The Legend





Message To Managers

A non-league referee says more managers should copy Cloughie's insistence on good behaviour on the pitch. Reuben Smith, who is based in Hounslow, says bosses who fail to prevent their players from showing dissent are to blame for a shortage of matchday officials. He says people are put-off from becoming referees because of the abuse they receive.

Smith, who officiates in the Combined Counties League, told a local newspaper in south-west London (February, 2008) that managers should set an example. "The greatest manager of recent decades, in my opinion, was the late great Brian Clough," he said. "I have heard endless stories from referees who came across his teams and always spoke about how well-behaved and disciplined they were.

"You only have to look at how well-behaved Roy Keane was at Forest and compare that to when he left them to see the influence he had. I wonder how many key 50-50 decisions went Forest's way because of the discipline in the team? Did referees subconsciously go in their favour when there was doubt over the decision? That is something we will never know, but it's something all intelligent managers should think about."

A Huge Mistake

The failure to give Brian Clough the England manager's job has been voted one of Britain's biggest mistakes. The poll in The Times newspaper (February, 2008) ranked the howler alongside other errors such as Chamberlain's appeasement of Hitler in 1938. One contributor wrote: "Not giving Brian Clough the job of managing England was a disaster."

Derby Campaign

A campaign has started to have a statue of Cloughie at Derby County's Pride Park Stadium. Teenage fan Ashley Wilkinson told the Derby Evening Telegraph (February, 2008) that he hoped supporters would back a petition. It follows the success of fans in Nottingham who decided to take action themselves and raised £70,000 for a statue of the Great Man, which will stand in the city centre. A statue was unveiled in Middlesbrough in 2007.

Derby County have already announced plans to name a square after Cloughie as part of the Pride Plaza redevelopment. Another fan, Kalwinder Singh Dhindsa, told the paper: "Brian Clough is my hero and it's about time the people of Derby had something fitting to recognise him."

Picture Perfect

Cloughie sculptor Les Johnson has visited a newspaper's picture library to help him create the statue of the Master Manager in Nottingham. Les travelled from his base in Hampshire to look at photographs of Old Big 'Ead from the archives of the Nottingham Evening Post. It's hoped the visit will help him capture key features for the £70,000 sculpture.

"You can never have too many pictures," said Les, who is looking forward to the challenge of making the bronze figure. "The pictures I’ve chosen will help me create the statue." Les is already making slight alterations to his original proposals, following a suggestion by Mrs Clough that the statue should have Brian walking towards the fans, rather than standing still. Cloughie will still have his hands clasped above his head, in a victorious gesture. There is a report and picture HERE.

Transfer Dealings

The Nottinghamshire MP Kenneth Clarke has been remembering how he formed an unlikely alliance with Cloughie, despite coming from opposite sides of the political spectrum. Mr Clarke says the Master Manager sometimes asked for his help when signing foreign players. The MP, a Forest fan since childhood, was then Minister of Employment in the Conservative government.

"Brian used to occasionally ask for my help with work permits when he had bought foreign players and not sorted out the necessary paperwork," said Mr Clarke. But when he bought one particular player, Cloughie was not pleased with the reply he received. On her first day, one of Mr Clarke's staff sent back the paperwork saying the job should be advertised in the local paper first.

"So I had Cloughie telling me what he thought of my department telling him he should advertise the midfield vacancy in the Nottingham Evening Post to see if any unemployed bloke wanted to have a go in his side." It was then explained to the member of staff that different rules applied to footballers and the matter was sorted out. Mr Clarke's story was revealed in the Nottingham Forest matchday programme (Feb 16th, 2008).

Trouble For Play

It's emerged that the new Cloughie play will not go ahead, following financial problems at the Derby Playhouse. 'The Devil's League' was due to open on February 16th, 2008, two weeks later than originally scheduled. But news that the playhouse is having to close came at the end of the second week of rehearsals (February, 2008).

The new play would have seen actor Colin Tarrant revive the role as Clough, as he did in the highly-successful play in Nottingham, Old Big 'Ead in the Spirit of the Man. The production team also featured several of those behind the Nottingham play, including playwright Stephen Lowe and director Alan Dossor. A special reading of 'The Devil's League' was held at the Nottingham Playhouse in January, 2008.

As revealed on this website last year, the black comedy is set during the miners' strike in 1984 and recounts a fictional encounter between the Master Manager and Robert Maxwell, who owned Derby County. Read more about the production team's dissapointment, and see exclusive rehearsal photo's HERE. Fans who have tickets for the new play can visit the Derby Playhouse website HERE.

