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Brian Clough

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Title: Brian Clough  
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Subject: 1971–72 in English football, 1976–77 in English football, History of Derby County F.C. (1967–present), List of European Cup and UEFA Champions League winning managers, Timeline of English football
Collection: 1935 Births, 2004 Deaths, Association Football Strikers, Billingham Synthonia F.C. Players, Brian Clough, Brighton & Hove Albion F.C. Managers, Cancer Deaths in England, Deaths from Stomach Cancer, Derby County F.C. Managers, England B International Footballers, England International Footballers, England Under-23 International Footballers, English Football Hall of Fame Inductees, English Football Managers, English Footballers, English Socialists, Footballers from North Yorkshire, Hartlepool United F.C. Managers, Leeds United F.C. Managers, Middlesbrough F.C. Players, Nottingham Forest F.C. Managers, Officers of the Order of the British Empire, People from Middlesbrough, Premier League Managers, Royal Air Force Airmen, Sportspeople from Yorkshire, Sunderland A.F.C. Non-Playing Staff, Sunderland A.F.C. Players, The Football League Managers, The Football League Players, The Football League Representative Players, Uefa Champions League Winning Managers
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Brian Clough

Brian Clough
Clough as Nottingham Forest manager in 1980
Personal information
Full name Brian Howard Clough
Date of birth (1935-03-21)21 March 1935
Place of birth Middlesbrough, North Riding of Yorkshire, England
Date of death 20 September 2004(2004-09-20) (aged 69)
Place of death Derby, Derbyshire, England
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Playing position Striker
Youth career
1951–1953 Middlesbrough
1953–1955 Billingham Synthonia
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1955–1961 Middlesbrough 213 (197)
1961–1964 Sunderland 61 (54)
Total 274 (251)
National team
1957–1958 England U23 3 (1)
1957 England B 1 (1)
1959 England 2 (0)
Teams managed
1965–1967 Hartlepools United
1967–1973 Derby County
1973–1974 Brighton & Hove Albion
1974 Leeds United
1975–1993 Nottingham Forest

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

† Appearances (goals)

Brian Howard Clough, OBE ( ; 21 March 1935 – 20 September 2004) was an English football player and manager.

As a player Clough was a prolific goalscorer with Middlesbrough and Sunderland, scoring 251 league goals from 274 starts. He also won two England caps, both in 1959. Clough retired from playing at the age of 29, after sustaining anterior cruciate ligament damage. He remains one of the Football League's highest goalscorers.

In 1965, Clough took the manager's job at Fourth Division Hartlepools United and appointed Peter Taylor as his assistant, the start of an enduring partnership that would bring them success at numerous clubs over the next two decades. In 1967 the duo moved on to Second Division Derby County. In 1968–69, Derby were promoted as Second Division champions. Three years later, Derby were crowned champions of England for the first time in the club's history. In 1973 they reached the semi-finals of the European Cup. However, by this point Clough's relationship with chairman Sam Longson had deteriorated, and he and Taylor resigned.

This was followed by an eight-month spell in charge of Third Division Brighton & Hove Albion, before Clough (but not Taylor) returned north in the summer of 1974 to become manager of Leeds United – a surprise appointment given his previous outspoken criticism of the Leeds players and their manager Don Revie. He was sacked after 44 days in the job.

Within months Clough had joined Second Division Nottingham Forest, re-uniting with Taylor in 1976. In 1977, Forest were promoted to the top flight and the following season won the league title (the first in the club's history), making Clough one of only four managers to have won the English league with two different clubs. Forest also won two consecutive European Cups (in 1979 and 1980) and two League Cups (1978 and 1979) before Taylor retired in 1982. Clough stayed on as Forest manager for another decade and won two more League Cups (1989 and 1990), but could not emulate his earlier successes. Forest were relegated from the Premier League in 1993, after which Clough retired from football.

Charismatic, outspoken and often controversial, Clough is considered one of the great managers of the English game. His achievements with Derby and Forest, two struggling provincial clubs with little prior history of success, are rated amongst the greatest in football history.[1] His teams were also noted for playing attractive football and for their good sportsmanship.[2][3] Despite applying several times and being a popular choice for the job, he was never appointed England manager, and has been dubbed the "greatest manager England never had".[4]

His name is closely associated with that of Peter Taylor, who served as his assistant manager at various clubs in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.


