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A Different Class

Former Cloughie player Colin Walsh has admitted he made one big mistake is his dealings with the Master Manager. Walsh spent eight years at Nottingham Forest during Cloughie's reign and described it as a "sheer privilege." He recalled: "Cloughie was a genius and the side he put together made the game look so easy." But Walsh confesses he made an error of judgement during contract talks.

"I was trying to negotiate a new contract and I mentioned the possibility of a signing on fee. Let's just say I wished I had never posed the question. But it was easy to understand why players wanted to play for him and why he got the best out of them. He was different class and playing for him - and Forest - will always mean something special to me." Walsh's comments were featured in the Reds' matchday programme on September 20th, 2008 - the fourth anniversary of Cloughie's death. Hey, we still miss you!


Statue Goal

There's been a further call for a Cloughie statue in Derby. A senior councillor says he wants to hear from other fans who may be interested in having a statue erected in the city - following the success of fans in Nottingham who raised 70,000 in 18 months for a statue there.

Councillor Joe Naitta, the cabinet member responsible for leisure and culture at Derby City Council told the Derby Evening Telegraph (September, 2008): "I think it is only right that we should honour Brian Clough with a statue in Derby." Mr Naita said he had spoken to Derby County who have their own plans to name a square after Cloughie in the proposed Pride Plaza development. He hopes a statue could be put up at a roundabout approaching the ground.

In the same way fans had been involved in getting statues in Nottingham and Middlesbrough, Mr Naitta hopes the community in Derby will work together. "I would like the fans to be involved in as much of it as possible, from fund raising to choosing designs."

In Nottingham, a small group of volunteers set-up the Brian Clough Statue Fund and smashed through their fund-raising target in 18 months. The committee was put together by the editor of this website. Work on the statue is progressing well and it is expected to be unveiled in the city centre later this year. Fund-raisers in Middlesbrough also secured a statue of the Great Man in his home town.


Archive Footage

The producers of a forthcoming television documentary about Cloughie are appealing to fans for help. They want to hear from any Forest supporters who may have filmed their own footage from the Seventies and Eighties - in particular the glory nights of the European Cup Finals in Munich and Madrid. Anyone who may be able to help can contact the producers HERE. (Archve Note: programme has now been broadcast).


The Genius

Former Cloughie player Roy Keane has described the Master Manager as a genius. Keane was speaking as he took his Sunderland team to play Nottingham Forest in the Carling Cup. Said Keane: "I just feel very lucky, like other players who played under him, to have had that opportunity. He was a genius and he has still left his mark on the football club." (Metro, August 2008).

Many fans who went to the cup match between Cloughie's two former teams wore green in tribute to Old Big 'Ead. The Reds boss Colin Calderwood had urged supporters to remember the Master Manager, whose famous green sweatshirt became a regular fixture on the touchline.

"Anyone who holds Forest close to their hearts won't need telling about the contribution Brian made," said Calderwood. "I'm also aware of the massive impact he made as a Sunderland player and I want both sets of fans to honour him."

It was the second time the two sides had met within the space of two months. Before a friendly in July, Keane had described Cloughie as the best manager he had worked for.


Target Man

Nottingham Forest's new striker Andrew Cole has revealed how Cloughie once tried to sign him. Cole was playing for Bristol City in 1993 when Forest made a bid for him. "I found out about it before a game we played on the Saturday," Cole told The Independent newspaper (August, 2008). But the bid was turned down and the Nottingham-born player signed for Newcastle.

Cole also said his grandfather was a big Cloughie fan. "My grandad was like Clough in some ways," says Cole. "When he spoke, everyone sat up and listened and those kind of things always stay with you. He liked Clough, too: the way he was; the fact he always spoke his mind." Cole says he made a promise to his grandfather, Vincent Lewis, that he would one day play for his hometown club.


The Number One

Former Cloughie player Roy Keane has named the Great Man as the best manager he worked for. Keane was speaking on his return to the City Ground, for a friendly between Forest and his new side Sunderland, where he is manager (July, 2008).

