000, HERE


WASHROOM HIDE-OUT

European Cup winner Martin O'Neill has described how big defender Larry Lloyd would sometimes hide in the City Ground washroom in order to avoid coming face to face with Cloughie. 

O'Neill was chatting to former striker Chris Sutton for the Daily Mail (August 2020), to mark the 20th anniversary of their treble-winning season at Celtic. Sutton asked his former boss whether Clough was approachable.

"I picture this scene where Cloughie would come down the corridor at the City Ground," said O'Neill.  

"There was a little washroom which was badly lit and the door was always open. Larry Lloyd, who was a big lad, would dip into that room to disappear so Cloughie could have a free run down the corridor. 

"But when you got that praise from him, you felt a million dollars. I never asked anybody for advice after becoming a manager. If I was going to ask anybody, I'd have asked him. But I'd have known Brian's answer: 'Get on with it yourself, young man.'"

O'Neill & Clough in 1997 (copyright Robert Rathbone)

O'Neill spoke about the huge influence that Clough had on his managerial career. "Clough was the most charismatic manager in England, maybe Europe.

"He was unpredictable, volatile, mercurial - every adjective you want to use. He'd say something to us on Monday, contradict himself on Friday, but I'd believe both of them. As a manager, it would be difficult not to have taken a lot from him."

O'Neill also reflected on his short spell as the Reds manager. O'Neill spent only 164 days in charge of Forest, the club where he made 371 appearances in midfield. But on 28th June, 2019, O'Neill's sacking was confirmed. 

"I hadn't even left my dressing room by the time the new manager was announced. They obviously had a plan in place, so good luck to them," said O'Neill.  

"To only get 19 games was disappointing. It was no time at all." And in typical Clough style he added: "I've spent longer on a sponsored walk from Land's End to John O'Groats than I did as manager of that football club!"  



IN THE POCKET

"Young man, don't talk to me with your hands in your pockets. It's disrespectful." That's one of the life lessons taught to former Nottingham Forest goalkeeper Mark Crossley by Cloughie, who made sure the young goalie's pockets were sewn-up.

Crossley recalls how Brian took him straight to the laundry staff. "He'd say, 'Sew his pockets up'. So you'd stand there, take your trousers off and they'd sew your pockets up." It's just one of the pieces of advice Crossley will never forget - just like being clean shaven and giving a firm handshake.

The former Wales international goalkeeper says if players turned up for work without bothering to shave, they would be sent home for the day. "Look scruffy, play scruffy," was the Clough verdict.

The memories are part of an interview for DORunning which promotes physical activity to promote general well-being. It's a cause close to Crossley's heart - he's part of a group raising money for mental health services by walking. 

Says Crossley: "I didn't realise it at the time, but I do now - looking back. I worked for the greatest manager that ever lived. He didn't only teach me about football, he taught me about life in general." Watch the full interview HERE. 


TROPHY RETAINED

The Brian Clough Trophy was retained by Nottingham Forest after a 1-1 draw against Derby County on 4th July, 2020. The game at Pride Park was the first Brian Clough Trophy match to be played without fans in the stadium. This was because of restrictions due to the pandemic. It was shown live on Sky Sports. 

There's more about the Brian Clough Trophy HERE and a feature about this special local derby - or El Cloughico as some call it - HERE


FREEDOM VIDEO


Archive footage has been published, rekindling memories of the day Cloughie received the Freedom of Nottingham. It was March 1993 and the Master Manager told the crowd gathered in the Old Market Square: "Don't forget I love you!" 


It was the first time Nottingham had bestowed the Freedom of the City on anyone since the ice skating champions Torvill and Dean were given the honour in 1983. Cloughie was given the Freedom of Derby ten years after receiving the Nottingham title. 

You can watch Cloughie's emotional appearance on the balcony of Nottingham Council House HERE


ANDERSON PODCAST

Former Cloughie defender Viv Anderson has been looking back at his time working with Old Big 'Ead and comparing it with his spell playing for Alex Ferguson. Anderson played for both bosses during an impressive career in which he became the first black player to win a senior cap for England.

