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Brian Howard Clough, OBE (21 March 1935 – 20 September 2004) was an Englishmarker footballer and subsequently football manager, most notable for his success with Derby County and Nottingham Forest, and his 44 day reign at Leeds United A.F.C. His achievement of winning back-to-back European Cups with Nottingham Forest is considered to be one of the greatest in football history.

Charismatic, outspoken, and often controversial, Clough is widely considered to be one of the greatest managers of the English game and the greatest English manager never to manage the England team. On being asked his attitude towards the England selectors he replied, "I’m sure the England selectors thought if they took me on and gave me the job, I’d want to run the show. They were shrewd because that’s exactly what I would have done".

Childhood

11 Valley Road, Grove Hill
Born at 11 Valley Road, an interwar council house in Grove Hillmarker, Middlesbroughmarker, Brian Clough was the sixth of nine children of a local sweet shop worker, later sugar boiler and then manager. The eldest, Elizabeth, died in 1927 of septicemia at the age of four. When talking of his childhood he said he "adored it in all its aspects. If anyone should be grateful for their upbringing, for their mam and dad, I'm that person. I was the kid who came from a little part of paradise." On his upbringing in Middlesbrough, Clough claimed that it was not the nicest place in the world, "But to me it was heaven". "Everything I have done, everything I've achieved, everything that I can think of that has directed and affected my life – apart from the drink – stemmed from my childhood. Maybe it was the constant sight of Mam, with eight children to look after, working from morning till night, working harder than you or I have ever worked."

Although a naturally bright child, in 1946 Clough failed his Eleven-plus exam, and attended Marton Grove Secondary Modern school. He later admitted in his autobiography that he had neglected his lessons in favour of sport, although at school he became head boy. Clough left school in 1950 without any qualifications, to work at ICI and did his national service in the RAF between 1953 and 1955.

Playing career

Clough played for Billingham Synthonia before his National Service between 1953 and 1955 in the RAF. Following this, he became a prolific striker for his home town club Middlesbrough scoring 197 goals in 213 league matches for Boro. He then signed for Sunderland and scored 54 goals in 61 league games. On 26 December 1962, he injured his knee during a match against Bury after colliding with goalkeeper Chris Harker. It turned out to be a cruciate ligament injury, which usually ended a player's career at that time. Clough returned two years later but could only manage three games before retiring.

He played twice for the England national football team, against Wales on 17 October 1959 and Sweden on 28 October 1959, without scoring.

Management career

Hartlepools and Derby County

Clough became a manager starting at Hartlepools United (the club's name has since been changed to Hartlepool United) with Peter Taylor as his assistant manager from October 1965. At the age of 30, Clough was then the youngest manager in the league.

In May 1967, after guiding Hartlepools to a finish of eighth in Division 4 in their first full season, and removing a despot chairman, Ernest Ord, who bugged managers and playing staff alike, and who tried to sack both Clough and Taylor, the duo joined Derby County as manager and assistant manager. Derby had been rooted in the Second Division for a decade prior to Clough's arrival, and had been outside the top flight for a further five years.

In Clough's first season the club finished one place lower than in the previous season, but he had started to lay the foundations for his future success by signing several new players, amongst them Roy McFarland, John O'Hare, John McGovern, Alan Hinton and Les Green. Of the inherited squad, eleven players departed and only four were retained: Kevin Hector, Alan Durban, Ron Webster and Colin Boulton. Clough also fired the club secretary, the groundsman and the chief scout, along with two tea ladies he caught laughing after a Derby defeat. With the additional signings of Dave Mackay in July 1968 and Willie Carlin in 1968, Clough and Taylor's management led Derby to become champions of Division Two, establishing the club record of 22 matches without defeat on the way. Clough was universally seen as a hard but fair manager, who insisted on clean play from his players and brooked no stupid questions with the press. He was famous for insisting on being called 'Mr Clough' and earned great respect from his peers for his ability to turn a game to his and his team's advantage. Derby's first season back in Division One saw them finish fourth, their best league finish for over 20 years, but, due to financial irregularities, the club was banned from Europe the following season and fined £10,000.

