Clough as Nottingham Forest manager in 1980
|Full name||Brian Howard Clough|
|Date of birth||21 March 1935|
|Place of birth||Middlesbrough, North Riding of Yorkshire, England|
|Date of death||20 September 2004(aged 69)|
|Place of death||Derby, Derbyshire, England|
|Height||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|1973–1974||Brighton & Hove Albion|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
As a player Clough was a prolific goalscorer with Middlesbrough and Sunderland, scoring 251 league goals from 274 starts. He also won two England caps, both in 1959. Clough retired from playing at the age of 29, after sustaining anterior cruciate ligament damage. He remains one of the Football League's highest goalscorers.
In 1965, Clough took the manager's job at Fourth Division Hartlepools United and appointed Peter Taylor as his assistant, the start of an enduring partnership that would bring them success at numerous clubs over the next two decades. In 1967 the duo moved on to Second Division Derby County. In 1968–69, Derby were promoted as Second Division champions. Three years later, Derby were crowned champions of England for the first time in the club's history. In 1973 they reached the semi-finals of the European Cup. However, by this point Clough's relationship with chairman Sam Longson had deteriorated, and he and Taylor resigned.
This was followed by an eight-month spell in charge of Third Division Brighton & Hove Albion, before Clough (but not Taylor) returned north in the summer of 1974 to become manager of Leeds United – a surprise appointment given his previous outspoken criticism of the Leeds players and their manager Don Revie. He was sacked after 44 days in the job.
Within months Clough had joined Second Division Nottingham Forest, re-uniting with Taylor in 1976. In 1977, Forest were promoted to the top flight and the following season won the league title (the first in the club's history), making Clough one of only five managers to have won the English league with two different clubs. Forest also won two consecutive European Cups (in 1979 and 1980) and two League Cups (1978 and 1979) before Taylor retired in 1982. Clough stayed on as Forest manager for another decade and won two more League Cups (1989 and 1990), but could not emulate his earlier successes. Forest were relegated from the Premier League in 1993, after which Clough retired from football.
Charismatic, outspoken and often controversial, Clough is considered one of the great managers of the English game. His achievements with Derby and Forest, two struggling provincial clubs with little prior history of success, are rated amongst the greatest in football history. His teams were also noted for playing attractive football and for their good sportsmanship. Despite applying several times and being a popular choice for the job, he was never appointed England manager, and has been dubbed the "greatest manager England never had".
His name is closely associated with that of Peter Taylor, who served as his assistant manager at various clubs in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.
- 1 Childhood
- 2 Playing career
- 3 Management career
- 4 Personal life and family
- 5 Later life
- 6 Legacy
- 7 The Damned United
- 8 Honours
- 9 Statistics
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Born at 11 Valley Road, an interwar council house in Grove Hill, Middlesbrough, Yorkshire Brian Clough was the sixth of nine children of a local sweet shop worker, later sugar boiler and then manager. The eldest, Elizabeth, died in 1927 of septicaemia at the age of four. When talking of his childhood he said he "adored it in all its aspects. If anyone should be grateful for their upbringing, for their mam and dad, I'm that person. I was the kid who came from a little part of paradise." On his upbringing in Middlesbrough, Clough claimed that it was not the nicest place in the world, "But to me it was heaven". "Everything I have done, everything I've achieved, everything that I can think of that has directed and affected my life – apart from the drink – stemmed from my childhood. Maybe it was the constant sight of Mam, with eight children to look after, working from morning until night, working harder than you or I have ever worked."
In 1946 Clough failed his Eleven-plus exam, and attended Marton Grove Secondary Modern School. He later admitted in his autobiography that he had neglected his lessons in favour of sport, although at school he became head boy. Oddly enough, Clough stated in his autobiography 'Walking on Water' that cricket, rather than football, was his first love as a youngster, and that he'd have much rather scored a test century at Lord's than a hat-trick at Wembley. Clough left school in 1950 without any qualifications, to work at ICI and did his national service in the RAF Regiment between 1953 and 1955.
Clough played for Billingham Synthonia before his national service in the RAF between 1953 and 1955. Following this, he became a prolific striker for his home town club Middlesbrough scoring 204 goals in 222 league matches for Boro, including 40 or more goals in four consecutive seasons. However Clough also regularly submitted transfer requests and had a tense relationship with some of his fellow players. He was especially irked by Boro's leaky defence, which conceded goals as regularly as he scored them. After a 6–6 draw against Charlton Athletic, Clough sarcastically asked his team mates how many goals they would have to score in order to win a match. He also publicly accused some of his team mates of betting against the team and deliberately letting in goals. While at Middlesbrough Clough became acquainted with goalkeeper Peter Taylor, who would later form a successful managerial partnership with Clough at various clubs. He played twice for the England national football team, against Wales on 17 October 1959 and Sweden on 28 October 1959, without scoring.
In July 1961 one of Clough's transfer requests was finally accepted and he moved to Boro's local rivals Sunderland for £55,000. With Sunderland Clough scored a total of 63 goals in 74 matches. In the 1962–63 season, Clough had scored 24 league goals by December as Sunderland pushed for promotion. In a match against Bury at Roker Park on 26 December 1962, in icy conditions and torrential rain, Clough was put through on goal and collided with goalkeeper Chris Harker. Unable to stand up, Clough had torn the medial and cruciate ligaments in his knee, an injury which in that era usually ended a player's career. He returned two years later, but could manage only three games and so was forced to retire from playing at the age of 29.
