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A Great Year

Twenty three years ago, Cloughie was reflecting on what he described as a 'cracking year.' In the previous twelve months, his Forest side had finished third in the First Division and won the League Cup - their first major trophy in nine years - as well as the Simod Cup. He had re-built a Forest side full of young and talented players.

In his programme notes ahead of a home game against Southampton in December 1989, the Master Manager wrote: "It's been a cracking year for us - nobody can take away from us what we have achieved over the last twelve months. But the bloke who first said you are only as good as your last match was smack on."

In his latter comment, Cloughie was referring to the Reds' previous 1-0 defeat at home to Norwich City. He added: "We don't need telling that and I'm looking for an improvement this afternoon." Forest went on to beat the Saints 2-0, with goals from Steve Hodge and Lee Chapman. They finished the season ninth, seven places above Derby County.


Cloughie's Postman

A former Cloughie player has described how he became the Great Man's unofficial postman - making regular deliveries to his brother in Middlesbrough. Brian Laws says it started after his first pre-season tour with Forest and the team had just landed at East Midlands Airport. "Cloughie grabbed my shoulder and said: 'Lawsy, give this to my brother.' He handed Laws a bottle of whisky and a wad of money.

Laws was puzzled by the request at first but after speaking to Brian's son Nigel he realised it was a present for Cloughie's brother Joe. "It seems Cloughie had automatically thought that because I was still a Middlesbrough resident at the time I would obviously know where his family lived." Nigel gave Laws the phone number for Joe and the delivery was made. "Joe then asked me where I had parked my car and told me to back it on to his drive." Laws was then told to open the boot of the car.

"From that moment, I kept hearing thud, thud, thud. Something quite heavy - and quite a lot of it - was being put into the boot. I just sat still, not wanting to look or to ask." After leaving the house, Laws turned the corner and stopped his car to see what was now inside his boot. "What I found was six bags of spuds! They came back with me to Nottingham and were still in the boot when I reported for training on the following Monday morning."

The potatoes, which Laws assumed had been grown by Joe, were then transferred to Cloughie's car. "'These are the best you will ever get,' insisted Cloughie. I thought to myself: Yes, and they must also be the most expensive! Cloughie then gave me a spud - just one, mind - with the words: 'Here, have one yourself.'" From that moment on, Laws became the delivery man between the brothers and was even alllowed to use Cloughie's Mercedes. The tale is recalled in Laws' new book 'Laws Of The Jungle' published by Vertical Editions at £16.99.


Statue Anniversary

It's four years since Nottingham's brilliant bronze statue of Brian Clough was unveiled (November, 2008). The sculpture, standing proudly in the city centre, followed a fund-raising campaign which smashed through its target in just eighteen months, raising £70,000. More than five-thousand people gathered to watch as the statue was unveiled by Brian's widow, Barbara, on November 6th, 2008. You can look back on that momentous day HERE and read about the fund-raising effort HERE.


Win Signed Book

In our latest competition (Ed: now closed) you have the chance to win a signed copy of the new book by Brian Clough's captain, John McGovern. With a foreword by Kevin Keegan and retailing at £18.99, 'From Bo'ness To The Bernabeu' looks back at McGovern's working relationship with the Master Manager at four clubs. You can enter the competition HERE and read our review HERE. In our previous competition, to win a copy of a Cloughie tribute book signed by his widow Barbara, there were entries from across the world, including Brazil, Sweden, Turkey and the UK. The winner is from Canada. See the results HERE.


What A Circus

A former Cloughie player has recalled how Brian had a private chat with him before England's infamous match against Poland in 1973, when the Three Lions crashed out of the World Cup at the qualifying stage. It was the game at Wembley when Clough, on national television, described the Polish goalkeeper Jan Tomaszewski as a 'clown,' with the visitors' goal leading a charmed life.

Clough had resigned as Derby manager just a few days before the match and the Rams' England defender Roy McFarland described the news as a complete bombshell. The first time he saw Cloughie after that announcement was when he was walking around the pitch a couple of hours before the Poland game.

