Monday, 30 March 2009

Brian Clough

Eva-Jane and I went to see The Damned United at the weekend, a film based on a book which is very loosely based on possibly the greatest English football manager of all time, Mr. Brian Clough OBE.

The film, although terribly flawed and with a bad habit of making things up, thus blurring the fact/fiction of the tale, is a cracker but mainly because Brian Clough was such a legend and a perfect lead character for any biopic.

We went because not only was one of our friends and my acting student in it, playing a Derby County footballer (Roy McFarland to be precise) but because, as a Nottingham lad, Brian Clough is part of my history and heritage. I may be a Manchester United fan due to falling in love with Ron Atkinson during his time managing the club but Nottingham Forest and the sheer genius of Clough are always close to my heart.

I was lucky enough to meet him a few times, as I used to watch Forest reserves play, as well as youth team matches when I could, the tickets were cheap and it beat trying to get my dad to drive us to Manchester every week to see the great United play. He always had time for the fans, a handshake here, an autograph here and some wise words or funny story to tell us wide-eyed boys, that we'd re-tell as we journeyed home on the bus over Trent Bridge and through the Meadows; all trying to do our best Brian Clough impression.

I can't help but feel that we'll never see his like again in football and that when Alex Ferguson eventually retires, the last link to the time of Clough will have come and gone. But until then, Clough lives on in all those that saw his great teams play the beautiful game, the raft of players he has given us that still light up football, mostly as managers now and his son, Nigel, who was a deft footballing talent and the current manager of his dad's old club, Derby bloody County.


  1. Cool! Watching it this week!! Even as a spuds fan, Forest were my second team and likewise got to see them more then the big Jews. The man was good!

    Off to Japan dude at the weekend so will contact you after for free time and drinks. xxx

  2. I met Brian Clough really early one morning in West Bridgeford.

    I was picking up my paper and cool as you like there was this fucking legend stocking up the soft drinks in the news agents at 6am in the morning, I think it was his Daughters business. I was a bit awed and didn't have the courage to ask for an autograph.

  3. Kirky:

    I think you'll love it, Leeds Utd come out looking really, really bad. Have fun in the Japanlands.


    The man was a legend, even stacking shelves!

  4. Interesting stuff. My son is an avid Forest fan and he's only 10! We go tot he matches together and although I'm not a footie fan, I love the atmosphere of the match and the mum/son bonding. I loved Forest in Cloughie's heyday though..I know his family were against the film being made which I thought was rather interesting. Maybe I should go see it!

  5. No, it's on national release in the UK and is quite a big film currently. I doubt it'll do well in the US though.

    Is that what you meant?

  6. Good stuff DHG, looking forwrd to watching the film. If you've got the patience, the whole half-hour clip of the infamous interview alongside Mr Revie is fantastic eye opening telly.

  7. I read the book,which was Ace.The Film (i gather) is not that true to the book..I,m off to see it next week.We shall see.i once went a lot to see Leeds in the Giles-era,it will be interesting to see if any of the Extras look like me!

  8. (i ruined the punchline!) read="If any of the Xtras IN THE CROWD look like me.........."

  9. Stav:

    Seen it boss man, it got flagged up over at the great Chicken Yogurt, great viewing indeed.


    The family hate the book because it also makes things up and is rather dark, it puts the late 80s Clough into the mind and body of the 70s Clough and they were two different creatures.

    It is a good film though.

  10. Real late to the party here but I've got to say, the Movie is Great, the Movie is Nothing like the Book. The Clough Family do not like the book, the BBC movie makes Clough and Peter Taylor of course real heroes.


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