A signed tribute from one of Brian Clough's favourite radio presenters was a highlight of a fund-raising gala dinner for the Cloughie statue in Nottingham. The framed souvenir, in which Sir Terry Wogan described Brian as 'a remarkable man' was presented to Mrs Clough by Marcus Alton, who set-up the fund-raising group for the statue. 

The Gala Dinner, held on 7th June, 2006, in the Ballroom of Nottingham Council House, raised nine-thousand pounds for the statue fund. Mrs Clough was accompanied to the dinner by her daughter Elizabeth, son Simon and his wife Susan, and their son Stephen. After receiving Sir Terry's signed tribute, Mrs Clough praised the volunteers behind the statue fund.

Mrs Clough told guests: "It has been a wonderful evening. You have worked so hard and I'd like to thank everyone who has been involved in helping to raise money. I'm sure we'll get there. Thank you all so much." The event was sponsored by the then owner of Nottingham Forest, Nigel Doughty. 

Among the stars at the sell-out event were several of Cloughie's European Cup heroes. There were tributes from John McGovern, John Robertson and John O'Hare. They were interviewed by the host for the evening, the former TV sports presenter, Dennis Coath.

Said Robertson: "Brian Clough was an absolute legend. He was a great manager to play for. A statue would be a fitting tribute."  McGovern, who played for Clough at Derby, Leeds and Forest added: "Brian Clough was an incredible man and an incredible manager."

Interviewed: John McGovern

Good luck messages for the evening were also received from Forest hero Stuart Pearce, Bolton boss Sam Allardyce and Match of the Day's Gary Lineker. The special guest speaker for the evening was Forest legend and former Cloughie player Duncan McKenzie. Laughter filled the Ballroom as McKenzie told some of the stories from his career.

Star Speaker: Duncan McKenzie
In one anecdote, McKenzie described Cloughie's reaction when he asked for two complementary tickets for his parents for a Charity Shield match, in which he was due to play, at Wembley. The Master Manager replied: "If your mother and father won't pay to see you play, how can you expect anyone else to?"

McKenzie went on to describe Brian as "the best manager ever." And he had a special message for the fund-raisers. "I wish you every success and I know you will reach your target." To help them, he took charge of the evening's auction of memorabilia - even standing on a chair to ensure that no potential bidders were missed.

McKenzie: star auctioneer in action

An auction of football memorabilia raised more than two-thousand pounds. Items included a Gary Lineker signed 'Match of the Day' script from the 2005 FA Cup Final (£100), a book signed by Brian Clough (£140), an original oil painting of Stuart Pearce (£175) and a framed Cloughie tribute (£350).

Dennis Coath said the grand surroundings of the Ballroom were a perfect setting for the evening, as they had been the scene of many trophy celebrations for Brian Clough's teams. He also praised the hard work of the statue fund committee led by chairman Paul Ellis. 

Paul is pictured, below, receiving a cheque for almost three-thousand pounds from Alex Walker and Alan Fisher from the website 'Lost That Loving Feeling,' which helped to sell the fund's badges and tickets for the dinner.

Guests applauded a special appearance by members of the cast of the tribute play 'Old Big 'Ead in the Spirit of the Man.' They had just finished their evening performance at Nottingham Playhouse. 

Colin Tarrant, who played Cloughie, told Dennis Coath he was pleased to support the fund, after taking part in the launch event a year before. "This is a tremendous cause and I hope it succeeds," said Colin. "It's marvellous to be a part of it and to see it doing so well."

Colin Tarrant: "A tremendous cause"

Paul Ellis said: "It was an unforgettable evening which has given the fund a huge boost. We are so pleased that members of the Clough family could attend and it made it all such a special night. We are getting closer to our target and we are determined to succeed. My thanks go to everyone who has supported the event." 

Paul thanked the leader of the city council, Jon Collins, for his personal support, as the authority not only backed the fund but administered it too. There were also thanks to the chairman of Nottingham Forest, Nigel Doughty, who had personally sponsored the dinner. 

In recognition of the Forest's owner's support, the statue fund gave a limited-edition framed Cloughie tribute to Mr Doughty. It was presented on the night to Forest's Marketing Manager, Brandon Furse, by Paul Lowe from the statue fund committee.

Paul Lowe (left) and Brandon Furse

Below are copies of the Gala Dinner Menu. The front cover of this copy was signed by special guests.

Special Memories