  • Childhood 1
  • Playing career 2
  • Management career 3
    • Hartlepools United 3.1
    • Derby County 3.2
    • Feud with the Derby County board of directors 3.3
    • Resignation from Derby County 3.4
    • Brighton & Hove Albion 3.5
    • Leeds United 3.6
    • Nottingham Forest 3.7
    • Links with other jobs 3.8
    • Rift with Peter Taylor 3.9
    • Corruption allegations 3.10
  • Personal life and family 4
  • Later life 5
  • Legacy 6
  • The Damned United 7
  • Honours 8
    • As a manager 8.1
  • Statistics 9
    • Manager 9.1
  • See also 10
  • References 11
  • External links 12


11 Valley Road, Grove Hill

Born at 11 Valley Road, an interwar council house in Grove Hill, Middlesbrough, Yorkshire[5] 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 septicaemia 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 most well-appointed 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.[6] Maybe it was the constant sight of Mam, with eight children to look after, working from morning until night, working harder than you or I have ever worked."

In 1946 Clough failed his Eleven-plus exam, and attended Marton Grove Secondary Modern School.[7] He later admitted in his autobiography that he had neglected his lessons in favour of sport, although at school he became head boy. Clough stated in his autobiography 'Walking on Water' that cricket, rather than football, was his first love as a youngster, and that he would have far rather scored a test century at Lord's than a hat-trick at Wembley. Clough left school in 1950 without any qualifications, to work at ICI[8] and did his national service in the RAF Regiment between 1953 and 1955.[9]

Playing career

Clough played for Billingham Synthonia before his national service in the RAF between 1953 and 1955. Following this, he became a prolific striker for his home town club Middlesbrough scoring 204 goals in 222 league matches for Boro,[10] including 40 or more goals in four consecutive seasons. However Clough also regularly submitted transfer requests and had a tense relationship with some of his fellow players. He was especially irked by Boro's leaky defence, which conceded goals as regularly as he scored them. After a 6–6 draw against Charlton Athletic, Clough sarcastically asked his team mates how many goals they would have to score in order to win a match.[11] He also publicly accused some of his team mates of betting against the team and deliberately letting in goals.[12] While at Middlesbrough Clough became acquainted with goalkeeper Peter Taylor, who would later form a successful managerial partnership with Clough at various clubs. He played twice for the England national football team, against Wales on 17 October 1959 and Sweden on 28 October 1959, without scoring.

In July 1961 one of Clough's transfer requests was finally accepted and he moved to Boro's local rivals Sunderland for £55,000. With Sunderland Clough scored a total of 63 goals in 74 matches.[10] In the 1962–63 season, Clough had scored 24 league goals by December as Sunderland pushed for promotion. In a match against Bury at Roker Park on 26 December 1962, in icy conditions and torrential rain, Clough was put through on goal and collided with goalkeeper Chris Harker. Unable to stand up, Clough had torn the medial and cruciate ligaments in his knee, an injury which in that era usually ended a player's career. He returned two years later, but could manage only three games and so was forced to retire from playing at the age of 29.

Clough's manager at Sunderland was Alan Brown, a disciplinarian credited as a big influence on Clough. Brown inspired fear, imposed a strict code of conduct and would fine players for minor transgressions. He once upbraided Clough for talking to a friend during a training session. Such traits would later be adopted by Clough himself when he became a manager.[13]

Of the players that have scored over 200 goals in the English leagues, he has the highest goals per game ratio of 0.916,[14] and has second highest ratio in the list that includes the Scottish leagues.

Management career

Hartlepools United

After a short spell coaching the Sunderland youth team, in October 1965 Clough was offered the manager's job at Hartlepools United (the club's name has since been changed (1968) to Hartlepool United). He accepted and immediately asked Peter Taylor (then managing non-league Burton Albion) to join him as his assistant. At the age of 30, Clough was then the youngest manager in the league. Hartlepools were perennial strugglers and were constantly forced to apply for re-election to the Football League, having finished in the bottom two of the Fourth Division five times in the past six seasons. Such was the club's perilous financial state, Clough had to tour local pubs raising money to keep the club afloat and even applied for a coach driver's licence to drive the team to away matches.

On 15 November 1966, the then chairman, Ernest Ord, who was known for playing mind games with managers, sacked both Clough and Taylor. However, after their dismissals, there was a boardroom coup which saw Ord ousted as chairman and Clough and Taylor reinstated. Hartlepools' fortunes gradually improved and the club finished in a creditable 8th place in 1966–67. Their Hartlepools team featured two players who would play for Clough and Taylor at other clubs in the future: Les Green, who would be goalkeeper in Derby's promotion-winning side of 1969, and a 16-year-old John McGovern; who would later be signed by Clough at Derby County, Leeds United and Nottingham Forest, winning several major trophies in the process. In May 1967, the duo then joined Second Division side Derby County as manager and assistant manager. In the following season, Hartlepools were promoted for the first time in their history.