"Brian was at the match for ITV Sport and came across and spoke to me. These were days before mobile phones, the internet and social networks, so I was as much in the dark about what was happening with Cloughie as any supporter. I have to say Brian was wonderful. I asked him what on earth was going on but he put my mind at rest straight away.

"He said to me that whatever was happening to him would sort itself and that my main focus had to be the game. I remember him saying, 'Never mind about anything else, go and win this match.' England's 1-1 draw with Poland meant they failed to qualify for the World Cup Finals in Germany. McFarland was speaking to The Sun newspaper ahead of England's World Cup qualifier in Poland (October, 2012).


Mum's The Word

Cloughie's European Cup winning captain John McGovern has revealed how his Mum gave Brian an ear-bashing for the way he treated her young son after an FA Cup defeat. McGovern recalls how Clough had blamed him for a 1-0 loss to Arsenal after the young midfielder played a loose backpass which led to the decisive goal in the fifth round replay in the early Seventies.

Describing how he received a "face to face rollicking, the human equivalent of being confronted by an erupting volcano," McGovern says Cloughie was scathing at the final whistle: "McGovern you cost me a cup final, and don't you ever forget it!" he shouted. Such was Clough's anger that he didn't speak to McGovern for about four weeks, even though he was in the Derby team.

From that day, whenever there was a cup match, Cloughie would remind the midfielder before the game: "McGovern, you cost me a cup final once and don't you ever forget it." He never did, but the lack of communication during that four-week period led to the young player being ultra-quiet at home and he eventually told his Mum what had happened.

 


"Telling her the story was a relief in itself, but little did I know that she rang Brian personally to discuss the matter. She never mentioned it to me, and I only discovered what had happened years later when I was in Brian's house shortly before he died. 'Your Mam gave me a bollocking once,' he suddenly told me.

'She's given me one or two myself Brian,' I joked. 'I mean she gave me a really big bollocking and not many people have done that,' he insisted as he gave me the full story of what had happened." McGovern's Mum later confirmed she had given Brian a telling-off. "I just laughed at the thought of one disciplinarian being soundly scolded by an even bigger one!"

McGovern's story is recalled in his new book 'From Bo'ness to the Bernabeu' with a foreword by Kevin Keegan. It was launched at the Approach in Nottingham on 11th October, 2012.


Put The Boot In

A former European Cup winner has recalled how the Master Manager allowed his players only two pairs of boots a season, with any extras paid for by the team. Martin O'Neill was reflecting on footwear when asked about his own players at Sunderland wearing coloured boots. O'Neill admitted he was exasperated, especially when the flimsy material of the modern boot increased the risk of injuries.

O'Neill told the Daily Mail (October, 2012): "'Under Cloughie, we were allowed two pairs of boots every season and then you had to buy your own after that. Honestly. We had to go down to a place in Nottingham called Redmayne & Todd with a chit and buy your boots. And if the boots you wanted were more expensive, you had to put some extra money to it. And we'd only won the European Cup - twice."

Nine of O'Neill's eleven players wore coloured boots in a recent match and he was asked for his reaction: "Do I despair? I must admit I do throw my hands up when I see some of them. What has happened? 'It makes me laugh, the players of today.

"There was an incident in training yesterday when someone stamped on Steven Fletcher's foot. You know he is limping round for two or three minutes and you're kind of glad. The boots are so flimsy. If anyone stands on them, you are going to get injured, like a punctured toe, because there is nothing to them."


Remembering Brian

It's now eight years since Brian Clough died, sparking tributes from across the world. Fans still remember his wit, wisdom, generosity and managerial genius. Thanks to everyone who continues to send us e-mails about their fond memories of the Master Manager. You can reflect on the tributes paid at his memorial service HERE and at the civic tribute HERE.


A Little Terrier

Twenty three years ago this month, Cloughie was having some 'photo fun' with his secretary, as Nottingham Forest prepared to play Huddersfield Town in the League Cup. The reason for the comical pose (below) was that Carole Parker (now Washington), who was his secretary for more than a decade, is a Huddersfield supporter and it was the first time the two sides had faced each other since she had been working with the Master Manager.

Carole admitted that she had been dreading the two teams facing each other. "I just hope it turns out to be a good contest over the two legs and although my heart says one thing, my head tells me another about the outcome."

