"God better give me his favourite armchair"

Farewell to a Legend

Fans of Brian Clough continue to remember the football genius, long after the sad news came that he had passed away on 20th September, 2004.

To mark the tenth anniversary in 2014, supporters of both Nottingham Forest and Derby County joined a minute's applause during  a league match at the City Ground, while one thousand Forest fans were given replicas of his famous green jumper to wear at the Reds' League Cup match at Spurs.

Thirteen years after Brian passed away, Forest fans sang his name during the thirteenth minute of the club's League Cup tie against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge (20th September, 2017).

Cloughie's life and legacy were also celebrated 15 years on, with Nottingham Forest holding a minute's applause during the championship match against Barnsley on 21st September 2019. Both sets of fans stood to show their appreciation in the 15th minute of the game (photos below). 

Fans have also marked previous anniversaries. Thirteen years after Brian passed away, Forest supportersf sang his name during the thirteenth minute of the club's League Cup tie against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge (20th September, 2017). 

To mark the fourteenth anniversary, Forest fan stood to applause during the fourteenth minute of the league match against Rotherham at the City Ground (pictured, 22nd September, 2018)

Back in September 2004, the headlines in national and local newspapers were dominated by the news that Cloughie had passed away. 

The front page of The Sun declared 'Bye Bye Big 'Ead', while the opening paragraph on the back page read: "Brian Clough's death brought the football world to a juddering halt." The report continued: "The profound loss of the best manager never to boss England stopped the great and the good in their tracks."

The Daily Star's Brian Woolnough, who has also since sadly passed away, wrote: "If there is a football team up there in heaven, they are lucky. Trophies are on the way." The chief sports writer of The Times, Simon Barnes, described Cloughie as the man who single-handedly created the cult of the football manager.

The front page of the Daily Mirror used one of Brian's famous quotes as its headline - the quote originally unearthed several years previously by this website and salvaged for posterity from a regional TV interview. It would have been lost forever without publication on this site and is now used widely to sum-up Cloughie's genius and outspoken nature: "I wouldn't say I was the best manager in the business, but I was in the top one."

In an article headlined 'Clough, A Man of the People,' The Mirror's chief sports writer, Oliver Holt, praised Brian's man-management skills and said: "...it was his ability to inspire players, for getting the best out of players that others considered ordinary, that was the hallmark of Clough's genius."

The Daily Mail's Jeff Farmer paid tribute and wrote: "Brian was a genius not only at the game he rampaged through like a tornado - and for which he motivated men to play like demons surpassing all understanding of themselves - but at cushioning the most abrasive of his tirades with a rough but engaging charm."

The headline on the front page of the Nottingham Evening Post read poignantly: 'Goodnight Young Man'; while the Derby Telegraph's front page said: 'RIP Brian. You were the best thing ever to happen to Derby.'

In a special interview with BBC Sport, to mark the tenth anniversary of that dark day, Brian's son Nigel said his father would have been a success in the modern game but would have been 'dismayed and flabbergasted' by the money-men and agents.

Nigel is also confident his father would never have moved to the boardroom after management, as Sir Alex Ferguson did. "When he retired from Forest he didn't want to haunt the next manager, Frank Clark," said Nigel. "There was a lot made last year of Sir Alex Ferguson being around when David Moyse was struggling and whether that was a help or hindrance.

"I don't know, but my Dad wanted to divorce himself from that. Being in the boardroom would have been a step too far for him." As for a phrase to sum-up Brian, Nigel referred to words used by a famous comedian. "I read that one of the phrases Billy Connolly uses is: 'Times may change, but standards must remain.' I think he got it off an After Eight advert. But I can see my Dad using something like that.

"He would have been nearly 80 if he was still around and he would have still been a cantankerous so and so at times. But those standards he was brought up with and tried to instill in others would have still been along those lines."

You can read fans' tributes and #cloughiememories HERE and send yours HERE.