Derby County

Brian Clough and Peter Taylor Statue at Pride Park

Derby County had been rooted in the Second Division for a decade before Clough's arrival, and had been outside the top flight for a further five years, their only major trophy being the FA Cup in 1946.

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 sacked the club secretary, the groundsman and the chief scout, along with two tea ladies he caught laughing after a Derby defeat.[15] With the additional signings of Dave Mackay 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 from 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.

In 1970–71 the club finished 9th. In February 1971 Clough bolstered his squad by signing Colin Todd for a British record £175,000; on the same day Clough had denied that Derby were about to buy Todd. During the 1971–72 season, Derby tussled with Liverpool, Leeds United and Manchester City for the title. Derby topped the league table by one point after playing their final match, a 1–0 win over Liverpool. Manchester City did in fact top the league after playing their last match, but had no chance of actually winning the title due to fixtures between the clubs directly below them. Both Liverpool and Leeds United had a chance to overtake Derby by winning their final matches (played a week later due to fixture congestion) but in the event Leeds lost to Wolves and Liverpool drew at Arsenal, meaning Derby were league champions for the first time in their 88-year history. Peter Taylor took the players on holiday to Majorca. Clough was not with the squad at the time, instead holidaying in the Isles of Scilly with his family and elderly parents when he received the news.

Feud with the Derby County board of directors

In August 1972, Clough refused to go on an arranged pre-season tour of the Netherlands and West Germany 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 FA Charity Shield that year.

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 Derby board.[16] Afterwards, Jack Kirkland, a director, warned Clough and Taylor there would be no more expensive buys like Nish. 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", he said, 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, Board chairman 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.[17] After the game, Clough emerged from the dressing room and told the expectant Italian reporters, "No cheating bastards do I talk to. I will not talk to any cheating bastards."[18] and then questioned the Italian nation's courage in the Second World War.[19] It was these sorts 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, 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 his falling out with Rams' chairman, Sam Longson, and the Derby County board of directors.

On 5 August 1973, Clough put his name to an article in the Sunday Express which savaged Leeds United's disciplinary record, stating that Don Revie should be fined for encouraging his players in their unsporting behaviour and Leeds relegated to the Second Division. Clough also said that "The men who run football 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 judgment 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 later resigned from Derby. In September 1973, Clough travelled to West Ham United's Upton Park and made a £400,000 bid for Bobby Moore, a player he admired, and Trevor Brooking. West Ham manager 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, but by then Clough was no longer the Derby County manager.

On 11 October 1973, Longson called for both Clough's and Taylor's sackings at a board meeting, but did not gain the support that was needed to do so. Two days later, following a 1–0 win against Manchester United at Old Trafford, 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. 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 stop writing newspaper articles and making TV appearances, and had the grille pulled down on the bar to stop both Clough and Taylor drinking.

Resignation from Derby County

18 months earlier, weeks before taking Derby to the league title, 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, as a television pundit, memorably called Poland goalkeeper Jan Tomaszewski a "circus clown in gloves" before the crucial World Cup qualifier with England at Wembley.[20] The match, which England had to win, ended 1–1, mostly thanks to Tomaszewski's heroics. When commentator Brian Moore said: "You call him a clown, Brian, but he saved his side", Clough replied: "Would you want him in your team every week?" to which there was no answer.

The six years at Derby County had brought 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 Hartlepools. He left surrounded by fascination and great celebrity: abrasive, infuriating, but plugged, immovably, into a vein of the nation."[21]

Derby did win the league title the following season under Clough's successor Dave Mackay, but failed to remain competitive with the leading First Division clubs during the second half of the 1970s, and went down to the Second Division in 1980. In 1984, having narrowly avoided going out of business, they were relegated to the Third Division, although by 1987 they were back in the First Division.

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.[22] 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 non-league 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 Brighton 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 had publicly branded "dirty" and "cheating".[23] Furthermore, he had called for Leeds to be demoted to the Second Division as a punishment for their poor disciplinary record.

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.[24] During one of the first training sessions he took for Leeds United, he reportedly said "You can all throw your medals in the bin because they were not won fairly."[25] Until Darko Milanic's winless six games in 2014[26] he had 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 since their last relegation campaign 15 years earlier. His pay-off was estimated at £98,000, a huge amount at the time.[27]

Clough discussed his short reign at Elland Road with Yorkshire Television's Calendar .[28]

Nottingham Forest

On 6 January 1975, Clough made a return to management with Nottingham Forest, who at the time were in 13th place in the Second Division. Forest had however played in the First Division earlier in the decade, had been First Division runners-up in 1967, and had two FA Cup victories to their name.