Interviewed during a podcast for Manchester United (June 2020), Anderson says Clough had the same attributes as Ferguson: “They are very similar in many, many ways. Very strict. You do what they say. You play the same way, they want to play football, the attractive way."

Anderson added: "Cloughie would say, ‘if football was meant to be played up there in the sky, they would have put grass up there.' You play it on the floor, pass and move. They are very, very similar. Everyone was very respectful of them and they were both great managers.”

Back in April 2010, in a newspaper interview, Anderson was also asked to compare the two managers - and said the Forest boss came out on top.  In the report in 'The Sun' he said both managers had great self-belief, but Cloughie was the best.     

He said: "I would just take Brian Clough because he won back-to-back European Cups with a club that had average gates of 19,000 and was going nowhere when he arrived."

England's Anderson in action

Anderson won consecutive European Cups with Cloughie, in 1979 and 1980, before becoming Ferguson's first signing at Manchester United, after he decided to leave Arsenal. You can hear more about his memories of playing for England in the PODCAST


CHETTLE CHECK-IN

Cloughie's incredible man management has been praised by Steve Chettle whose career in football's top-flight took off under the Master Manager. "Cloughie could make you feel great," says the former Forest defender who made his first team debut in 1986.

Speaking to the Non League Football Paper (June 2020), the ever-present Reds centre-back says Brian always made time for his players - something he has taken into his own managerial career as boss of Basford United in Nottingham. 

"He was a very good people person," says Chettle, reflecting on his time with Clough. "He got to know you really well."  

"When you were having a tough time, he'd pick you up. If you thought you were Billy Big Balls, he'd knock you down a peg or two - or three, or four. 

"I've got nothing but good memories of him."

In this great interview, Chettle also talks about his time after Clough - describing Stan Collymore as the best team-mate he played with. 

"He was our Ronaldo, like the original R9. He could do everything...We'd just give him the ball, stand on the halfway line, wait for him to score and then kick off again."



Statue Fund Memories 

It's 15 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 photos and quotes HERE.


THEATRE THROWBACK

It's a tribute play that will live long in the memory. And now it's the fifteenth anniversary of Nottingham Playhouse staging the opening night of 'Old Big 'Ead in the Spirit of the Man' (held June 2005). 

The production, with Colin Tarrant in the role of Cloughie, was so successful that it went on a national tour before returning to Nottingham. There was also a Gala Performance with an audience including Brian's family and many of his former players. 


These reviews, featured in national newspapers at the time, indicate the popularity of the play - written by Nottingham's Stephen Lowe and directed by Alan Dosser. 

In 'The Times,' Jeremy Kingston wrote: "...whenever Colin Tarrant's Clough is dishing out the advice, with football his guide at all times, the fun is tremendous."


Sadly, Colin passed away in 2012 - but has left us with so many great memories. You can look back at the play here....

COLIN TARRANT: Exclusive interview 2005 

PLAY REVIEW

GALA PERFORMANCE
PLAY RETURNS 2006


European Anniversary 


To mark the 40th anniversary of Cloughie's Nottingham Forest retaining the European Cup, we have some special features. As well as the #CloughChallenge (see below), there is also a look back at that incredible night in May 1980 through Cloughie's eyes (Madrid 1980).  

The editor of this website has also written a tribute for Left Lion magazine as part of its series on Nottingham Rebels. The article includes memories from one of Cloughie's brothers. You can read it HERE

ITV Central compiled a special report on the 40th anniversary of Cloughie's European Cup success. It features great archive footage and video clips from the #CloughChallenge, including a contribution by this website's editor. See it HERE


The #CloughChallenge

This website has teamed up with the magazine 'Left Lion' for a special celebration of Cloughie's wit and wisdom. It marks the 40th anniversary of Forest's second European Cup win. Our editor appears in a video launching the #CloughChallenge.  You're invited to film yourself reciting one of Brian's fantastic quotes. 

You can choose a quote from our brilliant collection HERE and read more about the superb campaign HERE. Search our Twitter feed for more great videos from the likes of Mark Crossley, Paul Hart and Steve Chettle. 


