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Tuesday, 20 September 2016

RIP Brian Clough - one of the best



Derby County and Nottingham Forest are playing tonight, two clubs that the remarkable Brian Clough and Peter Taylor team did great and quite frankly unbelievable things with.

Derby County wrre a mid-table Division Two side. Clough sacked the club secretary, the chief scout, the groundsman and two tea ladies. After a season he had retained only 4 of the players he had inherited. Among the players he brought in were future England centre-half Roy McFarland from Tranmere Rovers, future Scotland international forward John O'Hare from Vancouver Royal Canadians, midfielder John McGovern from Hartlepool United and future England international winger Alan Hinton from Nottingham Forest.

He and Taylor also convinced an ageing Dave Mackay to leave Spurs and drop down a division to captain the youngsters. Mackay was a Scotland international and it was some coup to get the Tottenham double winner, but Peter Taylor was adamant he was the player they needed to knit things together.

In his first season, Clough's second he jointly won the Football Writers Association Player of the Year and Derby County went on a 22 match unbeaten run winning while winning the Second Division. The following season they finished 4th in Division One (the Premier League of today) and the following season won it for the first time in their history.

In January 1975 he took over as boss of Nottingham Forest who were 13th in Division Two . His first game was a 1-0 defeat of Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup. At the end of the season his ally Peter Taylor joined him. In 1976/77 they finished third and won promotion to the top flight. Forest won the First Division at the first attempt and the League Cup.

He bought the first £1-million footballer (Trevor Francis), who he promptly moved from centre-forward to winger and was justified when Francis scored the winner in the European Cup Final in 1978/79 season.

The man was simply one of the best managers around (with Peter Taylor), better than Sir Alex Ferguson because it was an era where money didn't rule, ability did. Now all managers do is shout for more money, fans shout for more money, few take players and improve them, moulding them into a team.

It is that that makes Brian Clough one of the managers stand out after our own Bill Nicholson achieved the famous double.

RIP Mr Clough.


As a manager
Derby County
First Division: 1971–72
Second Division: 1968–69
Texaco Cup: 1971–72
Watney Cup: 1970

Nottingham Forest
First Division: 1977–78
League Cup: 1977–78, 1978–79, 1988–89, 1989–90
Full Members Cup: 1988–89, 1991–92
FA Charity Shield: 1978
European Cup: 1978–79, 1979–80
European Super Cup: 1979
Anglo-Scottish Cup: 1976–77
Football League Centenary Tournament: 1988

Individual awards
Manager of the Year: 1977–78
Sunderland Solid Gold XI


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