 


Carole was born in Huddersfield and started to watch the Terriers from the age of eleven. Many years later, after Brian's death, she supported the statue fund in Nottingham by buying one of the exclusive green sweatshirts which were sold to help raise money for the brilliant bronze sculpture of Cloughie in Nottingham city centre.

 


Carole is pictured buying her sweatshirt from statue fund chairman Paul Ellis in 2005. As for the Huddersfield match, Cloughie took the time to welcome back former Forest striker Peter Withe who was assistant manager with the Terriers. He admitted he'd let Withe leave the club too quickly.

"Peter was a fanatical trainer when he was with us - always up at the front leading the rest,"said Brian. "He was a clean-living lad, gave everything he could on the pitch and was extremely popular - even with me - off it." After a 1-1 first-leg draw against Huddersfield at the City Ground, Forest went on to win the cup that season, beating Oldham in the final.


A New Start

Twenty two years ago, Cloughie was commenting on how quickly the new football season had come round again - and pointed out that his side had faced a busy pre-season - "on a production line of more matches than Swan Vesta." Old Big 'Ead was looking forward to the season ahead, back in August 1990.

It was a season which would end in another Wembley appearance, against Spurs in the FA Cup Final - a trophy he would have won if Gazza had been correctly sent off for his outrageous challenges on Garry Parker and Gary Charles. But that's now consigned to history - as are Cloughie's programme notes for the first match of the season - against Queens Park Rangers. Here are some of his comments:

"We say the same every year - but the start of the football season does seem to come around far too quickly. Like me, I hope you've had time to enjoy a bit of sunshine, have the odd San Miguel and been able to re-charge the batteries in the manner that you enjoy most. Mind you, the number of games we've played already compares with the fixtures that some clubs have had by the end of October.

"I doubt if any side plays more games than we do in pre-season but we firmly believe it serves a purpose - at least we think and hope it does. I'll only be able to confirm that is the case by the way we perform over the coming months but we haven't done too badly on a production line of more matches than Swan Vesta.

"But you know me, the First Division is what matters most to us and that's why today's game against Queens Park Rangers is the most important we have tackled. We'll do our best to get off on the right note but whatever happens, stick with us - it's going to be an interesting nine months. Hasn't it always been?"

Those final comments from the Master Manager will resonate with football fans across the world. The match against QPR finished 1-1. Forest ended that season eighth in the First Division, with 14 victories and 12 draws from 38 games, while Cloughie's former club Derby were relegated, having won only five.


Win Signed Book

To mark the start of the new football season, we've launched a competition to win a Cloughie tribute book signed by Barbara Clough. Entitled 'The Day I Met Brian Clough,' the book has been highly acclaimed and contains memories from his fans, friends and family. His daughter Elizabeth describes it as a tremendous collection of memories and anecdotes. In our competition, you can win a rare copy signed by Brian's wife, who recalls her own memories in the book. There are details on how to enter the competition HERE.


Pre-Season Memories

Former Cloughie player Martin O'Neill has been re-calling pre-season days under Old Big 'Ead. O'Neill was holding his own pre-season news conference as manager of Premiership Sunderland when he described how Brian ensured that players were rested in the lead-up to the new campaign.

"Our pre-season at Forest was overall less demanding than at other clubs," said O'Neill. "I went down to Norwich at 28, Mel Mechin was the manager, and the pre-season was purgatory. Shocking, really, really shocking. I thought he had no respect for the number of games I had played!

"We didn't see too much of Cloughie during pre-season. He went to the games, which he held a lot of store in. That was really important. He always felt that players should take responsibility to get themselves into some sort of condition.

"What he was brilliant at was giving you time off. If you had given your heart and soul into the game then you needed the time because the season was too long. Jimmy Gordon was our trainer and Cloughie trusted him. But we never saw him until we went out to Germany, as it normally was, to play some games."


Praise From Forest Owners

The new owners of Nottingham Forest have praised the achievements of Cloughie. Speaking at their first official news conference at the City Ground (July 2012), the wealthy Al Hasawi family from Kuwait expressed their admiration for the Master Manager. Abdulaziz Al Hasawi told the media that the Reds' heritage and history was a key factor in them choosing Forest.

