CLOUGHIE STATUE - BEHIND THE SCENES
Work on Nottingham's Cloughie statue began in early 2008 at the studio of world renowned sculptor Les Johnson. He had won the contract to make the bronze figure following a unanimous decision by a selection panel which included Mrs Clough.
"It's a very prestigious project and I am absolutely delighted," said Les, who studied many photographs of the Great Man to get the statue just right.
Mrs Clough offered to help Les re-create her husband's facial features for the statue, as she did for the statue which was unveiled in Middlesbrough in 2007. Mrs Clough and her daughter Elizabeth visited Les at his studio in Hampshire. But they were so impressed with his work that they both agreed it needed no improvements. "It's perfect," Mrs Clough told this website.
Les travelled from his base in Hampshire for the visit. He told the Post he faced a big challenge. "He's got a difficult face - it's unique," he said. "All faces are difficult in a sense. Brian's got an amazing twinkle in his eye. To capture that, while making the features look like him, that's difficult. But not impossible."
Les confirmed he was slightly altering the pose of his original proposal, following a suggestion from Barbara Clough, who said the statue could perhaps show more movement. The revised plans still had Cloughie with his hands in the familiar clasped position, in a victorious gesture, but now he was walking towards the fans.
Les was there to see the fantastic bronze sculpture arrive at its home in Nottingham city centre. The statue was gently lifted into place on a cold Sunday morning when very few people were around. Some of Cloughie's famous quotes were also put around the impressive plinth.
At the unveiling, Les was delighted with the result. "I've had so many compliments from people who knew him, those who were friends and knew him for 20 years, who say 'that's him, you've captured him'. So I'm pleased. That's the accolade I was looking for."
Photos copyright brianclough.com & Les Johnson