Keane told the Forest website that he was happy to go back to the club, which he left to join Alex Ferguson's Manchester United in 1993. "I've got great memories of my three years there. Brian Clough gave me a chance and that is something that you never forget," he said. "I don't know if I've picked up any of Brian Clough's traits but I just feel very lucky and honoured to have played under him. He was an absolute genius and when I look back at the managers I've played under, he's certainly number one. He was brilliant with me, great to my family and you never forget these things."


Signed Books

Two signed Cloughie books are the prizes in this website's latest competition. Duncan Hamilton has signed paperback copies of his award-winning book 'Provided You Don't Kiss Me.' Read more about the book HERE. (Archive Note: competition now closed).


Hall Of Fame

Officials at the National Football Museum have announced that Cloughie is to be included in a special European Hall of Fame. He's one of five managers to be inducted, including Sir Matt Busby, Sir Bobby Robson, Bob Paisley and Sir Alex Ferguson. The selection panel included Sir Tom Finney, Sir Trevor Brooking, Jimmy Greaves and Gary Lineker. A special ceremony will be held in Liverpool on October 8th, 2008.

The editor of this website, Marcus Alton, welcomed the news of Cloughie's inclusion: "This serves as a clear reminder of the Great Man's undoubted genius. The outstanding achievement of winning two consecutive European Cups failed to get the full recognition it deserved at the time, but this goes some way to acknowledging Cloughie's remarkable talent." Knighthood campaigner Mike Simpson added: "When you look at most of the other names inducted alongside Cloughie, it makes it even more puzzling as to why he didn't receive a knighthood."


I've Started So I'll Finish...

The life and career of Cloughie was the specialist subject of one of the contestants on BBC TV's Sport Mastermind series (July, 2008). Marketing manager Simon Gilbert scored eighteen points (and no passes) answering questions about the Master Manager. He scored thirty-two points in total after the second round of general sporting knowledge, finishing second overall.


On The Move

It's been claimed Cloughie would have moved the Football Association headquarters from London to South Yorkshire, if he'd become England manager. That revelation was described by the author Duncan Hamilton during a special evening to mark the publication of the paperback version of his award-winning book.

Duncan told an audience at the Broadway venue in Nottingham (June, 2008): "He would have had a hard time as England manager. He would have been great with the football side of things. He wanted to move the FA to South Yorkshire. He would have have had one enormous bust-up within the first six months of starting the job."

Duncan, who worked closely with Cloughie as a sports reporter, was in conversation with the playwright Stephen Lowe. The evening also featured fantastic archive film and TV footage. There's a full report and photo's HERE. Read more about the book HERE.


Film Folly

Following the media coverage of the forthcoming film 'The Damned United' - a fictional account of Cloughie's ill-fated forty-four days at Leeds United - it is timely to remind fans what has previously been said about the book upon which it is based and from which it takes its name.

Cloughie's widow Barbara has criticised the book, which is a fictional account but written as if it's the Master Manager's own words. It relies on imaginary thoughts and conversations. Mrs Clough was quoted last year as saying the book misrepresents her husband and portrays him as a thoroughly unpleasant man. "I have to feel strongly about something for me to make a comment about it so this goes to show how upset I am about this book," said Mrs Clough.

Last year, the Cloughs asked a family friend, the Derby-based TV and film writer Don Shaw, to raise their concerns. In a joint statement, Mr Shaw said: "Barbara Clough and I are together in condemning the portrayal of Brian in the book. He was considerate and civilised but with enormous self-confidence which made him a great manager. His small acts of generosity are well known among his friends and ex-players."

Also last year, the Derby Evening Telegraph reported that Cloughie's son Nigel is disappointed that the film will focus on the short time at Leeds. Like many fans, Nigel said such a project should reflect his father's thirty years in football management, including his successful years at Nottingham Forest and Derby County. Nigel told the paper: "It is a pity they have chosen to focus on that small period. If you spoke to the people of Derby or Nottingham about my father they wouldn't talk about those forty-four days at Leeds United. I bet a few people wouldn't have even heard of his time at Leeds."

