Fund-raisers reach their target...


Volunteers who've raised money for a Brian Clough statue in Nottingham handed-over a cheque for more than £70,000 to the city council, who have commissioned the sculpture. Pictured above are (from left) the statue fund chairman Paul Ellis, committee members Mike Simpson and Mick Mellors and the leader of the city council, Jon Collins.

The statue fund smashed through its £60,000 target in just 18 months. After reaching £59,000, the fund welcomed major donations from Nottingham City Council and Nottingham Forest, who each gave £5,000.

The council and Forest made a joint cheque presentation at half-time during the Reds' match against Port Vale on Boxing Day 2006.

Barbara Clough has praised the efforts of the fund-raisers and the fans who backed the fund. Mrs Clough said Brian would have been "absolutely amazed" at the idea of a statue. Read more about Mrs Clough's special message HERE. 

The chairman of the fund, Paul Ellis, said it was a tremendous achievement to have exceeded the target in such a short period of time. "It's absolutely fantastic and a testament to the hard work of everyone involved in the fund-raising campaign," he said. "To receive such a major contribution from Nottingham City Council and Nottingham Forest is the icing on the cake.

"The money completes the fund in style and ensures we will have the best possible statue. The additional cash will be used to meet any further costs such as installing the sculpture, lighting and a top quality plinth.

"We must remember that all this would not have been possible without the hundreds of people in Nottinghamshire and around the world who put their hands in their pockets and supported the fund from the very beginning.

"I would like to thank everyone who has supported us along the way - whether it be through donations, buying special merchandise, supporting our on-line auctions or attending our fund-raising events. They did so out of sheer admiration for a remarkable man and the desire to have a lasting memorial. People have taken the fund to their hearts, just as they did the Great Man himself."

Matchday Presentation

Pictured pitchside at the matchday cheque presentation at the City Ground on Boxing Day 2006 are (left to right): Councillor Brian Grocock (Nottingham City Council), statue fund committee members Paul Lowe and Sarah Clarke, fund chairman Paul Ellis, committee member Rich Fisher, Nottingham Forest Chief Executive Mark Arthur, and fund committee members Mick Mellors and Mike Simpson.

The fund was launched in June 2005 after a group of fans campaigned for a statue in Nottingham city centre, in recognition of the unprecedented worldwide acclaim he brought to the whole city. The city council, with the personal support of council leader Jon Collins, agreed to administer the fund and also donated special banners which were displayed during the memorial service. The banners have been auctioned on ebay, netting the fund over £8,000 alone.

Cllr Collins said: "The fund-raisers have done a tremendous job in raising so much money in just eighteen months. The success of the fund has underlined just how loved and admired Brian Clough was, and what a huge impact he had on Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. It is only right the city council makes a contribution to a fund which has had overwhelming support from local people. The statue will be a lasting tribute to the achievements of a remarkable man who put the city on the worldwide map."

Money was raised in many ways, including special events, on-line auctions of memorabila, donations and limited edition merchandise such as badges and key-rings in the shape of Cloughie's famous green sweatshirt. The fund also sold 'Old Big 'Ead' green tribute sweaters. A Gala Dinner held at the Council House in June, attended by members of Brian Clough's family, was sponsored by Forest chairman Nigel Doughty and raised £9,000.

Forest's Chief Executive Mark Arthur said today: "Nottingham Forest has supported the fund-raisers throughout the campaign and we are delighted to join the city council in making a significant donation to the fund, which has been a huge success. All around the country there are statues of other footballing greats and it is very fitting that we should have one of Brian Clough in Nottingham, in recognition of his outstanding achievements and in response to the feeling of fans worldwide."

Fund committee member Sarah Clarke from this website said she looked forward to the day when fans would see a lasting tribute to their hero. "To exceed our target in eighteen months is a dream come true. The success of this fund, and the support of fans around the world, has shown what Brian Clough meant to so many people. Along with Robin Hood, he is undoubtedly one of the most famous people associated with Nottingham. He touched thousands of lives and it's important that fans and visitors to Nottingham have a focal point at which they can pay homage in years to come."

Committee member Rich Fisher, who amongst other things co-ordinated the auctions of memorabilia on ebay, said: "There has been a whole group of volunteers who have worked tirelessly behind the scenes to help make this all happen and we are all delighted to have not only reached our goal, but to have exceeded it. Our aim all along has been to have a statue in a prominent city centre location, which fans can see 24-hours a day, and not locked away behind gates. Now we can look forward to having a fitting tribute which the Great Man deserves."

The statue will be located at the junction of King and Queen Street in Nottingham city centre, overlooking the market square and the Council House, the scene of many trophy celebrations for Brian Clough's teams.