He then went on to praise Old Big 'Ead. "He's an iconic name," he said. "We are just sad not having him with us. It would have been a great honour working with someone like Brian Clough." Fawaz Al Hasawi added later: "I love Brian Clough - he did something amazing for this club." The family say they face challenging times ahead to bring back the glory days achieved by Cloughie.


Memories From 'The Irishman'

A former Replublic of Ireland international has praised the Master Manager for the way he taught him about the beautiful game. Dave Langan signed for Cloughie at Derby County in 1973. It's where he learned football's fundamentals.

"He used to call me the Irishman...he was very good to me," Dave told the Irish Post. "My mother loved him because he used to send her a bunch of flowers at Christmas time. He was strict though. If he gave you a rollicking you know you were getting one. Then, we'd lose a match, you'd be thinking we were in for it and he'd come along and praise you for doing one good thing on the pitch.

Dave says Cloughie ensured they kept things simple. "We used to play six-a-side matches. 'Keep the ball' that's what Clough called it. If you gave it away, he'd come over with a brush and tell you to go sweep the stands or go down and sweep out his office."

And there is fullsome praise for Old Big 'Ead's skills of man management. "I'd see him rip into superstars. They'd be there with their heads down and other times he'd lift them. He was a great man manager, a brilliant man manager. People said we were in fear but it was total respect. He'd come out with these one-liners and he'd crack you up.

"I remember there was a sign in the dressing room that read 'the biggest crime in football is to give the ball to the opposition.' That was Clough. He taught me how to play the game." Dave is planning a book about his life, called 'Running Through Walls,' to be published later this year.


Message From The Gaffer

A Clough fan has recalled how a recorded message from the Master Manager helped to bring him out of a coma following a road accident. Michael Bent from Nottingham was a schoolboy player for Nottingham Forest when he suffered head injuries in a moped crash in Majorca.

Michael told this website: "I was on schoolboy forms with Forest from around March 1984 until I had the bad accident in September 1987. I was in a coma and was brought back to hospital in England - first to Birmingham and then the Queens Medical Centre in Nottingham.

"Brian Clough said a message for me on BBC Radio Two and my uncle Rob recorded it. My uncle or my parents had written to Brian and he said something along the lines of: 'I understand that you are a fine footballer & cricketer and as soon as you are better we (Forest) would like to see you back at the City Ground playing football.'"

Michael's parents played the recording to him while he was in a coma, along with music and other messages from his family. "I was in a coma for about six to eight weeks and the messages helped to bring me out of the coma. After he had receovered, Michael received tickets to watch a Forest first team game. Then the scout that spotted him, John Galley, arranged complimentary tickets for Michael and his late father to attend the 1991 FA Cup Final at Wembley.

Adds Michael: "I always wanted to become a footballer and take after my Grandpa, Bobby Liddle, who played for Stoke City in the Thirties. I have always been a Super Reds man and Brian was my idol. I am so proud that he made that message for me and I still have the recording."


Championship Memories

Cloughie's sons have been recalling their memories of their Dad winning the First Division championship with Derby County forty years ago. The Clough family was on holiday back in May 1972 when the Rams were waiting for other results to go their way after completing their own fixtures. Both Leeds and Liverpool failed to get enough points from their final matches and Derby won the title by a point.

The Cloughs were staying in a hotel on the Scilly Isles while the players were in Majorca, waiting to hear the results. Nigel and Simon Clough recalled their Mum, Barbara, was listening to a lecture on the local flora and fauna when the door flew open and Brian burst in. "We've done it, we've done it," he shouted towards Barbara. The person giving the lecture asked: "Excuse me, sir, but what are you talking about?"

Clough explained his team had won the League championship. "I remember the hotel was a posh place and the guests were not really football people," said Simon. His brother Nigel added: "Apparently, the person giving the lecture said to Dad, 'that's splendid, very well done' and a few people started clapping but one woman who was sat close to Mum asked 'who is that man and what is he talking about?' For the rest of the holiday it seemed like those who had been in the room looked daggers at us for interrupting the lecture!"

