Nottingham - That's Old Big 'Ead, Young Man!
w/e 09 November 2008 All this week's pictures were taken
with a Kodak DX6490
Supporters of Derby County and Nottingham Forest Football Clubs
are usually bitter sporting rivals but when former manager Brian
Howard Clough died in 2004 they were joined together in an outpouring
of united grief. In Nottingham, the Brian Clough Statue Fund
was started and by December 2006 had raised £69,000 in
just 18 months. Les Johnson of Hampshire was commissioned to
create the statue and it was unveiled on Thursday November 6th
2008. Preparations began in the morning at the junction of King
Street and Queen Street close to Nottingham's Market Square.
As the crowds gathered and the photographers and media people
started to record the event, Twiggy and Emma (bottom left) from
local radio station, Trent FM set the scene.
Clips from the archives showing some of Nottingham Forest's European
Cup triumphs along with domestic successes as well as highlights
of Brian's career both as a player and manager were displayed
on the giant screen.
As the time for the unveiling drew nearer Sky Television's Gary
Newbon conducted a number of interviews with VIPs including Councillor
Jon Collins, Nottingham City Council Leader, Brian's son Simon,
Paul Ellis, Chairman of the Statue Fund (above left), and former
former players Kenny Burns, Archie Gemmell and John McGovern
(top right). Then at one o'clock he invited Brian's widow, Barbara
and granddaughter Natalie to unveil the eight foot (2.4m) high
statue. It is fitting that like the man himself, the statue is
larger than life.
Whilst the big screen replayed more clips from Brian's life and
his favourite Sinatra song, "You Make Me Feel So Young"
sounded out across the city centre, the family, Simon, Barbara,
Natalie and Brian's younger son Nigel, posed with the statue
for the official photos.
Former players, some of them legends in their own right, but
all of whom owed a great deal to Brian Clough also gathered around
the statue for commemorative photos.
As the crowds started to disperse, Nottingham Forest's current
manager who had attended the ceremony with the first team squad,
paused for a radio interview. Central TV's Dennis Coath recorded
a piece for the evening news bulletin and Nigel, currently managing
Burton Albion FC and former Forest, Liverpool and England player
exchanged memories of his dad with some of the fans.
Brian Clough or Cloughie as he was affectionately know was born
in Middlesbrough on March 21st 1935. He died of stomach cancer
in Derby City Hospital on September 20th 2004. In between those
dates he became a legendary player and manager taking two unfashionable
provincial clubs in Derby County and Nottingham Forest to League
Championships and winning back-to-back European Cups with Forest
among many other honours. He was awarded the Order of the British
Empire (OBE) in 1991 for services to football. Throughout his
life he was the master of the one-line quotes and even said that
OBE stood for Old Big 'Ead. One of his most famous one-liners
was "I certainly wouldn't say I'm the best manager in the
business, but I'm in the top one." English football for
all its foreign managerial imports and high finance will never
see the like of Cloughie again and it is highly unlikely that
even the top managers of today would be able to achieve half
of what he did given the same circumstances. He also said "I
want no epitaphs of profound history or all that kind of thing.
I contributed, I hope they would say that and I hope that somebody
liked me." The four thousand plus people that turned up
on a grey day in November four years after his death proved that
somebody DID like him.