Clough replaced Allan Brown. Clough's first game in charge was the third round FA Cup replay against First Division side and five-time trophy winners Tottenham Hotspur, a 1–0 victory thanks to a goal by Scottish centre-forward Neil Martin.[29]

Clough made fewer TV appearances whilst Forest manager, and toned down the outspoken comments he had 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 the summer of 1977 Clough was interviewed for the England manager's job recently vacated by Revie, but it instead went to Ron Greenwood.[30]

Trevor Francis, Brain Clough and John Robertson in 1980

In their first season after promotion Forest won the League Cup, beating Liverpool 1–0 in a replay at Old Trafford, and were crowned champions of Division One, finishing seven points clear of nearest challengers Liverpool. This made Clough the first manager since Herbert Chapman more than 40 years earlier to win the English league championship with two different clubs. (Tom Watson and Kenny Dalglish are the others to achieve the feat).

In the 1978–79 season, Clough signed the 24-year-old Birmingham City striker Trevor Francis, Britain's first £1 million footballer. Forest missed out on the league title, finishing as runners-up to Liverpool, but made amends by retaining the League Cup with a 3–2 victory over Southampton and reaching the European Cup final (knocking out defending champions Liverpool en route), which they won 1–0 against Malmö FF, with Francis scoring the winner. A year later, Clough guided Forest to a second successive European Cup success, this time beating Hamburger SV 1–0, and a third successive League Cup final, though they were defeated by Wolverhampton Wanderers 1–0.

Despite retaining the European Cup, 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 at the beginning of the 1920s.[31] The record stood until August 2004, a month before Clough's death, when it was surpassed by Arsenal, who went on to play 49 league games without defeat.

After this results dipped and Forest finished 7th in 1980–81 and 12th in 1981–82 as the European Cup-winning side was broken up and big money signings such as Justin Fashanu, Peter Ward and Asa Hartford failed to work out. Taylor resigned from Forest in 1982, ending his partnership with Clough, and within a few years their friendship had soured for good. In 1983–84 Forest improved to finish third in the league (just six points behind champions Liverpool) and reached the UEFA Cup semi-finals, where they were controversially knocked out by Anderlecht; several contentious decisions went against Forest, and more than a decade later it emerged that before the match the Spanish referee Guruceta Muro, killed in a car crash in 1987, had received a £27,000 "loan" from Anderlecht's chairman Vanden Stock.[32] In 1997 the UEFA barred Anderlecht for this for one year from European competition.[33]

By the 1985-86 season, Clough was building a Forest side which would enjoy another run of success, although not quite as successful as the one at the end of the 1970s. His 1985 close season signings included Coventry City defender Stuart Pearce, who would enjoy a long and successful career at club and international level, and high-scoring midfielder Neil Webb from Portsmouth. He also drafted in his 19-year-old son Nigel, who played as a forward and scored 15 league goals in his first season in the first team, quickly becoming one of the First Division's most highly regarded strikers, as well as young defender Des Walker. All four had been capped by England within a few years.

Forest firmly re-established themselves as a leading First Division side in the 1987-88 season, when they finished third in the league and reached the FA Cup semi-finals. They had actually managed to lead the First Division during the first quarter of the 1986-87 season, but ended up finishing eighth.

It was not until 1988–89, however, that Clough and Forest would enjoy another major trophy success, when they beat Luton Town in the League Cup final. For a time, Forest were on course for a treble of cups that season, and won two of those cups - the Football League Cup and the Full Members Cup. Defeat in the FA Cup semi-finals was in a replay after the first game was abandoned shortly after kick off due to the Hillsborough disaster. 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 Queens Park Rangers.[34] A year later, Clough guided Forest to another League Cup victory with a 1–0 over Oldham Athletic. However, there was no European action for Forest this time, due to the ban on English clubs in European competitions following the Heysel disaster of 1985, and although the ban was lifted immediately after their 1990 League Cup triumph, European places for English clubs were only gradually restored and Forest did not meet the limited criteria for a European place.

In 1991, Forest reached their first FA Cup final under Clough against Tottenham Hotspur. With typical idiosyncrasy, Clough selected two players – Lee Glover and Ian Woan – with only a handful of league games behind them and left England international Steve Hodge on the substitutes' bench, preferring the young Roy Keane in the starting line up. After 90 minutes with the score at 1–1, Clough did not go on to the pitch to encourage or advise his players before extra time, but remained on the bench. Tottenham won 2–1 with an own goal by Des Walker in extra time. Keane later claimed in his autobiography that he was injured and should not have taken part in the game. The FA Cup was to be the only major domestic trophy which eluded Clough. In 1992, Forest reached another League Cup final, but lost 1–0 to Manchester United, although they did win a second Full Members Cup (the last edition of the competition) that season.