True Clough fans feel the book doesn't do him any justice and ignores the amazing, unprecedented success the Great Man brought to two formerly small clubs. Fans who enjoyed the decades of success that he generated believe it is a huge shame that the film will live-off that distasteful and inaccurate book.


Charity Match

A hospice which Cloughie supported keenly is to benefit from a charity match between his former club Nottingham Forest and his son Nigel's Burton Albion. Gate money will go to the Treetops Hospice Ripple Appeal, which aims to raise money for a care centre. Cloughie was once quoted as saying, "Treetops does a brilliant job and deserves your support." The match will be held at Burton's Pirelli Stadium on Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008.


History Repeated

It's emerged that Cloughie's statue in Middlesbrough has sustained a mysterious injury to the same leg that ended his playing career. The bronze figure was erected last year in Albert Park. But officials have now noticed a serious fatigue fracture on its right leg, which mirrors the Great Man's ligament injury back in 1962.

Cloughie's sister, Doreen, said she hoped it could be repaired. "When the statue went up, we thought it would be there forever. It's strange that the damage is on the right leg, but I suppose the statue is more true to life." The 7ft statue has now been protected behind temporary fencing while an investigation into the extent and cause of the fracture is carried out.

One possible cause being considered by council officials is that the crack may have been due to children swinging on the leg. Councillor John McPartland, who chaired the fund-raising committee, said: "It's the same leg Cloughie injured in 1962. I think he might be telling us something from up in heaven." Read about the original unveiling ceremony HERE. Meanwhile, work on Nottingham's statue is continuing well and the bronze figure is due to be unveiled later this year.


Fact Not Fiction

The man who led the campaign to keep Cloughie at Derby County in the 1970's has revealed he is writing a book which will shed new light on the legend. In an exclusive interview with this website, the playwright Don Shaw described 'Clough's War' as an exciting project which he had been meaning to write for thirty years.

"I have read a lot of things about Brian Clough over the years, but I have a lot more to say," said Mr Shaw, who is a friend of the Clough family. The book will tell the story of the Great Man's epic rise and fall at Derby County, including his acrimonious resignation in 1973.

The book will also set the record straight over what he was really like, following the negative image portrayed in the dismal book 'The Damned United,' a fictional account of Cloughie's 44 days at Leeds United. Publishing Director at Ebury Press, Andrew Goodfellow, commented: "What David Peace speculated on, Don Shaw knows for real, because he was there as it happened."

Don Shaw added: "Brian Clough was a genius and a great man and I want to show the whole person. Yes, he could be very brutally outspoken, but he was also a caring, family man. He didn't use the obscenities that are in the Damned United, a book which paints Clough as a one-dimensional character." Don Shaw's book is due out in May 2009.


Motty's Message

BBC commentator John Motson has described a book about Cloughie as one of the best football books he has ever read. Motty was commenting on the award-winning 'Provided You Don't Kiss Me' which has now been published in paperback. This latest edition has several features not included in the original hardback version.

Among the additions is a section where the author Duncan Hamilton reflects on the experience of writing the book and the twenty years spent working closely with Cloughie as a reporter. He goes on to recall meeting John Motson at a recording for BBC Radio Four. "John's respect and adoration for Brian was as tangible as my own," he says.

Duncan Hamilton will also be discussing his book at a special event in Nottingham on June 24th, 2008. He will be in conversation with playwright Stephen Lowe at the Broadway venue. The event, starting at 1800, will also include archive film footage and a book-signing. Read more about the book HERE.


Top British Boss

A leading football writer has named Cloughie as the best ever British manager. Jeff Powell chose Old Big 'Ead as the boss of his greatest British team - made up of players who have taken part in European Cup finals. Peter Shilton and Keny Burns, from Cloughie's double European Cup winning teams, were also included.