1970–71 saw the club finish 9th, but during the 1971–72 season, Derby tussled with Liverpool and Leeds United for the title. Leading the table by one point having played their last match, a 1–0 win over Liverpool, Peter Taylor took his players on holiday to Majorcamarker, where they learned that both title rivals had failed to win their final matches, meaning that Derby became champions for the first time in their then 88-year history. Clough was not with the squad at the time, instead holidaying in the Isles of Scillymarker with his family and parents when he received the news.

Feud with the Derby County Board of Directors

In August Clough refused to go on an arranged pre-season tour of the Netherlandsmarker and West Germanymarker unless he could take his family with him. Derby chairman Sam Longson told him that it was a working trip not a holiday, so Clough put Taylor in charge of the tour instead, and refused to go. The club did not contest the charity shield that year at Wembley.

On 24 August, 1972, Clough and Taylor signed David Nish from Leicester City, for a then record transfer fee of £225,000, without consulting the board. Afterwards, Jack Kirkland, a director, warned Clough and Taylor there would be no more expensive buys like Nish for Derby. Then, on 3 September, 1972, Clough attacked the Derby County fans, stating that "They started chanting only near the end when we were a goal in front. I want to hear them when we are losing. They are a disgraceful lot", after the team defeated Liverpool 2-1 at the Baseball ground. In the same interview, Clough also attacked the club's board of directors for their policies. The following day, Sam Longson apologised to the fans and dissociated himself from Clough's remarks.

That season, Derby failed to retain their title, finishing 7th, but reached the semi-finals of the European Cup, before being knocked out by Juventus 3–1 in April 1973, on aggregate in very controversial circumstances. Clough accused the Juventus team of being "cheating bastards", and then questioned the Italian nation's courage in the Second World War. It was these sort of frequent, outspoken comments - particularly against football's establishment, such as the FA and club directors, and figures in the game such as Sir Matt Busby, Alan Hardaker, Sir Alf Ramsey, Don Revie and Len Shipman, along with players such as Billy Bremner, Norman Hunter and Peter Lorimer - combined with Clough's increased media profile, that eventually led to him falling out with Rams chairman, Sam Longson, and the Derby County board of directors.

On 5 August 1973, Clough wrote an article in the Sunday Express which savaged Leeds United's disciplinary record, stating that Don Revie should be fined and Leeds relegated to Division 2. Clough also said that "The men who run soccer have missed the most marvellous chance of cleaning up the game in one swoop" and went on to say, "The trouble with football's disciplinary system is that those who sat in judgement being officials of other clubs, might well have a vested interest".

Days afterwards, Clough was charged with bringing the game into disrepute, but he was cleared after he had resigned from Derby. In September 1973, Clough travelled to Upton Parkmarker and made a £400,000 bid for Bobby Moore, a player he admired, and Trevor Brooking. Ron Greenwood told Clough that neither was available but that he would pass his offer onto the board of directors. Clough never told either his chairman, secretary or other board members at Derby about the bid. Longson found out four months later during a chance conversation with Eddie Chapman, West Ham's secretary at the time.

On 11 October, 1973, Longson called for Clough and Taylor's sackings at a board meeting, but didn't gain the support that was needed to do so. Two days later, following a 1-0 win against Manchester United at Old Traffordmarker, Jack Kirkland demanded to know what Taylor's role within the club was. Kirkland instructed Taylor to meet him at the ground two days later to explain. Also on the same day, Longson accused Clough of making a V-sign at Sir Matt Busby, and demanded that he apologise. Clough refused to do so, as he vehemently denied making the V-sign in the first place.

In the week before this incident, Longson demanded that Clough stopped writing newspaper articles and making TV appearances, and had the grill pulled down on the bar to stop both Clough and Taylor drinking.