More on Statue Plans

International sculptor Les Johnson says he's relishing the challenge of creating Nottingham's bronze statue of Cloughie. Les was chosen as the artist to make the tribute following a uananimous decision by a selection panel which included Brian's wife, Barbara (see article below). Amid widespread media coverage of the announcement (January, 2008), Les told BBC Radio Five Live it was an 'absolute honour' to be awarded the commission.

Les told Five Live's Nicky Campbell that creating the statue would be an exciting challenge. "Brian is an amazing historic figure," he said. "The challenge is not only to capture that face we all recognise but also his personality - that vibrant and energetic approach to life and football."

The statue announcement also received the thumbs-up from the Nottingham Evening Post. In its comment column, the newspaper congratulated Les and said the location for the tribute was ideal, being in the city centre rather than the City Ground.

"We say the city centre is just right," said the Post. "Uniquely for a football manager, Clough was known to people who knew nothing about football. People who had never been to a Nottingham Forest or Derby County match still felt that he was 'one of them'. It would have been a shame had this memorial to Old Big 'Ead been confined to a place visited only by the football community." Watch a BBC report about the statue design announcement HERE.

Play's Preview

Around 250 people attended a special preview of the new Cloughie play, with Colin Tarrant back in the role as the Master Manager. 'The Devil's League' is a black comedy about a fictional encounter between Old Big 'Ead and the controversial newspaper baron Robert Maxwell, who owned Derby County. The three actors involved took part in a reading of the script, without a set or costumes, at the Nottingham Playhouse during the first week of rehearsals (January, 2008). The production is due to open next month at the Derby Playhouse, which is in administration following financial problems.

Colin is reviving the role he had in the previous Cloughie play 'In the Spirit of the Man' and once again delivered Old Big 'Ead's one-liners brilliantly. He was joined on stage by John Hodgkinson, who plays Maxwell, and actress Clare Calbraith. The evening was introduced by playwright Stephen Lowe alongside director Alan Dossor.

Statue Decision

International sculptor Les Johnson will make the bronze statue of Cloughie in Nottingham city centre. It follows a unanimous decision by a selection panel which included Brian's wife, Barbara. Mrs Clough told this website she was delighted with the decision. "I also liked the pose with Brian's hands clasped above his head," said Mrs Clough. "It conveys a sense of sharing a celebration with the fans."

Les Johnson, who is based in Hampshire, said he was extremely pleased to have been awarded the commission. His work was also the most popular among fans following a public consultation which included e-mails to this website. "This is a most prestigious project," said Les. "Brian Clough is such an iconic figure. He was unique and deserves to be commemorated. I am so pleased to be involved in celebrating his life."

Mrs Clough said she was impressed with the bust created by Mr Johnson, saying it captured a lot of Brian's character. She also believed the location of the statue was fitting, being close to the market square and the Council House, the scene of many trophy celebrations.

The statue has been made possible after a small group of volunteers raised £70,000 for the tribute. There are more details about the latest news HERE. More info about the statue fund HERE.

Derby Hopes

Fans in Derby are hoping for a Cloughie statue in their city, after seeing the success of fund-raisers in Nottingham. The Derby Evening Telegraph reported (January, 2008) that Derby County supporters would welcome a memorial, following the unveiling of Nottingham's proposed statue designs. Elaine Dean of the Rams Trust told the paper she wanted to see a statue in the city. "Nottingham also have a stand named after Cloughie and there is even a statue in Middlesbrough when he was a young man. Everybody has beaten us to it now."

The leader of Derby City Council, Chris Williamson, said he would also support a bid for a memorial statue. Cllr Williamson was behind efforts to give the Master Manager the Freedom of Derby in 2003, ten years after he received the Freedom of Nottingham. A small group of volunteers in Nottingham raised £70,000 in 18 months for a bronze statue to stand in the city centre.

Carole's Comments

Cloughie's former secretary has been giving her verdict on the proposed designs for a statue of the Master Manager in Nottingham city centre. Carole Washington viewed the proposals on this website. "They all have something about them which merits them being the statue, they are all done in their own style," she told the Nottingham Evening Post (January, 2008). "He would have been proud whichever one was chosen."

Fans have been able to view the designs at Nottingham Council House and on this website. The six-day consultation ended at midday on Saturday January 12th, 2008. Comment cards and e-mails will be passed to the selection panel which will meet later in January to make a final decision on which sculptor will be commissioned, as well as the pose for the statue. There's more about the statue and the selection process HERE.

Kick-off for Designs

Proposed designs for a bronze statue of Cloughie in Nottingham city centre are going under the spotlight. Models and busts of Old Big 'Ead are going on display for fans to give their views. They can be seen on this website and at the Council House in Nottingham, from midday on Monday January 7th until midday on Saturday January 12th.