The 1992–93 season was Clough's 18th with Forest – and his last. They were one of the 22 clubs in the inaugural Premier League, but the sale of key players like Teddy Sheringham and Des Walker, and Clough's increasing battle with 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.

Clough's time at Forest saw him at odds with Justin Fashanu, whose goals and then confidence dried up as he failed to fit in with Clough's playing and lifestyle demands after signing for them in 1981. When Clough discovered Fashanu's homosexuality (which was not made public until 1990) he barred Fashanu from training with the side. Clough recounts a dressing down he gave Fashanu after hearing rumours that he was going to gay bars. "'Where do you go if you want a loaf of bread?' I asked him. 'A baker's, I suppose.' 'Where do you go if you want a leg of lamb?' 'A butcher's.' 'So why do you keep going to that bloody poofs' club?" It was in this book that he admitted his one regret was leaving Derby County.'[35]

Links with other jobs

Clough was a popular choice to be appointed England manager throughout the 1970s and 1980s. However, it was widely felt that the FA were uneasy about appointing him on account of his numerous outspoken comments about the English football authorities. He was interviewed for the job twice, in 1977 and 1982, but lost out to Ron Greenwood and Bobby Robson respectively. Such was the demand for Clough to be given the job that incumbent manager Robson told then-FA chairman Sir Bert Millichip: 'I'm having a rough time and everybody wants Brian – give the job to him. If he's successful, everybody's happy. If he fails, that's the end of the clamour for Brian Clough to be England manager'."[36]

Clough was still a popular choice to be given the job of England manager before Graham Taylor's appointment in 1990.[37] Clough himself quipped: "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."[38] He has been called the "greatest manager England never had."[4]

In 1977, he was reportedly interested in the Everton manager's job, but Gordon Lee was appointed instead.

Following Mike England's resignation as manager of Wales in 1987, Clough was offered the position as manager of Wales on a part-time basis, something later done with John Toshack. Clough was keen on the chance to become an international manager, however the directors of Nottingham Forest refused to let him split his loyalties.[37] In April 1986, Clough had declared that he intended to spend the rest of his managerial career with Nottingham Forest.[39] In June 1986, Clough was linked with the job of Scotland manager, but the vacancy was filled by Andy Roxburgh (a long-serving member of the Scotland coaching set-up) instead. Clough had also been linked with the Republic of Ireland job the previous year, before it was filled by fellow Englishman Jack Charlton.[40]

Rift with Peter Taylor

Peter Taylor, Clough's friend and long-time assistant at Hartlepools, Derby, Brighton and Forest, retired from football in 1982, bringing to an end their partnership. Several events had strained their friendship in the past: while at Derby, Taylor was riled when he learned that Clough had accepted a pay rise from Sam Longson without telling him; Taylor did not get one. Then in 1980, Taylor released a book, With Clough, By Taylor, which detailed their partnership, but had not told Clough that he was writing the book.[41] Six months after retiring, Taylor was appointed Derby County manager. When their teams met in the FA Cup third round in January 1983, the two managers ignored each other.

When Taylor signed John Robertson from Forest without informing Clough, it was, according to Robertson, "the straw that broke the camel's back"[42] and the two men would never speak again. In a tabloid article, Clough called Taylor a "snake in the grass" and declared that "if his car broke down and I saw him thumbing a lift, I wouldn't pick him up, I'd run him over."[43] Taylor retorted that Clough's outbursts were "the sort of thing I have come to expect from a person I now regard with great distaste."[44]

The rift had not been repaired by the time Taylor died in October 1990, but Clough and his family attended Taylor's funeral. According to Taylor's daughter Wendy, Clough was "deeply upset" by Taylor's death and telephoned her when he heard the news.[45] 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.

Corruption allegations

In the 1990s, Clough was implicated in the "bungs" scandal which emerged in Teddy Sheringham from Nottingham Forest to Tottenham Hotspur in 1992. Then-Tottenham chairman Alan Sugar claimed under oath to have been told by Spurs manager Terry Venables that Clough "liked a bung", an illicit payment made to ensure a transfer deal went through.[46] Sugar sanctioned a cash payment of £58,750, which he believed would be paid to an agent, but instead it was handed over to Ronnie Fenton, Clough's assistant at Forest.[47] Sugar, protected by legal immunity as a court witness, never repeated the allegation out of court during the rest of Clough's life.