Phone In Memories

May 2020 marks twenty years since Cloughie appeared on his first live radio phone-in. He spoke to fans on BBC Radio Nottingham in a programme hosted by Mark Shardlow. Alongside him was former Forest striker and double European Cup winner Garry Birtles. 

Cloughie was on fine form during the hour-long programme, on 8th May 2000, and often joked with the callers. He clearly enjoyed it, adding: "I'm out of work at the moment, because I'm retired, now I'm going to work on the guy who runs BBC Radio Nottingham and I'm going to go on the salary."

You can read more about his comments on the phone-in HERE



Statue Choice

An international sports writer has described how he turned down the chance to interview a leading ‘up-and-coming’ cricketer – and instead chose to visit Nottingham's Brian Clough statue.

It was back in June 2009 when Nottingham was hosting the Twenty20 World Cup Tournament at Trent Bridge. The stunning bronze sculpture had been unveiled by Mrs Clough in front of thousands of fans in the city centre just seven months before. The full story is HERE



Birthday Treat

A story of Cloughie's amazing generosity has been shared by a man who has special memories of the Master Manager. Craig Bromfield was welcomed into the Clough household after a chance meeting in Sunderland. He's now allowed us to include an incredible tale on this website. 

Aged 18 at the time, and keen to impress a girlfriend, Craig described how Brian made sure her birthday was celebrated in style, with an all-expenses paid trip to a West End musical. 

"He told his secretary Carol to arrange us a perfect evening. Within two hours, a Chauffeur driven Rolls Royce was hired to drive us to London. Another thing I'd never have experienced if it wasn't for Brian Clough." Read the story HERE



Jemmo's Gem

Former Cloughie striker Nigel Jemson has described how finding an archive photo brought back some magical memories of working with the Master Manager at Nottingham Forest. 

Jemson tweeted the photo, with the message: "Came across this picture. Wow what a man the gaffer was. Loved working for him and NFFC. Will always be proud to have played under arguably one of the best manager in football."


In reply, this website (@1BrianClough) posted: "Arguably? You'd sit down and talk about it for 20 minutes and decide he was right. In the top one - he used to say your head was nearly as big as his. Happy Memories."  We're pleased to say Nigel 'liked' our comment (April 2020).


Helping NHS Heroes


To help our NHS heroes during the Covid Crisis, we are backing the current fund-raising efforts by offering one of our Cloughie books at a 40% discount with profits going to an NHS charity. 

A few years ago the editor of this website, Marcus Alton, presented a cheque for £7,500 on behalf of the Brian Clough Memorial Fund to the charity at Nottingham University Hospitals Trust. So it's fitting we support them again. 

That's why - only through this website - you can now buy a copy of 'The Day I Met Brian Clough' and support  the #NottinghamNHSHeroes at the NUH Charity. The book is full of great memories of Old Big 'Ead from his family, friends, fans and footie stars. 

There are more details about the book and how to purchase HERE. Thank you for your support. #OBE4NHS



Archie's Story


Former Forest and Derby midfielder Archie Gemmill has been speaking further about the conversation with Brian Clough that persuaded him to sign for the Master Manager.

The ex-Scotland international won league titles with Clough at Derby and then Forest. But he almost signed for Everton instead of joining Clough and his assistant Peter Taylor at the Baseball Ground in 1970.

Gemmill, who was playing for Preston at the time, admitted that, initially, he was not interested in meeting Clough and was focussed on a move to Goodison Park. But his wife invited Brian to their house.

He told RamsTV: “Alan Ball, who was manager at Preston at the time, called me in and said there had been a bid in from Derby County and that we should have a listen to what they had to say.

“I said I wasn’t interested at all because all I have to do is sign at Everton. He said to just go and meet him to see if he is like what he is on television. So, I went and had the meeting and the following day I was signed for Derby.

“The thing that eventually got me to sign for Derby was when he was sitting at the kitchen table having breakfast, because he stayed at the house that night. He said to me, ‘let’s get down to facts. What is the midfield at Everton?’ 

Read Archie's story HERE.


Sounding Off

Cloughie was in fine form ahead of a key European Cup match, when he sounded-off over a newspaper report about Nottingham Forest.  As the Reds faced Dynamo Berlin in the quarter-final first leg, Brian didn't hold back after reading the article linking Forest with the sportswear firm Admiral. 