Resignation from Derby County

Eighteen months earlier, in April 1972, Clough and Taylor had briefly resigned for a few hours to manage Coventry City before changing their minds after getting more money from Longson. This time, it was for good. Both Clough and Taylor resigned on 15 October 1973, to widespread uproar from Rams fans, who demanded the board's resignation along with Clough and Taylor's reinstatement at the following home game against Leicester City five days later. That evening, Clough appeared on the Michael Parkinson show and attacked football directors for their apparent lack of knowledge of football. Earlier that week, Clough memorably called Jan Tomaszewski a clown, whilst being a pundit before the crucial World Cup qualifier with England at Wembley. Tomaszewski had a brilliant game, and England did not qualify, as they could only manage a 1-1 draw.

The six years at Derby County had brought Brian Clough to the attention of the wider football world. According to James Lawton, "Derby was the wild making of Brian Clough. He went there a young and urgent manager who had done impressive work deep in his own little corner of the world at Hartlepool. He left surrounded by fascination and great celebrity: abrasive, infuriating, but plugged, immovably, into a vein of the nation."

Brighton & Hove Albion

Such was the loyalty to Clough that along with himself and Taylor, scouts and backroom staff completed the walk out, following the pair for their brief spell with Brighton & Hove Albion. He proved less successful on the South Coast than with his previous club, winning only 12 of his 32 games in charge of the Division Three side. Whereas eight months earlier Clough was managing a team playing Juventus in the European Cup, he was now managing a club who, just after his appointment as manager, lost to Walton & Hersham 4–0 at home in an FA Cup replay. On 1 December 1973, his side lost 8-2 at home to Bristol Rovers. Albion eventually finished in 19th place that season.

Leeds United

Clough left less than a year after his appointment, in July 1974, to become manager of Leeds United following Don Revie's departure to become manager of England, though this time Taylor did not join him.

Clough's move was very surprising given his previous outspoken criticism of both Revie, for whom Clough made no secret of his deep disdain, and the successful Leeds team's playing style, which Clough was on record as stating to be not only overly aggressive but also effectively illegal in his opinion.

He lasted in the job only 44 days before he was sacked by the Leeds' directors on 12 September, 1974, after alienating many of Leeds's star players, notably Johnny Giles, Norman Hunter and Billy Bremner. During one of the first training sessions he took for Leeds United, the previous seasons European Cup winners, he reportedly said "You can all throw your medals in the bin because they were not won fairly." He has the unenviable record of being Leeds United's least successful permanent manager winning only one match from six games. Leeds were fourth from bottom in 19th position with only 4 points from a possible 12, their worst start in 15 years. His pay-off was estimated at £98,000, a huge amount at the time.

Clough told ITV Calendar his short reign at Elland Roadmarker was due to bad results.

The Damned United

The story of his short spell in charge of Leeds has been adapted into a film called The Damned United starring Michael Sheen, released in 2009, and based on David Peace's novel The Damned Utd. The publishers of the novel were successfully sued by Irish midfielder Johnny Giles who wrote, "Many of the things Peace talks about in the book never happened and for that reason, I felt it necessary to go to the Courts to establish that this was fiction based on fact and nothing more."

Many people portrayed in the book had died by the time of the book's release, such as Bremner, Revie, Peter Taylor, and Clough himself, and therefore were unable to take similar action as Giles. The book includes a scene with Brian Clough in the Elland Road car park burning Don Revie's old desk. There is no factual source for this. The Clough family have expressed disappointment at the publication of the book.

Nottingham Forest

On 6 January 1975, Clough made a quick return to management with Nottingham Forest, who at the time were in 13th place in Division Two, replacing Allan Brown. Clough's first game in charge was the third round F.A. Cup replay against Tottenham Hotspur, a 1-0 victory thanks to a goal by Scottish centre-forward Neil Martin.

Clough made fewer TV appearances whilst Forest manager, and toned down some of the outspoken comments he made earlier at Derby. After finishing 8th in the old Second Division, in his first full season in charge alone, in July 1976 Clough was joined by his old assistant Peter Taylor from Brighton, who had just missed out on promotion from the old Third division.

Together, Clough and Taylor transformed the club's fortunes rapidly: the first success at the club came in Clough's second full season (1976–77) when they won promotion to Division One, finishing third. In their first season after promotion they won the League Cup, beating Liverpool 1–0 in a replay at Old Traffordmarker, and were crowned champions of Division One, finishing seven points clear of nearest challengers Liverpool.