Nigel and Simon were speaking to the Derby Telegraph as part of an excellent supplement to mark the fortieth anniversary of the Rams' first league title (published May 2012). Nigel recalled that once they returned to Derby, the trophy spent a lot of time at their home. "Dad would take it and show the neighbours. It went up and down Ferrers Way in Allestree!"


The Top Boss

Former England international Viv Anderson has chosen Cloughie above Fergie as the greatest manager. Anderson, who became the first black footballer to represent England, played for both Nottingham Forest and Manchester United. But he says Brian Clough beats Alex Ferguson when it comes to being the top boss.

"Both have been fantastic managers," Anderson told The Sun Daily in Malaysia. "Sir Alex has done 35 years which is nothing short of remarkable. But what Brian Clough did for Forest and the city was incredible too. Manchester United have always been a big club, with good training facilities and everything, but at Forest we had to share the training ground with cows. It was always difficult to attract players to a club going nowhere. "

Anderson also praised Cloughie for helping him deal with racists who taunted him during the early days of his career. Brian's advice made him stronger and determined to be successful. So when it comes to being the greatest manager - there's only one choice. "Cloughie's reign was shorter but I'd give it to him. When he went there, he had no money, no crowds and yet won back-to-back European Cups. Incredible, really."


The Lost Dog

Former Cloughie player Gary Charles has recalled the day he lost Brian's dog. Charles was a young defender at Nottingham Forest at the time and Cloughie had asked him to take his pet dog, Del Boy, for a walk. "He always used to get me to walk him and he got me to take it down the River Trent one day, when it ran off," Charles told the Lincolnshire Echo.

"There was about 20 of us looking round Nottingham for this labrador dog for about three or four hours. We got back to the ground and I was petrified about what I was going to say to him. But the dog was there sitting in his office." Charles is now a coach at Lincoln City and still follows his mentor's advice. "A lot of people ask me about Brian Clough and he used to say to me 'keep things simple' and I have taken that on board."


The Frost Interview

The BBC has released an archive interview with Cloughie by Sir David Frost, in which the Master Manager talks openly about his magical man-management skills. In the half-hour programme, originally broadcast in November 1974, Sir David asks Cloughie how he motivates players - and in particular how he lifts a team's morale at half-time. "There is a way of motivating people and getting things across," says Brian. "There is a way of lifting them or damping them down, depending on the individual and the character of the side.

"If things aren't going well and you tell them that in a pronounced way, then you have problems because you'll drive them further into the ground. It is essential to praise people. Everybody puts out stick - you have to balance it. You have to balance criticism with praise.

"I have a terrible problem at the moment. I have three children and obviously I want them to do well and grow up to be beautiful. My wife pours love, intelligence and everything into them - and I go in and say 'Come on, you've got to do this, this and this' - and I'm thinking I've forgotten the last time I said what beautiful children they are. And you've got to find a balance."

 


Cloughie also describes his despair with some politicians - especially at election time. "They come back to us, having made such a mess of it, and say 'put us back there again' and I find this incredible. They have the gall to knock on your door and tell us that we're in trouble, there are problems and we're all going to have to pull our belts in - and I've paid them, or contributed to them, to put it right.

"We pay their wages and they make such a mess of it and then they come back and ask us to do it all again. You've either got to be as thick as hell to do that - or a very talented man." You can see the full interview HERE.


Motty's Memories

The BBC's John Motson has been reflecting on what it was like to interview Cloughie, as part of a special series looking back at Motty's 40 years as a commentator. And one interview, in particular, is highlighted - when Brian was in top form and challenged Motty over the media's over-analysis of matches shown on television. "You were never quite sure when you went to interview him, what to expect," reflects Motson. "He could berate you one minute - and he could be tremendously kind the next.

"As a personality and a character, I don't think anybody ever quite came up to his standards. He was an absolute journalist's delight because you knew if you were went and saw Cloughie, whatever attitude he took towards you, you'd get a terrific interview. And there weren't many like that then. He set the tone for the television coverage we take for granted today."

 


In the 1979 interview with Motson, Cloughie criticises TV pundits for "lecturing us in our own arm chairs." He adds: "You are becoming too deep and setting yourselves up as judge and jury." This, he says, is turning people off. He ends the interview by saying: "I suggest you shut up and show more football. Now, if that's not in a nutshell, I don't know what is." You can watch Motty's reflections and the archive interview HERE.