Clough was also alleged to have made illegal payments to players and backroom staff in breach of FA rules, something confirmed by former Forest chief scout Alan Hill.[47][48] Clough himself denied the allegations, saying "Asking me what it's like to make money out of transfers is like asking 'What's it like to have VD?' I don't know, I've never had it." Clough was charged with misconduct by the FA, who later dropped the case due to Clough's ill health. Former Premier League chief executive, Rick Parry, who led the inquiry, said: "On the balance of evidence, we felt he [Clough] was guilty of taking bungs. The evidence was pretty strong."[47]

Personal life and family

Clough was a lifelong socialist, often appearing on miners' picket lines, donating large sums to trade union causes, and being the chairman of the Anti-Nazi League.[49] 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.[50]

On 4 April 1959, Clough married Barbara Glasgow in Middlesbrough. He later said that meeting Barbara was "the best thing I ever did". They went on to have three children; Simon, born in 1964, Nigel, born in 1966 and Elizabeth, born in 1967. Nigel also became a professional footballer and played for his father at Forest in the 1980s and 1990s. He then moved into management and in January 2009 followed in his father's footsteps when he was appointed manager of Derby County.[51] In 2011, his family and friends contributed memories to a book entitled 'The Day I Met Brian Clough' which also included recollections from fans and journalists.[52] His widow, Barbara, died on 20 July 2013 at the age of 75, nine years after Brian Clough himself died. Her death was revealed to have been the result of a head injury suffered when she fell over on a car park of a hospital where she was being treated for cancer.[53]

A lover of cricket, he was good friends with Yorkshire and England cricketer Geoffrey Boycott.

Later life

Brian Clough Statue, Nottingham. Paid for by his fans

Much of Clough's retirement was spent concentrating on his fight against alcoholism, ill-health and corruption allegations. His battle with alcoholism dated back to the 1970s and was chronicled in part by Duncan Hamilton in his award-winning book Provided You Don't Kiss Me: 20 Years With Brian Clough.[54][55] He considered applying for the job as manager of Wolverhampton Wanderers on the resignation of Graham Taylor in October 1995. Nothing came of it, however, and Clough's managerial career was over.

Nottingham Forest honoured him by renaming the City Ground'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 1993 he was awarded the freedom of the city of Nottingham.[56] In 2003, the city of Derby followed suit.[57] He wrote a column for Four Four Two magazine up until his death.

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. 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 died of stomach cancer on 20 September 2004, on Ward 30,[58] in Derby City Hospital, at the age of 69, having been admitted a few days earlier.[58] Such was his popularity, fans of Derby County and Nottingham Forest, usually the fiercest of rivals, mourned together following his death. A memorial service was held at Derby's Pride Park Stadium on 21 October 2004 which was attended by more than 14,000 people. It was originally to have been held at Derby Cathedral, but had to be moved because of demand for tickets.[59]


Brian Clough Statue, Middlesbrough

In August 2005 the stretch of the A52 linking Nottingham and Derby was renamed Brian Clough Way.[60] 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 No. 215 has been named Brian Clough.[61]

After a long process of fund-raising, his home town of Middlesbrough commissioned a statue of Clough, which was unveiled on 16 May 2007.[62] Although there was a movement to erect a statue in Grove Hill, his birthplace, the site chosen was the town's Albert Park through which he usually walked on his way from home to Ayresome Park, Middlesbrough's former stadium.[63]

In August 2000, a tribute website was set up in honour of Clough with the backing of his family. This helped to raise money for a statue of Clough, which was erected in Nottingham's Old Market Square on 6 November 2008.[64] 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.[65] [66] The tribute website is still attracting visitors from around the world and was praised by Barbara Clough on its tenth anniversary in 2010. Mrs Clough said she hoped it would continue to be a success for many years. "Brian Clough Tribute Website".  [67] In 2007/08 a redevelopment scheme building new houses on the old Middlesbrough General Hospital site named roads after famous former Middlesbrough F.C. players including George Camsell and Clough.

Derby County and Nottingham Forest competed for the inaugural Brian Clough Trophy at Pride Park Stadium on 31 July 2007.[68] 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.[69][70]

In April 2009, Derby County announced that they would erect a statue of the former Rams' managers Clough and Peter Taylor, at Pride Park, with sculptor, Andy Edwards, who previously produced the Steve Bloomer bust already in the stadium, commissioned for the statue.[71] The Brian Clough and Peter Taylor Monument was officially unveiled in a family service on 27 August 2010 and publicly on 28 August 2010.[72]

The Damned United

The story of his short spell in charge of Leeds United was the subject of a novel by David Peace, titled 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."

