Copyright 2000 & 2004

These quotes have been compiled by over many years, from various sources including magazine articles and regional radio/television interviews. Many would have been lost forever if not recorded here for posterity. This list of quotes and the style in which it is presented is copyright Please do not reproduce its content without prior permission. Our lawyers are watching and have already acted successfully. 

"If God had wanted us to play football in the clouds, he'd have put grass up there." On the importance of passing to feet.

"I wouldn't say I was the best manager in the business. But I was in the top one." Looking back at his success.

"Manchester United in Brazil? I hope they all get bloody diarrhea." On Man Utd opting-out of the FA Cup to play in the World Club Championship.

"When I was admitted to the heart unit, somebody sent me a 'get well' telegram that said 'we didn't know you even had one'." A dig at himself.

"I can't even spell spaghetti never mind talk Italian. How could I tell an Italian to get the ball - he might grab mine." On the influx of foreign players.

"I bet their dressing room will smell of garlic rather than liniment over the next few months." On the number of French players at Arsenal.

"Who the hell wants fourteen pairs of shoes when you go on holiday? I haven't had fourteen pairs in my life." On the contents of Posh Spice's missing luggage.

"Rome wasn't built in a day. But I wasn't on that particular job." On getting things done.

"On occasions I have been big headed. I think most people are when they get in the limelight. I call myself Big Head just to remind myself not to be." Old Big 'Ead explains his nickname.

"The wraps are off England's new kit - and I'm saying now I don't like it. It has the looks of one of my mother's old pinnies!" On England's new-look Admiral strip, launched in May 1980 at Wembley. 

"At last England have appointed a manager who speaks English better than the players." On the appointment of Sven Goran Eriksson as England manager.

"When the FA get into their stride, they make the Mafia look like kindergarten material."  A colourful view on football's authorities.

"If he'd been English or Swedish, he'd have walked the England job." On Martin O'Neill.

"Anybody who can do anything in Leicester but make a jumper has got to be a genius." A tribute to Martin O'Neill.

"The ugliest player I ever signed was Kenny Burns. He had no teeth. I used to play centre-forward and to have beaten someone with the ball, and then seen Kenny Burns looking at me, I'd have given him the ball." A Clough complement for a talented player.

"Stand up straight, get your shoulders back and get your hair cut." Advice for John McGovern at Hartlepool.

"Take your hands out of your pockets." More advice, this time for a young Trevor Francis as he receives an award from the Master Manager.

"The Derby players have seen more of his balls than the one they're meant to be playing with." On the streaker who appeared during Derby's game against Manchester United.

"I only ever hit Roy the once. He got up so I couldn't have hit him very hard." On dealing with Roy Keane.

"Walk on water? I know most people out there will be saying that instead of walking on it, I should have taken more of it with my drinks. They are absolutely right." Reflecting on his drink problem.

"I'm dealing with my drinking problem and I have a reputation for getting things done." A comment which speaks for itself.

"Don't send me flowers when I'm dead. If you like me, send them while I'm alive." After the operation which saved his life.

"Players lose you games, not tactics. There's so much crap talked about tactics by people who barely know how to win at dominoes."  Reflecting on England's exit from Euro 2000.

"We talk about it for twenty minutes and then we decide I was right." On dealing with a player who disagrees.

"I want no epitaphs of profound history and all that type of thing. I contributed - I would hope they would say that, and I would hope somebody liked me,"  On how he would like to be remembered.

"It was a crooked match and he was a crooked referee. That was a tournament we could and should have won."  On the 1984 UEFA Cup semi-final Forest lost to Anderlecht.

"I'm sure the England selectors thought if they took me on and gave me the job, I'd want to run the show. They were shrewd, because that's exactly what I would have done." On not getting the England manager's job.

"Whenever I felt off colour, I'd sit next to Robbo because then I looked like Errol Flynn. But if you gave him the ball and a yard of grass he became an artist. He was the Picasso of our game." Referring to left-winger John Robertson who played a match-winning role in both Forest's European Cup Final victories.  

"You don't want roast beef and Yorkshire every night and twice on Sunday." On too much football on television.

"I'm not saying he's pale and thin, but the maid in our hotel room pulled back the sheets and remade the bed without realising he was still in it." Referring to former Forest player Brian Rice.

"If a chairman sacks the manager he initially appointed, he should go as well." On too many managers getting the boot.

"I thought it was my next door neighbour, because I think she felt that if I got something like that, I'd have to move." Guessing who nominated him for a knighthood.

"For all his horses, knighthoods and championships, he hasn't got two of what I've got. And I don't mean balls!"  Referring to Sir Alex Ferguson's failure to win two successive European Cups.

More Great Quotes from the archives: FIFTY DEFINING FIXTURES

"I like my women to be feminine, not sliding into tackles and covered in mud."
On women's football.

''That Seaman is a handsome young man but he spends too much time looking in his mirror, rather than at the ball. You can't keep goal with hair like that." On England goalkeeper David Seaman.

"If you're loyal, you're loyal. If you're not, you're NOT."  On the breakdown of his friendship with Peter Taylor, who 'retired' from Forest before managing Derby and publishing a book about their relationship. 

"I've missed him. He used to make me laugh. He was the best diffuser of a situation I have ever known. I hope he's alright."  On the late Peter Taylor.

"He's learned more about football management than he ever imagined. Some people think you can take football boots off and put a suit on. You can't do that." On David Platt's first season as Forest manager.

"He should guide Posh in the direction of a singing coach because she's nowhere near as good at her job as her husband." Advice for David Beckham

"He's had more holidays than Judith Chalmers."  Referring to Roy Keane following time off due to red-card suspensions & injury at Manchester United (2001).

"I have always rated Roy as arguably the best midfielder in the Premiership, if not the world. The lad is that good."  Praise for Roy Keane (2002). 

"He had an ego bigger than his yacht - perhaps that's why he fell overboard!" On the disgraced former owner of Derby County and the Daily Mirror, the late Robert Maxwell. 

"I drool when I watch Arsenal and it has nowt to do with my age. It's because I recognise a team and a manager who, a bit like me all those years ago, have turned simplicity into an art form."  Praise for Arsene Wenger's Gunners. 

"Don't argue with idiots. They'll bring you down to their level and then beat you with experience."  Advice for former England cricket selector Geoff Miller.  

"Neil Webb won't refuse a contract. He knows that if he turns me down I'll give him our equivalent of the Chinese water torture. I'll lock him in a room with our directors." He's not a fan of the football boardroom.   

"Barbara's supervising the move. She's having more extensions built than Heathrow Airport." On moving house in Derbyshire.

"My wife said to me in bed, 'God, your feet are cold.' I said, 'You can call me Brian in bed, dear.'"  Pillow talk for the Master Manager.

More Great Quotes from the archives: FIFTY DEFINING FIXTURES