This made Clough the first manager since Herbert Chapman to win the English League Championship with two different clubs. Kenny Dalglish has since become the third person to achieve the feat (Liverpool and Blackburn). During the 1978–79 season, on 9 February 1979 Clough signed the 24-year-old Birmingham City F.C. striker Trevor Francis - Britain's first £1 million footballer—although Clough insisted that the fee was actually £999,999 and tax brought it over the £1 million mark. Forest retained the League Cup with a 3-2 victory over Southampton, but finished as runners-up to Liverpool in the league. The season was rounded off with victory in the European Cup final, thanks to a 1–0 victory over Malmö FF. A year later, Clough guided Forest to a second successive European Cup after victory over Hamburger SV and a third successive League Cup final, though this time they were defeated by Wolverhampton Wanderers 1–0.

Despite winning the European Cup twice, Clough regarded his greatest achievement to be the record breaking unbeaten run his team set between 26 November 1977 and 9 December 1978, the team went undefeated for 42 league games - the equivalent of a whole season, beating the previous record of 35 games held by Burnley F.C.. The record stood until August 2004, a month before Clough's death, when it was bettered by Arsenal, who went on to play 49 league games without defeat.

It was not until 1988–89 that Clough and Forest would enjoy another major trophy success, this time over Luton Town F.C. in the League Cup again. For a time, Forest were on course for a treble that season, but ultimately had to settle for third place in the league and a defeat in the FA Cup semi-finals. Clough had to manage the team from the stands in the latter half of the season as he was serving a touchline ban after hitting three supporters who had invaded the pitch at the end of a match against QPR. A year later, Clough guided Forest to another League Cup victory with a 1–0 over Oldham Athletic. In 1991 Forest reached their first FA Cup final under Brian Clough but lost 2–1 to Tottenham Hotspur. They reached the League Cup final again in 1992, but lost 1–0 to Manchester United

The 1992–93 season was Clough's 18th with Forest – and his last. They were one of the 22 clubs in the new Premier League, but the sale of key players like Teddy Sheringham and Des Walker, combined with the manager's increasingly uncontrolled alcoholism, saw the club's fortunes take a sharp decline and they were bottom virtually all season. Just before a 2–0 defeat against Sheffield United confirmed the club's relegation after 16 years in the top flight, Clough announced his retirement as manager.

Rift with Taylor

Clough's relationship with Peter Taylor, his friend and long-time assistant at Derby, Brighton and Forest, was damaged permanently on 21 May 1983 over the transfer of John Robertson. The two fell out when Taylor, who had retired in May 1982 but then become manager of Derby six months later, signed the Forest winger without telling Clough beforehand. Robertson's transfer was contested, with the fee set by a tribunal, although Robertson was injured soon after joining Derby and never found his form. The rift had not been repaired by the time Taylor died in October 1990, but Clough and his family attended Taylor's funeral. When the assistant coach at Forest telephoned Clough to inform him of Taylor's death, he did not say anything and put the phone down. He allegedly cried heavily after this and his bad feeling over the unreconciled rift increased Clough's already heavy drinking. Clough dedicated his autobiography in 1994 to Taylor and when he was given the freedom of Nottingham he also paid tribute to him, as he did in September 1999 when a bust was unveiled of himself at the City Ground. Clough was never as successful a manager without Peter Taylor.

Retirement

The Brian Clough Statue in Nottingham
retired as manager of Nottingham Forest in May 1993 to be succeeded by then Leyton Orient manager, and European Cup-winning Forest player under Clough, Frank Clark. Clark was able to achieve an instant return to the Premiership when the club finished Division One runners-up at the end of the 1993-94 season.

Much of Clough's retirement was spent concentrating on his fight against alcoholism which had plagued him since the 1970s, a battle chronicled in part by Duncan Hamilton. He considered applying for the job as manager of Wolverhampton Wanderers on the resignation of Graham Taylor in October 1995. However, nothing came of it and Clough's managerial career was over. Nottingham Forest honoured him by renaming the City Groundmarker's largest stand, the Executive Stand, the Brian Clough Stand. Clough was made an inaugural inductee of the English Football Hall of Fame in 2002 in recognition of his huge impact as a manager.