The designs have been produced by three short-listed sculptors. Fans will be able to send their views by e-mail to this website, or write their comments on special postcards and leave them in a box in the Council House foyer. These will then be considered by a selection panel, which will meet later in January to make a final decision on which sculptor will be commissioned, as well as the pose for the statue.

E-mails received through the site will be passed to the panel. The designs will be available to view soon. Brian Clough’s widow Barbara will be part of the selection panel. "Brian would be absolutely amazed at the idea of a statue," said Mrs Clough. "On behalf of his children, grandchildren and his brothers and sisters, I’d like to say a huge and sincere thank you."

The chairman of the statue fund, Paul Ellis, said he was looking forward to seeing the proposed designs. "This is a vital stage of the selection process and we hope as many fans as possible will come along and see the designs." There's more about the statue and the selection process HERE.

Biography Added

A biography of Cloughie has been added to a prestigious on-line reference guide. The Master Manager is the latest name to be included in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. This website has been officially recognised as a source of information for the entry.

Statue Latest

A cheque for more than £70,000 has been handed-over to Nottingham City Council for a statue of Brian Clough in the city centre. The cheque represents the money raised by volunteers in just 18 months, plus interest. The presentation came as the next stage of the statue process was announced (December, 2007). See the cheque handover HERE.

The work of three short-listed sculptors is going under the spotlight in January 2008, when miniature versions and busts of Old Big 'Ead will be unveiled for the public to see and give their views. A selection panel will meet later in January to make the final decision on which artist will be commissioned by the city council to make the full bronze statue. Fans will also be able to send their views to the panel via this website, in the New Year.

The leader of the city council, Jon Collins, said it was an exciting time for the statue plans. "The tremendous success of the fund-raisers has shown it is vital that we now have a fitting tribute to Brian Clough," he said. The statue fund chairman, Paul Ellis, added that he was looking forward to seeing the artists' submissions. "At a time when the English national team has hit rock bottom, it is time to restore some pride by saluting the best manager England never had." There is more information about the statue and selection process HERE.

Fears For Play

The team behind the new Cloughie play say their production faces an uncertain future, following financial problems at the Derby Playhouse. 'The Devil's League' was due to open at the theatre in February. But the playhouse has gone into administration and talks are underway to ensure it stays open (December, 2007).

In a joint statement issued first to this website, the writer Stephen Lowe and director Alan Dossor said they were giving their full support to those struggling to keep the theatre alive. They say this latest play promised to be even more ambitious than the successful 'Old Big 'Ead in the Spirit of the Man' which entertained packed houses at Nottingham Playhouse.

"But now of course there's no way of telling as we have no apparent pitch to play on," said Stephen and Alan. "New writing is scarce in contemporary theatre and it takes courage for a theatre to stand by such work. We will miss our chance to take up the challenge. We hope sincerely that, regardless of what happens with us, Derby soon gets back its real theatre."

The new play, with Colin Tarrant once again as Cloughie, is set during the miners' strike in 1984 and recounts a fictional encounter between the Master Manager and Robert Maxwell, who owned Derby County.

Book Award

A book about the Master Manager has won a top award. 'Provided You Don't Kiss Me' by Duncan Hamilton scooped the annual William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award (Nov, 2007). Hamilton was a journalist at the Nottingham Evening Post and the book recounts his working relationship with the Great Man. Other works in the shortlist included books about Sir Bobby Charlton and the cricketer Shane Warne.

Hamilton told this website: "I am flattered, proud and priviledged and I do hope that the book proves to people how much Brian Clough contributed to the game and how much it misses a character like him." This website recently gave away two signed copies of the book in a competition. There's a review HERE.

Auction Item

A Cloughie book signed by the Great Man to the cricket legend Fred Trueman has been sold at auction for £240. The item was part of the late Trueman's personal library which went under the hammer in Nottingham (November, 2007).

The Master Manager, who was a big cricket fan, signed the copy of Walking on Water with the message, 'Fred, Be Good You Old B!'. The book came with a letter of authenticity from Trueman's widow. The proceeds will be split between Gargrave Cricket Club, Yorkshire Air Ambulance and the oncology unit at Airedale Hospital. For more details visit the auction website HERE.

Charity Windfall

It's been announced that the inaugural Brian Clough Trophy match raised £100,000 for charities in the East Midlands. The game between Derby County and Nottingham Forest attracted a crowd of more than 25,000 at Pride Park in July.

The cash will be divided between the two clubs' nominated charities and the Brian Clough Memorial Fund. The East Midlands Air Ambulance and NSPCC (East Mids) will also benefit. The memorial fund will receive £25,000, which will go to a number of local charities at the discretion of the Clough family. There's more about the trophy HERE.