Powell's report in the Daily Mail marked the all-British Champions League Final in which Manchester United beat Chelsea (May, 2008). It remains to be seen if United's manager can match Cloughie's remarkable achievement of winning two consecutive European Cups. The Master Manager won the trophies despite scant resources at the City Ground, taking the Reds from the old Second Division to European glory.


Getting Shirty

One of the volunteers who helped to raise 70,000 for a Brian Clough statue in Nottingham is now planning his next charity challenge. Rich Fisher is getting behind the wheel for the Mongol Rally and hopes fans of one of Cloughie's former clubs will donate their Nottingham Forest shirts to take with him for Mongolian orphans. Rich, a member of the statue fund committee, said: "It was fantastic to be part of the group which raised money for the Cloughie statue and now I'm hoping Reds fans will get behind another good cause." Get in touch with Rich HERE


Trophy Matches

Fans now face the prospect of two matches competing for the Brian Clough Trophy next season, following Derby County's relegation from the Premiership and Nottingham Forest's promotion from League One (May, 2008). Both of Cloughie's former clubs will be playing in the Championship, with the trophy going to the winners when the two sides meet. The Rams are the current holders following the first trophy match, in July 2007, and will keep the cup if the next game ends in a draw. There's more about the trophy HERE.


Fit For a King

Work has started on repaving part of Nottingham city centre which will house the new Brian Clough statue. The area at the bottom of King Sreet will have the same high quality granite paving which was laid in the Old Market Square. It is hoped the paving scheme will be completed by September, with the statue installed later in the year. Fans raised 70,000 for the statue, which will be cast in bronze.


Praise Is Granted

A Premiership manager has praised Cloughie, describing him as a 'great man.' Chelsea boss Avram Grant recalled his time visiting Forest's City Ground during the Master Manager's European glory days. "I arrived on the Monday and Clough wasn't there," he told the Daily Mail.

"They told me he should be in the next day but, again, he didn't show. I didn't see him until the Friday and when he turned up he had his dog with him! But he was very kind. People warned me...but I thought he was a very generous as well as a great man."


Driving Mr Clough

A former coach driver for Nottingham Forest has revealed how Cloughie took the team for an unusual visit during a trip to Middlesbrough. Tony Hughes has recently retired as the Reds' first-team driver after taking-up the post in 1991. He told the Forest matchday programme (March 24th, 2008): "Obviously getting the chance to work for Brian Clough and drive his teams around the country was something really special. I used to wake up on a morning and pinch myself and think 'can this be happening to me?'

"We were on our way to Middlesbrough for one game and I had organised a police escort to take us to the match. But on the way the gaffer told me to turn left, which was not on the route. As you do, I turned left and we ended up in this council estate. He got me to stop the bus, the police arrived and he was out on the pavement pointing to an upstairs window and telling everybody he was born in that room!"

Tony also remembers a visit to Sunderland's old ground, Roker Park, when a large crowd of youngsters wanted the autographs of Cloughie and his players after the match. "He got me to open the front door and the back door of the bus and one by one the kids streamed through getting his and all the players autographs. It was like the Pied Piper!

"We must have been there for an hour and a half and one or two of the players weren't very happy about it. But the kids were thrilled to bits. That was Brian all over...and there are countless other stories like that to show how generous and kind he was."


Psycho's Verdict

England Under-21 boss Stuart Pearce says Fabio Capello scares him in the same way Brian Clough did. The former Forest captain says the England manager has the same kind of no-nonsense attitude that Cloughie had. "You've only got to spend ten minutes in the fella's company to realise he's a serious performer," said Psycho. "I find him very similar to Brian Clough.

"I worked with Brian and, to be fair, he scared the life out of me and you were on your toes all the time. I get the same impression working with this fella now. He doesn't want to talk for hours about this and that and rubbish, he just wants to get on with the job.

"You could feel that in the dressing room in the first game. You could feel the atmosphere within the dressing room - he had the players on their toes. To be honest with you, I think that can only be good for the English game." Pearce's comments were reported in several British daily newspapers (March, 2008).


 

 

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