Sport Relief 2012

The brilliant bronze statue of Cloughie in Nottingham is helping to highlight Sport Relief 2012 which is raising millions of pounds to help improve lives in the UK and other countries. A number of sporting stars are supporting this year's massive fund-raising effort, including David Beckham, Scott Parker and Freddie Flintoff. Organisers were given permission to adorn the Clough statue with the Sport Relief logo to help raise the profile further.

Of course, Cloughie backed many good causes - his charity exploits were often away from the media spotlight - and his memorial fund continues to raise money for the types of good causes he supported.

 


One million people are expected to take part in the Sport Relief Mile, raising more money. A live TV show was broadcast on BBC TV and more than fifty million pounds was raised. This total is expected to rise in the next few days. You can visit the Sport Relief website HERE.


Sock It To 'Em

Twenty five years ago, Cloughie was posing for a very unusual photograph - with a red and white sock in his mouth! Old Big 'Ead had received the 'gift' from the father of Nottingham Forest winger Franz Carr, with whom he'd had a very public disagreement in the press over a new contract for the England Under-21 international.

In a Forest matchday programme, Brian thanked Carr's Dad, Keith, for 'the early birthday present.' Added Cloughie: "Barbara and the kids were so thrilled they just had to take this picture. I did think it looked like a sock but there was only one. Our Nige thought it might be a balaclava but as you know I do have a rather big head and it didn't fit very well. But I'm sure I've cracked it now. Suits me, don't you think?"

Brian went on to say he hoped the gift indicated that the pair were now smoothing over their differences and that Carr would be signing a new contract. "I still think we...could sit down and behave like the two respected newspaper columnists we are and sort out Franz's future."

 


A few weeks later, Franz Carr appeared in another matchday programme, signing a new contract (March, 1987). "Everything has worked out fine," said Cloughie. "Keith and I had our differences of opinion at the outset but I think that little gift he sent me smoothed things over.

"We said all along that we didn't want to lose Franz, but he seemed keen to wait until the summer before making a decision about his future. That was no good to me or the club and I'm certain it would have been no good for him either. Now he can get down to the business that he's best at...and that's playing football."


Mills' Magical Memories

European Cup winner Gary Mills has been recalling how Cloughie worked his magical man-management before a match against Spurs, when Mills was just a fresh-faced teenager. "We never spoke about the opposition once," said the former Nottingham Forest midfielder. "That's the way we were brought up. He used to tell us how good we were - and let them worry about you."

Mills remembered a key match against Spurs in November, 1978. "We went to Spurs on my 17th birthday and the two Argentinians were playing (Ardiles and Villa). There were fifty-thousand people in the ground. The commentator Brian Moore came in and the Gaffer introduced me to Brian and said, 'You see this young man here, he's going to absolutely take the you-know-what out of Steve Perryman today - he'll show him how to play football.' And that gave me a lift.

"Not once did he mention that Steve Perryman's a good player - it was all about how good I was and how well I was going to play against him that day. That's how you've got to be - and that's what I do in my own managerial career."

Mills also told BBC Radio Nottingham how he made his European Cup debut against AEK Athens at the age of just 16, earlier that same month. For the final in 1979, he was initially named as a substitute - but Cloughie decided to replace him. "The Gaffer pulled me to one side and said, 'Look son, I'm taking you off the bench for the game tonight - I'm going to put John O'Hare on instead, he's coming to the end of his career.' Then he said: 'Listen, don't worry - because we'll go and win it next year and you'll be playing then.'

Cloughie's prediction came true. "It wasn't until I was older that I realised - I knew he was good, but I didn't know that he was THAT good." An injury to Trevor Francis meant Mills started the 1980 final against Hamburg. "To be involved in that side with all the success was fantastic - and I learned so much. The Gaffer was never afraid to give the younger players an opportunity if he thought they were good enough. I wish I could go back and have it all again - it was absolutely magical." You can listen to Mills' interview on the Prematch programme HERE til Friday March 2nd, 2012.