"I caught up on some reading when I got back from my week's holiday in Torremolinos - but I wish I hadn't taken the trouble," said Clough (March 1980). He strongly criticised the Daily Mirror's back page lead story declaring that Forest were poised to agree a deal with Admiral. 

Clough dedicated his entire two-page programme notes to the issue, stating that the report did not contain a semblance of truth. "I was absolutely staggered when I read the article," he said. 

"I find it absolutely amazing that I, as a manager of a football club, can pick up a paper and read matters about my club's affairs and then put it down, knowing that there is not a fragment of truth in it." 


Clough went on to say that it wasn't the first time that the journalist involved had written something incorrect about Forest.  So he had tried to contact him - only to be told the reporter had gone home and Brian wouldn't be given his home number to discuss the matter. 


"What amused me more than anything else is that I would have thought it was every journalist's job to listen to anyone who wanted to talk to him in order to get his news," said Clough.

"It's the equivalent of me refusing to watch a young player and too daft for words - but then so was his story!"


My Cup Of Tea

The manager of the Chelsea Women's team has described how Cloughie inspired her. Emma Hayes was speaking after her team won the Continental League Cup for the first time, by beating Arsenal in the final at the City Ground (February 2020).

Hayes explained that she grew-up in a household that loved Clough and that to play in the stadium that he called home for 18 years was something special. 

"Wembley will always be a highlight, but I love this man (Clough)," said Hayes. "He is my cup of tea. I'd loved to have had a cup of tea with him, to walk the dog with him, to have had a chat with him.  

"I could sense it when I came into the building. The players haven't got a clue who he is, and I'm busy taking photographs of myself with his photographs on the wall. 

"My sister sent me lists of quotes this morning, with my favourite being this one, 'I wouldn't say I was the best manager in the business, but I was in the top one'. Well, I'm there today. I'll take that today."


The Punchline

Roy Keane has explained why he never held a grudge against Cloughie for punching him. The former Forest midfielder talked about why he loved playing for the Master Manager, who was generally very supportive and sympathetic to Keane occasionally being homesick as a young player. 

Keane told the Late Late Show in Ireland how, whenever he requested to be allowed to go home for a few days, Clough never had a problem with it. He also recalled the simple piece of advice he received which stood him in good stead for the rest of his career. 

"He had that other side to him but I'd defend him to the hilt," said Keane. "He wasn't very much a manager for being on the training pitch in terms of coaching. But just snippets of information he would give me. 

"And I said this to people, before my debut against Liverpool. And again I'd literally just got off the boat from Ireland. He said before my debut, obviously I'm still quite raw, he said 'I've seen you play for he reserves. You can control it, you can pass it and you can run.'

"I said 'yeah' and he went 'just do those three things.' And that was my career. That was my career in a nutshell. People say players should be able to do that, a lot of people can't actually do those things. 

"They can do two out of three. And obviously as I went up the levels I had to do it faster but that was it. So, just the way he backed me was great."


Keane and Clough


Keane also said there were tougher moments while working for Cloughie. He added: "But having said that, there was an incident where he punched me after the match. Just in the chest after a game against Crystal Palace in the cup. 

"But I never held that against him, I just thought he was a manager. He's under pressure, he made a mistake. But if it happened now I think there'd be uproar. 

"But at the time I just thought it was all part of me learning my trade. He made a mistake but I never held it against him." 

Keane was speaking on the TV programme (February 2020) to publicise the work of Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind, of which he is an ambassador. Thanks to the Irish Sun newspaper for highlighting it. Keane also met a young football fan on the show, as reported by the Irish Independent


He's My Idol

The manager of the Chelsea women's football team says she would happily be regarded as the female equivalent of Cloughie. Emma Hayes' Blues will face Arsenal in the League Cup Final which will be played at Nottingham Forest's City Ground on 29th February, 2020. 

"I'm a huge fan of Brian Clough," says Emma, who has established herself as one of the leading managers in the women's game since taking over at Chelsea in 2012. "I might be his female equivalent but I'm quite happy with that. 