The book includes a scene with 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.[73] The book was adapted into a film called The Damned United, starring Michael Sheen and released in 2009.[74] The Clough family declined to co-operate with the film, despite efforts by the film-makers to lighten the dark tone of the novel.[74]


As a manager

Derby County
Nottingham Forest

Individual awards



Team Nat. From To Record
G W D L Win %
Hartlepools United 1 October 1965 1 May 1967 84 35 13 36 41.67
Derby County 1 June 1967 15 October 1973 289 135 70 84 46.71
Brighton & Hove Albion 1 November 1973 30 July 1974 32 12 8 12 37.50
Leeds United 30 July 1974 12 September 1974 7 1 3 3 14.29
Nottingham Forest 6 January 1975 8 May 1993 907 411 246 250 45.31
Total 1319 594 340 385 45.03

See also


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  2. ^ Neil Hallam (30 October 2009). "Life after Brian". Daily Mail (London). Retrieved 14 June 2012. 
  3. ^ Matthew Taylor (22 September 2004). "What they said about". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 14 June 2012. 
  4. ^ a b "Brian Clough: The greatest manager England never had?". BBC News. 15 July 2010. Retrieved 14 June 2012. 
  5. ^ Brian Clough (16 May 2007). "Tees – People – Brian Clough". BBC. Retrieved 11 July 2009. 
  6. ^ "Theres only one Brian Clough Why we – and some Leeds fans – love Old Big Ead and his green jumper – Derby County News from". 11 March 2009. Retrieved 11 July 2009. 
  7. ^ "Middlesbrough'S Statue". 16 May 2007. Retrieved 11 July 2009. 
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  11. ^ Derby County (27 March 2009). "Brian Clough: a man not afraid to make enemies". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 14 June 2012. 
  12. ^ "Brian Clough". 31 October 2001. Retrieved 14 June 2012. 
  13. ^ "The men who made Brian Clough". Retrieved 14 June 2012. 
  14. ^ using data from
  15. ^ "David Lacey on one of Britain's greatest football managers". The Guardian (London). 11 March 2009. Retrieved 11 July 2009. 
  16. ^ "Thirty Years Ago – August 1972". 9 January 2005. Retrieved 29 August 2010. 
  17. ^ "La Juve era già assolta". La Stampa (in Italian) (Italy). 22 April 1974. p. 9. Retrieved 11 April 2011. 
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  19. ^ Philip, Robert (21 March 2008). "Brian Clough's words and deeds still stand out". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 11 July 2009. 
  20. ^ The Guardian
  21. ^ James Lawton, The Independent, 10 January 2009
  22. ^ "Obituary: Brian Clough". BBC News. 20 September 2004. Retrieved 11 July 2009. 
  23. ^ Robinson, Paul. "Leeds United's John McGovern talks about Brian Clough era". Yorkshire Evening Post. Retrieved 11 July 2009. 
  24. ^ "Brian Clough in pictures: Re-live his 44 days at Leeds United". Daily Mirror. UK. Retrieved 11 July 2009. 
  25. ^ Robinson, Paul (9 October 2009). "The Ten Best Mass Insults". The Independent (London). Retrieved 3 December 2013. 
  26. ^ "Darko Milanic: Leeds United part company with head coach". BBC. 25 October 2014. 
  27. ^ Allsop, Derick (19 March 2009). "The Damned United: Peter Lorimer: Film puts record straight on Brian Clough's Leeds reign". Daily Telegraph (London: Telegraph Media Group). Retrieved 19 August 2013. 
  28. ^ "Brian Clough & Don Revie interview, 1974". ITV Local Yorkshire. 
  29. ^ Neil Martin Football England
  30. ^ "England's Coaches/Managers". Retrieved 14 June 2012. 
  31. ^ Stevenson, Jonathan (23 August 2004). "Wenger repeats Clough feat". BBC News. Retrieved 11 July 2009. 
  32. ^ "Forest sues Anderlecht over '84 bribery scandal". BBC News. 24 December 1997. Retrieved 14 June 2012. 
  33. ^ Catherine Riley: Football: After 13 years Anderlecht are punished by Uefa, The Independent, 23 September 1997 (per 7 June 2013).
  34. ^ "The Life of Brian". 
  35. ^ Clough, Brian (1995). Clough: The Autobiography. Corgi Adult. p. 319 pages.  
  36. ^ "Players lead Clough tribute". BBC News. 26 September 2004. Retrieved 14 June 2012. 
  37. ^ a b "Brian Clough". The Daily Telegraph (London). 21 September 2004. 
  38. ^ "Clough in his own words". BBC News. 20 September 2004. Retrieved 14 June 2012. 