Praise From Friend

A friend of Cloughie has described him as 'an amazing human being' during a BBC interview. Journalist John Lawson worked closely with the Master Manager during his 18 year reign at Forest. He said he felt privileged to become a friend of Brian.

John told BBC Radio Nottingham (February, 2012): "In the early days, in those first few weeks - until he trusted me - I used to go home and tell my wife Carole 'I'm not sure if I'm going to get on with this guy.' But all of a sudden, he must have realised he could trust me - it was like flicking a switch.

"He was an amazing human being. He was an astonishing man - a brilliant football manager, with an incredible brain. I learned so much from him. It was a very sad day when he died." You can read more of John's memories in the tribute book 'The Day I Met Brian Clough' available HERE.


A Helping Hand

Twenty five years ago this month, Cloughie was explaining why he'd let one of his players go to local rivals Notts County, leaving his own Forest squad threadbare. He aided County's promotion push by allowing Northern Ireland international David Campbell to go on a month's loan to Meadow Lane.

The move left Forest's squad depleted until the Home Office issued a work permit for the Norwegian, Ossie Osvold. But Cloughie told the Nottingham Evening Post he was willing to take the risk. "I'm praying that clearance for Osvold comes through rapidly," he said.

"We aren't exactly over-blessed in terms of man-power, so Campbell's spell at Notts means we're now right down to the bone. The fact remains I couldn't turn down Notts' appeal. It's in my interests to give them a push towards the Second Division and to stimulate interest in the game in this city. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for them."

In reply, County's Managing Director, Neil Hook, was appreciative. "Not many clubs would loan a player of Campbell's calibre," he said. "This is a big gesture from Forest and it obviously means we are keen to keep pushing for promotion."


Tribute to Gentleman Jim

Tributes have been paid to Nottingham Forest's former education officer - and supporter of the Brian Clough Statue Fund - Jim King, who has died at the age of 76. Jim played a vital role in the statue fund's matchday sales of Cloughie souvenirs which helped to raise thousands of pounds towards the superb bronze statue in Nottingham.

Until his retirement last summer he had worked at the City Ground for more than two decades and was responsible for creating the first education programme for the club's trainees. He worked with the likes of Michael Dawson, David Prutton, Gareth Williams, Jermaine Jenas and Andy Reid.

Reid told the Forest website: "Jim was one of the first people I met when I joined Forest as a 15 year old and we remained close friends. He was one of those guys who would do anything for anyone and stayed in touch with so many lads, those who went on to have careers in the game and those who didn't."

Statue Fund founder Marcus Alton said: "Jim was a wonderful man who gave us tremendous help on matchdays when the committee was selling badges, key-rings and sweatshirts in the Forest study centre. Just before kick-off, he'd make sure all the takings were kept secure - and that the money could be collected safely afterwards. He never let us down. News of his death is so sad and our thoughts are with his family."


Ice Cream Man

Championship manager Sean Dyche has recalled the day Brian Clough stopped a training session early - to order ice creams. Watford boss Dyche was a youth player for Cloughie at Nottingham Forest. "He was a genius at that mind dynamic of relaxing people and making them ready to play," the former central defender told the Daily Mail.

"There were some brilliant things. I remember one day at training, we had just started warming up and he shouted to the coaches, 'Archie (Gemmill), Liam (O'Kane), Alan (Hill). Off we go. We're going for a walk. Get the ice creams out.' That was it, training done and we got a win on the Saturday. He was a master at it."

Dyche said Cloughie would usually let the coaches get on with their working during training sessions. "He'd come down with his dog and his squash racket and his squash ball. He'd whack that around for the dog and stand at a distance, but every now and then, he'd notice something and you'd hear his voice across the training ground.

"It was a key, defining thing, really important but very simple. Something like Des Walker making a challenge in a practice game. He'd shout out, 'Stop. That's the sort of challenge that wins football matches. Play on. Well done, Desmond.' And that was it."


Tribute To 'Gentle Giant'

Tributes have been paid to businessman and owner of Nottingham Forest, Nigel Doughty, who was a valuable backer of the Brian Clough Statue Fund in Nottingham. Mr Doughty was found dead at his home in Lincolnshire at the age of 54.