"I love Brian Clough. I grew up in a household that loved him. To go to his home as a manager will be a really special moment for me." Emma has won the Women's Super League title and the Women's FA Cup twice, but the League Cup has so far eluded her.


Opening Event

An archive photo of Cloughie swapping the dugout for the check-out forty years ago has been making headlines. Brian was the star attraction at the opening of a cash-n-carry in Burton-on-Trent. Cloughie was accompanied by his assistant at Nottingham Forest, Peter Taylor. 

A report in the Bygones section of the Derbyshire Live website (January 2020) described how young fans flocked to meet their football hero at the event in 1980. 


Treasured Letter 

A 1963 letter from Brian Clough to a fan gives a fresh insight into his hopes of recovering from the devastating knee injury which effectively ended his playing career. 

The letter has been published in an online article about the man who received it. He was Middlesbrough fan Trevor Moore, who died last year aged 72. The letter was one of his most treasured possessions. A musical based on Trevor's life is being planned by his daughter, Samantha.

In the letter, Clough refers to the cruciate ligament injury he suffered on Boxing Day 1962 while playing for Sunderland against Bury. He collided with goalkeeper Chris Harker on an icy pitch and was carried off. Clough thanks Trevor for the letter he received and says it was kind of him to write. 

"My injury is coming along fine but I still have my leg in plaster," writes Clough. "I hope it won't be too long before I am playing football again." Clough also refers to Trevor's Dad, Fred, who was a Middlesbrough councillor. 

Treasured Letter

The personally signed letter conveys Clough's desire of returning to action to continue his amazing goal-scoring record for Sunderland. His rehabilitation included running up the steep steps of the Roker Park terraces.

Unfortunately Brian managed to play in just three more first team matches. He made his comeback on 2nd September 1964 in a 2-2 draw against West Brom. Sunderland were, by now, in the First Division. Although he did not score in that game, he did fulfill his aim of scoring in the top flight.

Clough scored his only First Division goal in a 3-3 draw with Leeds United. He then played against Aston Villa on 9th September. It turned out to be his final game as a player and he realised his days as a centre forward were over.

Such was Clough's popularity, his testimonial match at Roker Park against a Bobby Charlton XI attracted more than 30,000 people. He had become Sunderland's youth team coach and demonstrated a flair for man-management. The rest, as they say, is history. 

The fateful match against Bury is one of the Fifty Defining Fixtures in the best selling Clough book of the same name. There's more about Trevor Moore and the plans for the musical, in the report (January 2020) by Teesside Live, HERE.   


Titanic Battle

It's 40 years since Cloughie was looking forward to what he described as a "battle of titanic proportions" against Liverpool. Brian's Nottingham Forest were about to face Bob Paisley's side yet again - this time in the League Cup semi-final. 

Clough's Reds had already beaten Paisley's Reds in the European Cup and League Cup Final, both in 1978,  as well as in the First Division (September 1979). Now they faced the Merseysiders yet again (January 1980) in the League Cup, having just been drawn against them again in the FA Cup.

Looking ahead to the series of games, Clough wrote in his programme notes: "If there is anything that Liverpool and ourselves don't know about each other, then we might just find it out in the next few weeks.

"Unless you've been living on a different planet, you will realise that we meet Liverpool in the FA Cup in ten days' time in addition to our League Cup semi-final games and a small matter of the League game at Anfield."

Programme Notes

Cloughie said that many people would have been disappointed when the FA Cup draw was made, with Forest and Liverpool facing each other at such an early stage. "But it didn't bother us," he added. "I described it at the time as a brilliant draw and I see no reason to change my mind."

Focussing on the first-leg of the League Cup semi-final, at the City Ground, Clough concluded: "And despite the fact that we have as much success against Liverpool in two and a half years as some teams achieve in a decade, we are not kidding ourselves that tonight's game - or any of the others - will be anything but a battle of titanic proportions."

Forest won the first-leg 1-0 thanks to a John Robertson penalty, with the second-leg ending in a 1-1 draw. Clough's Reds lost to Wolves in the final. Although Forest also lost the FA Cup tie and the league match at Anfield, they ended the season by retaining the European Cup, while Liverpool were knocked-out again.

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