  39. ^ "Clough to end career at Forest". New Straits Times. 4 April 1986. 
  40. ^ "Fergie steps down". Evening Times (Glasgow). 16 June 1986. 
  41. ^ Laura Williamson (6 March 2009). "There's only one Brian Clough!". Daily Mail (London). Retrieved 14 June 2012. 
  42. ^ "Robbo: Clough, Taylor rift not my fault". 7 October 2011. Retrieved 14 June 2012. 
  43. ^ "The Partnership: Clough and Taylor". 30 March 2009. Retrieved 14 June 2012. 
  44. ^ Wilson, Jonathan. Brian Clough: Nobody Ever Says Thank You: The Biography
  45. ^ Peter Taylor, my father (17 April 2009). "Peter Taylor, my father". BBC. Retrieved 14 June 2012. 
  46. ^ Henry Winter (11 June 1993). "Clough wanted cash 'bung', Sugar claims". The Independent (London). Retrieved 14 June 2012. 
  47. ^ a b c Bose, Mihir (23 September 2004). "'"Parry puzzled by Clough 'bungs. The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 26 April 2010. 
  48. ^ "The bung culture that will tarnish football legend Clough for ever". Daily Mirror. 23 January 1998. Retrieved 31 March 2012. 
  49. ^ "the Anti-Nazi League 1977–1981". When we touched the sky. Retrieved 11 July 2009. 
  50. ^ "Brian Clough". The Daily Telegraph (London). 21 September 2004. Retrieved 1 January 2009. 
  51. ^ "Richard Williams: Nigel Clough, new manager of Derby County, keeps his message streamlined and simple". The Guardian (London). 10 January 2009. Retrieved 11 July 2009. 
  52. ^ "The Day I Met Brian Clough". 2011. 
  53. ^
  54. ^ Simon Redfern (9 December 2007). "Provided You Don't Kiss Me, by Duncan Hamilton".  
  55. ^ John Dugdale (28 November 2007). "The week in books".  
  56. ^ "Brian Clough". The Daily Telegraph (London). 21 September 2004. Retrieved 14 June 2012. 
  57. ^ "Cloughie's big day". BBC. 4 May 2003. Retrieved 14 June 2012. 
  58. ^ a b "Football legend Clough dies". BBC News. 20 September 2004. Retrieved 11 July 2009. 
  59. ^ "Clough memorial service switched". BBC News. 12 October 2004. Retrieved 11 July 2009. 
  60. ^ "Derby – In Pictures – Brian Clough Way". BBC. Retrieved 11 July 2009. 
  61. ^ "Nottingham Trams – NET – photos". Retrieved 11 July 2009. 
  62. ^ "Albert Park". Love Middlesbrough. Middlesbrough Council. Retrieved 19 August 2013. 
  63. ^ Press release from Middlesbrough council
  64. ^ "Brian Clough Statue : Nottingham City Council". 8 May 2009. Retrieved 11 July 2009. 
  65. ^ "Brian Clough Statue Unveiled". 6 November 2008. Retrieved 6 November 2008. 
  66. ^ "England | Panel picks Clough statue design". BBC News. 24 January 2008. Retrieved 11 July 2009. 
  67. ^ "Barbara's Message;". August 2010. Retrieved August 2010. 
  68. ^ "Rivals to play for Clough trophy". BBC News. 4 July 2007. Retrieved 11 July 2009. 
  69. ^ "Derby County | THE BRIAN CLOUGH TROPHY". Retrieved 11 July 2009. 
  70. ^ "The Brian Clough Trophy". Retrieved 2007. 
  71. ^ Derby County: Clough and Taylor statue for Pride Park, Derby Telegraph, 30 April 2009. Retrieved 7 March 2010.
  72. ^ "Derby unveil Brian Clough and Peter Taylor statue". BBC News. 27 August 2010. Retrieved 20 September 2011. 
  73. ^ Nikkah, Royah (7 March 2009). "The Damned United: Football manager Brian Clough's family to boycott film about his life". The Daily Telegraph (London). 
  74. ^ a b Gibson, Owen (7 March 2009). "Damned: Clough family boycott film of legendary manager's life". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 15 February 2013. 

External links

  • Classic Brian Clough Quotes
  • Brian Howard Clough – Facebook Fan Page
  • Brian Howard Clough - The Facebook Tribute
  • Brian Clough timeline
  • BBC Obituary
  • Brian Clough Books
  • BBC quotations by Clough
  • Brian Clough Memorial Service
  • Brian Clough on BBC Tees
  • Nottingham Forest's double European Cup win
  • Brian Clough management career statistics at Soccerbase
  • English Football Hall of Fame Profile
  • Brian Clough Quotes
  • Full Managerial Stats for Leeds United from WAFLL
  • Your Tributes
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Bob Paisley
European Cup Winning Coach
1979 & 1980
Succeeded by
Bob Paisley
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