For the last three decades Brian Clough has been the most charismatic manager in football. Funny, outrageous, sentimental, he stands out sharply from the bland men in suits. Though his talent has earned him a fortune, he remains a working-class hero. As a player he scored 251 goals in 274 League appearances - and would have scored more had a cruel injury not forced him to retire, As a manager his record was full of superlatives. He took both Derby County and then Nottingham Forest out of the doldrums of the Second Division and made them world-beaters. Tactically brilliant, Clough had an unmatched ability to motivate players. He is the best manager England never had. Behind his back, they call him Old Big 'Ead. He has never been far from controversy, and some of his rows, particularly with his long-standing managerial partner Peter Taylor, are the stuff of tabloid legend. Not so long ago he was televised running onto the pitch to wallop some unruly supporters. More recently he has taken legal advice to counter rumours about illegal ticket deals. Despite his outgoing nature, Clough has always guarded his privacy.
At last he has decided to tell his full story: from terraced council house in Middlesbrough, to luxurious mansion in an exclusive suburb of Derby; from fitter to socialist millionaire. He speaks of the influence of his strong, proud mother, his courtship and marriage to his wife Barbara, his children, particularly his goal-scoring son Nigel, and his health, which has been the subject of press speculation and concern.
Brian Clough was born in 1935. He made his League debut for Middlesbrough in 1955. In 1961 a knee injury forced him to hang up his boots. Despite a remarkable goal-scoring record, he gained only two England caps. He began his managerial career with Fourth Division Hartlepool, where he was joined by his long-standing partner Peter Taylor. Together they built a squad that won promotion at the end of the 1967-68 season. By then Clough had moved on to Second Division Derby County. Under his guidance Derby were promoted to the First Division in 1969 and won the League Championship three years later. He left Derby following a very public dispute with the chairman. After brief spells with Brighton and Leeds, Clough became manager of Nottingham Forest in 1975. In 1977 Forest won promotion from the Second Division; in 1978 they won both the League Championship and the League Cup, which they won again in 1979, 1989 and 1990; in 1979 they won the European Cup, a title they retained in 1980. Clough is only the second man ever to have guided two different teams to the League Championship. In 1993 he retired, amidst press speculation about his health and business affairs.