Mr Doughty donated £5,000 to the statue fund, which in total raised £70,000 for the wonderful bronze sculpture of Cloughie in Nottingham city centre. He also sponsored a Gala fund-raising dinner in the Ballroom of Nottingham Council House, an event attended by members of Brian's family. The dinner, including an auction of memorabilia collected by the fund's committee, raised £9,000 towards the statue.

Among the tributes paid, the former Prime Minister Gordon Brown described Mr Doughty as a "gentle giant" with "a deep commitment to public service." Mr Brown added: "He will be mourned by many who never knew him or met him but were beneficiaries of his commitment to good causes." Read about the Gala Dinner HERE.


Martin's Memories

Former Cloughie player Martin O'Neill has heaped more praise on his former boss - and reflected on Brian's links with Sunderland, the club O'Neill now manages. "I've been told that he used to say that one of his regrets in life was not managing Sunderland," O'Neill told ITV Sport.

Nottingham Forest's former European Cup winner said that working under Clough as a player had left a lasting impression. "It would be difficult to work with a man like Brian Clough for five years and not feel something has got into you," O'Neill said.

"He's one of the great managers of all time, possibly the most charismatic manager that has ever been in the game." O'Neill added: "He stepped into Nottingham Forest in January 1975 and he changed all of our lives...all of us at the football club would never have dreamed that five years later we'd be lifting the European Cup for the second time."

O'Neill was speaking ahead of Sunderland's fourth round FA Cup tie against Middlesbrough, the club where Cloughie set an incredible goal-scoring record. You can watch the Martin O'Neill interview HERE.


Tribute to Colin

Tributes have been paid to Cloughie actor Colin Tarrant, who has died at the age of 59. Colin portrayed Brian brilliantly in the tribute play 'Old Big 'Ead in the Spirit of the Man' and backed Nottingham's statue fund campaign, including attending the launch in 2005.

The editor of this website and founder of Nottingham's statue fund, Marcus Alton, said news of Colin's death had come as a great shock: "It's extremely sad. Colin was such a talented and generous man.

"I got to know him during his time in the tribute play and his performances on stage were outstanding. I'll always picture him in that final emotional scene, singing a special version of My Way. He would have the audience laughing one minute, and in tears the next - the true mark of a fantastic actor.

"His support of the statue fund in Nottingham was invaluable. His very presence at the launch event ensured it attracted lots of media attention. And he supported us in many other ways too - including a special appearance, with the rest of the cast, at a Gala fundraising dinner. They'd just completed a performance that night and came over to the Council House Ballroom to join us.

"Colin remained a friend and will be sadly missed. But he has left us with many, many lovely memories." You can read about the tribute play HERE, the tribute show HERE, and his help for the statue fund HERE.


Commercial Break

A former advertising executive has been recalling the day Cloughie recorded a TV commercial at Arsenal's Highbury stadium around thirty years ago. David Horry, who now lives in Shanghai, China, contacted this website to share his memories.

"Brian was a lovely man," says David, who used to be a Creative Director with the advertising firm Saatchi and Saatchi. "I worked with him on a TV commercials script for Parker Pens with the actor, Arthur Lowe. It was shot in the boardroom at Arsenal, when Terry Neil was the Gunners manager. It was a busy day even though his only line was 'Right, Mr Chairman' - said to Arthur Lowe.

"The press were tipped-off that Cloughie had been spotted at Arsenal and within half an hour there was a media scrum outside Highbury. Terry Neil had to come down and tell the assembled paparazzi that Cloughie was only doing a TV ad!"


Cloughie's Job Swap

Twenty five years ago, Cloughie took part in an unusual job swap - with the driver of the team coach. With tongue firmly in cheek, Brian was pictured behind the wheel wearing a flat cap and smoking a cigarette, as part of a special New Year feature in the Nottingham Forest matchday programme.

In return, the coach driver Albert Kershaw was pictured in the role of manager, with Cloughie's famous squash racquet. There was also a question and answer section, in which the new coach driver said he liked 'annoying football managers who think they know it all.' And his dislikes? 'Football managers who do know it all.' You can see the photo's and read more of the comical answers HERE.


 

 

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