Date: 20th September 2006 at 1:04pm
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It was two years ago today that the legendary manager died aged 69. Football fans everywhere were left to mourn the death of a true icon of football.

His often outrageous comments and eccentric behaviour made Clough the best-known manager in Britain, his interviews rarely failed to arouse controversy.

Born in Middlesbrough, the sixth of eight children, he failed the eleven-plus examination, and left school at 15 for a job as a local clerk.

A year later he signed for Middlesbrough FC, beginning what was to be a brief but successful career as a centre-forward.

In 274 appearances for Middlesbrough and Sunderland he scored 251 goals, a post-war record, and was capped twice for England.

But Clough’s playing days ended on Boxing Day 1962 with a serious knee injury in a game playing for Sunderland against Bury.

Clough became the youngest manager in the football league at the age of 30, taking charge at Hartlepool United.

After two successful seasons there he moved on to Derby County.

It was around this time that people in the game began to notice Clough’s shrewd approach to management.

Derby took the Second Division title in 1969 and the League Championship in 1972.

Clough’s forced resignation from Derby sparked protest marches around the city.

His unorthodox approach towards management landed him in more trouble when he was sacked after just 44 days at Leeds United.

Clough then moved to Nottingham Forest where he launched the most successful period of his career.

The club won promotion from the Second Division in 1977, and went on to win two European Cup titles, a League Championship and the League Cup on four occasions.

Clough failed in his ambition to manage England because of the FA’s fear of placing a manager in who in Clough’s words, would ‘Take over and run the show’. The fact that Clough never became England manager is still lamented by England fans to this day.

By this time, Clough was revered by almost every football fan, this was shown when Clough once asked over the tannoy that the Forest fans stop swearing, they did, instantly.

By 1991 he was the longest-serving manager in the league.

The recipient of an OBE in the Birthday Honours list, he responded typically with the comment that it stood for Old Big ‘Ead. Two years later, after 18 years at Forest, Brian Clough retired. Heavy drinking had seriously affected his health and had affected his superb management skills.

He then retired to the Derbyshire hills, writing columns in newspapers and football magazines, his words still as abrasive as ever and as knowledgable as ever.

Two years on, he is as revered as ever, leaving behind a legacy that will inspires admiration worldwide.

There will never be anyone like him, the success he achieved as manager will never be parallelled.

Rest in peace, Old Big ‘Ead

 

2 Replies to “Two Years On”

  • Spent some wonderful days following the Trees under Cloughie, before moving to Oz in ’93. Championships, League Cups, Europe, magic times. He did it with a small club, in fact two small clubs. There has never been or ever will be a greater manager. As he once said ” I don’t know if I’m the best manager in the business, but I’m definately in the top 1″. He is a true LEGEND and sadly missed, thanks a million Cloughie.

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