In the early 1990s, Clough was implicated in the "bungs" scandal in English football involving then Tottenham Hotspur manager Terry Venables and chairman Alan Sugar and particularly the transfer of Teddy Sheringham from Forest to Tottenham. Clough was alleged to have received illegal payments during transfer negotiations and making illegal payments to players.

In August 2000, a tribute website was set up in honour of Clough with the backing of his family. The website www.brianclough.com is also the official site of the Brian Clough Statue Fund. This raised money for the statue of the master manager which was erected in Nottingham's Old Market Square on 6 November 2008.

In January 2003, the 67-year-old Clough underwent a liver transplant; 30 years of heavy drinking had taken its toll and doctors said that Clough would have died within two weeks without a transplant, as his liver was severely damaged and cancer had been found within it. The transplant gave Clough a new lease of life for the next 20 months; he took up light exercise again and appeared happier than he had for many years.

Clough's reputation for never sitting on the fence and strong views on all manner of football issues translated into an entertaining and sometimes controversial column which he wrote for Four Four Two magazine up until his death.

Personal life and family

Clough was a committed socialist, often appearing on miners' picket lines, donating large sums to trade union causes, and being a sponsor of the Anti-Nazi League. On two occasions he was approached by the Labour Party to stand as a Parliamentary candidate in General Elections, although he declined in order to continue his managerial career in football.

On 4 April 1959, Clough married Barbara Glasgow in Middlesbrough. They went on to have three children; Simon, born in 1964, Nigel, born in 1966 and Elizabeth, born in 1967. Nigel Clough, himself a professional football player and manager, latterly with Burton Albion, in January 2009 followed in his father's footsteps by taking over the management position at Derby County.. He was good friends with Yorkshire and England cricketer Geoffrey Boycott

Death and legacy

Brian Clough Statue, Middlesbrough
Brian Clough died of stomach cancer on 20 September, 2004, on Ward 30, in Derby City Hospital, at the age of 69, having been admitted a few days earlier. Such was his popularity, fans of Derby County and Nottingham Forest, usually the fiercest of rivals, mourned together following his passing. A memorial service was held at Derby's Pride Park Stadiummarker on 21 October 2004 which was attended by more than 14,000 people. It was originally to have been held at Derby Cathedralmarker, but had to be moved due to demand for tickets.

In August 2005 the stretch of the A52 linking Nottingham and Derby was renamed Brian Clough Way. His widow Barbara expressed her gratitude to Nottingham City Council, saying: "Brian would have been amazed but genuinely appreciative". Since the opening of the Nottingham Express Transit system, tram #215 has been named Brian Clough.

After a long process of fund-raising, his home town of Middlesbrough commissioned a statue of Clough, that was unveiled on 16 May 2007. Although there was a movement to erect a statue in Grove Hillmarker, his birthplace, the site chosen was Albert Park, Middlesbroughmarker through which he usually walked on his way from home to Ayresome Parkmarker, Middlesbrough's former stadium.

In December 2006, the Brian Clough Statue Fund in Nottingham announced it had raised £69,000 in just 18 months for a statue of Clough in the city. The winning statue was selected from a choice of three designs in January 2008. The site chosen for the statue is at the junction of King Street and Queen Street in the centre of Nottingham. On 6 November 2008 the statue was unveiled by Mr Clough's widow Barbara in front of a crowd of more than five thousand people.

In 2007/8 a redevelopment scheme building new houses on the old Middlesbrough General Hospital site named roads after famous ex Middlesbrough F.C. players including, Willie Maddren, George Camsell and Brian Clough.

Derby County and Nottingham Forest competed for the inaugural Brian Clough Trophy at Pride Park Stadium on 31 July 2007. In future, any league, cup or friendly game played between Derby and Forest will automatically become a Brian Clough Trophy game. Proceeds from the game will go to charities in the East Midlands.

