Peter Young
20 September 2004
England Football Online
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Comment: Brian Clough

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A Short Tribute
 

Brian Clough is gone.  If you’re reading this, you already know the managerial miracles he worked, first at Derby County and then at Nottingham Forest, twice champions of Europe.

As far as England are concerned, the Clough story is what might or could have been.

He was a prolific goalscorer with Middlesbrough and later, briefly, Sunderland, but hardly got a chance with England, appearing only twice with no goals to his credit.

For two decades he was brooked as England manager, and he was the people’s choice for the post.   Once he even thought he had the job.  He has long been hailed as the best manager England never had.

Clough said: “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.”

The truth is that the stuffed shirts at the Football Association did not deem him a suitable personality for the job.   Old Big ‘Ead was not their cup of tea.  They regarded him as a loose cannon.  He was honest and blunt, and he never shied away from saying what was on his mind or doing what he thought was best.    

We are grateful for him just as he was, warts and all.   He once said that the only epitaph he wanted was one saying that he contributed and that he was liked by somebody.  We’ll go a lot further than that; he made a giant contribution to the game and he was well-loved by the fans.

God bless Cloughie, one of a kind.