Cloughie memories filled the room when three Forest legends were reunited at a special fund-raising night for the statue appeal in Nottingham. European Cup winning captain John McGovern was joined by Kenny Burns and Nigel Jemson. Also on the panel was John Lawson, the only journalist who worked closely with the Master Manager during his 18-year reign at the City Ground.
The evening in Forest's Robin Hood Suite was held on November 3rd, 2005, and the host was the radio presenter Mark Dennison, who now works for the BBC. The event also featured a raffle and auction of memorabilia and raised around £650 for the statue fund.
John Lawson remembers Cloughie, watched by Forest legends
Fans were able to ask questions of the panel. Asked how he thought Cloughie would feel about supporters raising cash for a statue of him, John Lawson replied: "I think outwardly he would have been embarrassed, but deep down inside he would have been quietly pleased."
Lawson also described how he had still met-up with Cloughie following his retirement. "He always said he couldn't have a journalist as a friend," said Lawson, before adding with a twinkle in his eye "so he said I was nearly a friend!"
Nigel Jemson & John McGovern
Nigel Jemson was full of praise for his former boss, even though they didn't always see 'eye to eye'. "He was the best and I was very fortunate to play for him," said Jemson. "He was best manager football has ever had. He always looked after my family and I will never forget him."
John McGovern agreed that Cloughie would always be there to help if any of his players had problems outside football. "He was the greatest. He kept football simple and he looked after his players."
Kenny Burns makes a point alongside John McGovern
Kenny Burns paid tribute to Cloughie and said he still saw him after his retirement. "We lived quite close together. We would talk and he was still as sharp as a tack. He even said to me,'you were one of those who climbed out of the hotel window after the European Cup Final, weren't you?' -- I couldn't deny it! I miss him. It's a sadder place without him."
The panel: Mark Dennison, Nigel Jemson, John McGovern, Kenny Burns and John Lawson