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Clough Times Ahead

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Brian Clough in Amsterdam, 1980
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Clough Times Ahead

Unashamedly forthright; his footballing achievements were shape-shifting.

A product of North Yorkshire; Brian Clough rose to prominence with Middlesbrough FC – in the mid-late 1950’s.

The prolific frontman boasted an enviable record (approaching a-goal-a-game), during his six-year stint at ‘Boro’. Indeed, Clough racked-up 40+ Goals in four consecutive seasons from 1956 onwards.

His proficiency did not go unnoticed – earning the fiercely proud Englishman, International recognition (alongside a youthful Bobby Charlton), in the Autumn of ’59.

An acrimonious move to rivals Sunderland, failed to dampen his potency; before a catastrophic cruciate injury (late 1962), ultimately cut-short a promising playing career.

Clough’s goal-scoring stats compare favourably with the very best, and read thus: Middlesbrough FC  – 204 Goals from 222 Appearances, Sunderland FC – 63 Goals from 74 Appearances.

Following a period of self-contemplation; the idealistic Clough channelled his energies towards Coaching. At the age of 30 he accepted his first Managerial position at Hartlepool/s United.

Graciously complemented by Ex-Boro teammate Peter Taylor, the unorthodox duo set to work enhancing the fortunes of a select band of provincial English sides.

From Derby County via Brighton & Hove Albion, they reached their zenith at the City Ground Nottingham in the mid-late 1970’s. Taylor’s recruitment acumen married with Clough’s motivational prowess; challenged the deep-rooted malaise embedded within football’s hierarchy. Newly-promoted Nottingham Forest swept all before them to capture the First Division Title in Season 1977/78.

The following Season saw them lift the European Cup (defeating Holders Liverpool on their way), with victory over Malmo. Before successfully defending the trophy, against a Kevin Keegan-inspired Hamburg.

It was particularly poignant that John McGovern (a Clough mainstay), should hoist the prestigious trophy aloft – as like his mentor, he too was overlooked at International level.

Things off-course were not always rosy in the Clough garden; but notwithstanding those tempestuous 44 (Taylor-free), Days at Leeds United – in the Summer of 74, and an on-going reliance on alcohol – his legacy gathers momentum through underdogs alike.

 

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Born in 1963, Peter attended St Mary's Leith High School. Peter worked within the plumbing industry before studying a degree in journalism within the University of Stirling. Peter has been a lifelong sports fan and has volunteered within the Edinburgh Soccer School's programme on numerous occasions.

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