A petition has been launched by Derby fans requesting a statue of Brian Clough outside Pride Park Stadiummarker.

Clough in popular culture

  • In the 1970s the New Statesman, a British magazine, ran a competition to suggest "uncharacteristic remarks" that might be made by people. Three separate contestants all put in the same entry: "Brian Clough: No comment".
  • On the 1972 Monty Python album Monty Python's Previous Record, Eric Idle appears as Brian Clough in the intro to "The Yangtze Song", which parodies the Team anthems common in English Football. Idle would later reprise his Clough impersonation in the "Michael Ellis" episode of the final series of Monty Python's Flying Circus in 1974.
  • Bill Oddie wrote and performed a song called "Cloughie" on I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again in 1973, complete with impressions of Clough, e.g. 'Edward Heath invited me out to visit Morning Cloud; he said, "I'll send a boat to pick you up;", I said, "It's OK, I'll walk ..."'
  • Mike Yarwood did an impression of Clough as part of his act, using such characteristic lines as: 'I was talking to Don Revie the other day, and he said, "What would you do if you were manager of my team". I said, "I'd sell your best player to Juventus for a million pounds, and the rest to Fray Bentos for corned beef."'
  • The 1980s saw the release of a combined board game and computer game for Commodore 64 called Brian Clough's Football Fortunes.
  • The BBC radio comedy series Lenin of the Rovers parodied Clough as 'Robin Hood', the manager of 'Sherwood Forest', a character described as "football's Mister Homicidal Maniac".
  • In September 1989, British punk band the Toy Dolls, released the album Wakey Wakey, featuring a song entitled "Cloughy is a Bootboy!", which describes an altercation between a fan and the resulting court case.
  • In 1993 the Irish band The Sultans of Ping FC released their debut album Casual Sex in the Cineplex which contained the song "Give Him a Ball and a Yard of Grass", the title and lyrics of which were well known Clough quotations.
  • In June 2005 the Nottingham Playhousemarker premiered a play called Old Big 'Ead in The Spirit of the Man, by the Nottingham-born playwright Stephen Lowe, in which Brian Clough "takes to the stage.. quite literally!", portrayed by actor Colin Tarrant.
  • In 2000, composer Robert Steadman wrote a song called "Brian Clough's CV" as part of his Nottingham Songbook which was premiered in the Millennium Domemarker.
  • David Peace's 2006 novel The Damned Utd. is a fictionalized account of Clough's 44 days as manager of Leeds United, written from the perspective of Clough. Although well received by critics, the book did not find favour with Clough's widow. The novel was loosely adapted into a film of the same name, released in Britain in March 2009.
  • In 2007, sports journalist Duncan Hamilton wrote a critically acclaimed book - Provided You Don't Kiss Me - about his 20-year association with Clough, which described working with him on a day-by-day basis. This book won the William Hill Sports Book of the Year on 27 November 2007.
  • Brian Clough's widow Barbara has written the foreword of a special tribute book by the founder of brianclough.com, Marcus Alton. Entitled Young Man, You've Made My Day the book tells the story of how one fan's admiration for his hero led to lasting tributes, on-line and in bronze, for the Master Manager. Marcus was the founder of the statue fund in Nottingham and met Brian Clough a number of times. Mrs Clough described the book as an inspirational story.
  • Brian Clough's biggest fan hails from the west of Ireland. She has recently moved to Notthingham so you may be lucky enough to see her in East Midlands Airport with her wooly green Brian Clough look alike jumper.


Honours



Statistics

Manager

Team Nat From To Record
G W D L Win %
Hartlepools United 1 October 1965 1 May 1967

Derby County 1 June 1967 15 October 1973

Brighton & Hove Albion 1 November 1973 30 July 1974

Leeds United 30 July 1974 12 September 1974

Nottingham Forest 6 January 1975 8 May 1993

Total 1319 594 340 385


References

  1. James Lawton, The Independent, 10 Jan 2009
  2. Neil Martin Football England
  3. Press release from Middlesbrough council


Recommended reading



External links








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