Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

The Words and Deeds of a Legend

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

The Words and Deeds of a Legend

Article excerpt

Byline: By Eric Paylor Evening Gazette

Even if Brian Clough had never uttered a controversial sentence throughout his eventful career, he would have earned legendary status for what his teams achieved on the pitch.

Having established himself as a goal-grabber extraordinaire with Boro and Sunderland, management for Cloughie all started in the North-east at Hartlepool in 1965.

Many years later, he was quoted as saying: "To describe Hartlepools' ground as a tip would be giving a bonus to a tip."

Within months, however, a letter writer to the Northern Daily Mail wrote: "Mr Clough is doing a wonderful job with the team considering he has spent nothing and he is providing the best football I have seen here in over 40 years."

Clearly he was making a big impression.

In 1967 Brian moved on to Derby County, inspiring them to promotion as Division Two champions in just two years and, then, in 1972, to the First Division title.

On lifting the game's major domestic honour, he said: "It was an unforgettable feeling and I only wish everybody in the world could have shared it with me."

He inspired tremendous respect in his players and even after he slaughtered Derby winger Alan Hinton in the press after the winger missed a penalty in a European Cup semi-final in 1973, branding him a "disgrace", the player refused to criticise his manager.

He said: "Despite what he said about me, I still think Brian Clough is the best manager in the business."

Cloughie left the Baseball Ground in controversial circumstances and opted to take up a post at Brighton before agreeing to replace fellow Teessider Don Revie at Leeds.

He soon found, faced with United's experienced internationals, about whom he'd been less than complimentary, he had maybe bitten off more than he could chew.

Before long, he was attempting to lure his pal and usual side-kick Peter Taylor to Elland Road with the words: "Name your price.

"You can have whatever you want to come up here and help me. It's too much for one."

After just 44 days in charge he was sacked and his response was: "This is a very sad day for Leeds. …

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