Special Praise

A former newspaper editor has described how Cloughie heaped praise on a young disabled lad - after others had tried to ignore the boy. Barrie Williams had invited Old Big 'Ead to present prizes at a ceremony in Nottingham for disabled athletes in the 1980's. Speaking on BBC Radio Nottingham (November, 2007), Williams recounted how, as 200 people waited inside County Hall, a woman came in pushing her son in a wheelchair.

"He was a dreadfully disabled boy," said Williams. "Everyone in the hall looked everywhere but at this boy - at the ceiling, at the wall, at their feet. Anywhere but at this boy in the wheelchair. Not Cloughie. He strode very exaggeratedly through the middle of that room and towards the boy."

Cloughie picked up the boy very gently from his wheelchair and kissed him. "And then in front of everyone in the room, he said in a booming voice, 'This boy's a star. Look after him!' These are the things about Brian Clough you never forget." Williams was the editor of the Nottingham Evening Post and has written an autobiography called Ink In The Blood.

Book Criticised

Cloughie's widow Barbara has criticised a book about her husband. Mrs Clough says 'The Damned United' by David Peace misrepresents Brian, portraying him as a thoroughly unpleasant man.

The publishers say the novel is a fictional account of Clough's turbulent 44 days in charge of Leeds United in 1974. But Mrs Clough said: "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."(Nottm Evening Post, Oct 2007).

The Cloughs asked a family friend, the Derby-based TV and film writer Don Shaw, to raise their concerns. Mr Shaw is a lifelong Derby County fan who spearheaded the campaign to keep Cloughie at the Baseball Ground in the early 1970s.

In a joint statement, issued by the family and Mr Shaw, he 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.

The publishers' website describes the book as "a portrait of one of the most idiosyncratic and wilfully perverse Englishmen of the past century, and a story of the power and the paranoia that come together to shape a people and their times."

This website has already declined to review the book, which was published last year.

At The Wheel

A former journalist has described how Cloughie gave an elderly couple a lift in his car, after spotting them waiting for a bus. George Edwards was travelling into Derby with the Master Manager and says the bemused couple were dropped-off at the Market Place to do their shopping, even though Cloughie didn't know them.

"One cold and miserable winter day we were heading along Duffield Road when Brian, having spotted an elderly couple waiting at a bus stop, stopped the car, established that they were off to do some shopping, and ushered them into the back seats," says Edwards in his new book 'Right Place Right Time - the inside story of Clough's Derby days.'

"Not the sort of thing your average commuter does on his way to work, but Cloughie was not your average sort of person…"

George Edwards worked for the Derby Evening Telegraph and was the only journalist to travel home and away with Clough's Derby teams at that time. The book is a highly enjoyable read which captures vividly the Rams' glory days under Clough and Taylor. There's a review of the book HERE.

Great Wit

Cloughie has been named in the top ten of Britain's greatest wits of all-time. A survey put the Master Manager at number nine, in the company of Shakespeare, Noel Coward and Sir Winston Churchill. Oscar Wilde came top in the poll involving 3,000 comedy fans (Oct, 2007). The survey was conducted for the new digital TV channel called Dave.

As Cloughie fans well know, he was the master of the one-liners. Indeed, some of his best quotes have already been compiled on this website. In our own poll there was a clear winner: "I wouldn't say I was the best manager in the business. But I was in the top one." There are more classic quotes HERE.

Nigel's Night

Cloughie's son Nigel will be the special guest speaker at a charity event. Nigel will talk about playing for his Dad at Forest, among many other things, when he appears at the East Midlands Conference Centre in Nottingham on November 15th, 2007 (from 7.30pm). The event will include an auction for the Rainbows Children's Hospice. Tickets cost £50, including three course dinner, and are available by phoning 0115-9371280.

Keane Comments

Former Cloughie player Roy Keane says the Master Manager would have had no time for some of today's players, who he says are only interested in earning a fortune and driving a big car. The Sunderland boss told the Daily Mail (Oct, 2007): "I was at Nottingham Forest for three years before I would even have dreamed of asking Brian Clough for a pay rise. And he would have knocked me out. He would have said, 'Who do you think you are?' Now a player plays for six games and their agent is straight on the phone."

Badges Are Back

Limited edition tribute badges are now back on sale, featuring Cloughie's famous phrase: 'Be Good'. The badges, in the shape of his green sweatshirt, also have his signature on the front, recreating the message he used to write when signing his books.

The metal pin badges have been specially made for this website and are being sold with the approval of Mrs Clough. The proceeds will go to the Brian Clough Memorial Fund and the running costs of this non profit making website. They cost just £3.00 each, plus £1.50 postage and packing within the UK. There are more details on how to order HERE.