He’s British football’s philosopher manqué. The most successful England manager we never had and a genuine footballing legend. To many, an outspoken working class hero. To others – mainly his targets – he was a bolshy northern gobshite. Never less than opinionated, often controversial and always eloquent, here we present Brian Clough, in his very own words…
On himself: ‘I wouldn’t say I was the best manager in the business. But I was in the top one.’
On Roy Keane: ‘I only ever hit Roy once. He got up, so I couldn’t have hit him very hard.’
On the FA: ‘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.’
On being nominated for a knighthood: ‘I thought it was my next door neighbour, because she thought if I got something like that, I’d have to move.’
On handling players: ‘We talk about it for twenty minutes and then we decide I was right.’
On drink: ‘Walk on water? I know most people out there will be saying that instead of walking on it, I should have taken more of it with my drinks.’
Duncan Hamilton is the author of the acclaimed Provided You Don’t Kiss Me: 20 Years with Brian Clough, for which he won the William Hill Sports Book of Year Award in 2007. He was the Nottingham Evening Post’s Forest reporter during the club, and Clough’s glory years. He is now deputy editor at the Yorkshire Post.