Clough's manager at Sunderland was Alan Brown, a disciplinarian credited as a big influence on Clough. Brown inspired fear, imposed a strict code of conduct and would fine players for minor transgressions. He once gave Clough a dressing down for talking to a friend during a training session. Such traits would later be adopted by Clough himself when he became a manager.
For players having scored over 200 league goals in the English leagues, he has the highest goals per game ratio of 0.916, and has second highest ratio in the list that includes the Scottish leagues.
After a stint coaching the Sunderland youth team, in 1965 Clough was offered the manager's job at Hartlepools United (the club's name has since been changed (1968) to Hartlepool United). He accepted and immediately asked Peter Taylor (then managing Burton Albion) to join him as his assistant. At the age of 30, Clough was then the youngest manager in the league. Hartlepools were perennial strugglers and were constantly forced to apply for re-election to the Football League, having finished in the bottom two of the Fourth Division five times in the past six seasons. Such was the club's parlous financial state, Clough had to tour local pubs raising money to keep the club afloat and even applied for a coach driver's license to drive the team to away matches.
On 15 November 1966 the then chairman, Ernest Ord, who was known for playing mind games with managers, sacked both Clough and Taylor. However, after their dismissals, there was a boardroom coup which saw Ord ousted as chairman and Clough and Taylor reinstated. Hartlepools' fortunes gradually improved and the club finished in a creditable 8th place in 1966–67. Their Hartlepools team featured two players who would play for Clough and Taylor at other clubs in the future: Les Green, who would be goalkeeper in Derby's promotion-winning side of 1969, and a 16-year-old John McGovern; who would later be signed by Clough at Derby County, Leeds United and Nottingham Forest. In May 1967 the duo then joined Derby County as manager and assistant manager. In the following season, Hartlepools were promoted for the first time in their history.
Derby County had been rooted in the Second Division for a decade before Clough's arrival, and had been outside the top flight for a further five years.
In Clough's first season the club finished one place lower than in the previous season, but he had started to lay the foundations for his future success by signing several new players, amongst them Roy McFarland, John O'Hare, John McGovern, Alan Hinton and Les Green. Of the inherited squad, eleven players departed and only four were retained: Kevin Hector, Alan Durban, Ron Webster and Colin Boulton. Clough also sacked the club secretary, the groundsman and the chief scout, along with two tea ladies he caught laughing after a Derby defeat. With the additional signings of Dave Mackay and Willie Carlin in 1968, Clough and Taylor's management led Derby to become champions of Division Two, establishing the club record of 22 matches without defeat on the way.
Clough was universally seen as a hard but fair manager, who insisted on clean play from his players and brooked no stupid questions from the press. He was famous for insisting on being called 'Mr Clough' and earned great respect from his peers for his ability to turn a game to his and his team's advantage. Derby's first season back in Division One saw them finish fourth, their best league finish for over 20 years, but, due to financial irregularities, the club was banned from Europe the following season and fined £10,000.
In 1970–71 the club finished 9th. In February 1971 Clough bolstered his squad by signing Colin Todd for a British record £175,000; on the same day Clough had denied that Derby were about to buy Todd. During the 1971–72 season, Derby tussled with Liverpool, Leeds United and Manchester City for the title. Derby topped the league table by one point after playing their final match, a 1–0 win over Liverpool. Both Liverpool and Leeds United had a chance to overtake Derby by winning their final matches (played a week later due to fixture congestion) but in the event Leeds lost to Wolves and Liverpool drew at Arsenal, meaning Derby were league champions for the first time in their 88-year history. Peter Taylor took the players on holiday to Majorca. Clough was not with the squad at the time, instead holidaying in the Isles of Scilly with his family and parents when he received the news.
Feud with the Derby County board of directors
In August 1972 Clough refused to go on an arranged pre-season tour of the Netherlands and West Germany unless he could take his family with him. Derby chairman Sam Longson told him that it was a working trip not a holiday, so Clough put Taylor in charge of the tour instead, and refused to go. The club did not contest the FA Charity Shield that year.
On 24 August 1972, Clough and Taylor signed David Nish from Leicester City, for a then record transfer fee of £225,000, without consulting the Derby board. Afterwards, Jack Kirkland, a director, warned Clough and Taylor there would be no more expensive buys like Nish. Then, on 3 September 1972, Clough attacked the Derby County fans, stating that "They started chanting only near the end when we were a goal in front. I want to hear them when we are losing. They are a disgraceful lot", he said, after the team defeated Liverpool 2–1 at the Baseball Ground. In the same interview, Clough also attacked the club's board of directors for their policies. The following day, Board chairman Sam Longson apologised to the fans and dissociated himself from Clough's remarks.
That season, Derby failed to retain their title, finishing 7th, but reached the semi-finals of the European Cup, before being knocked out by Juventus 3–1 in April 1973, on aggregate. After the game, Clough emerged from the dressing room and told the expectant Italian reporters, "No cheating bastards do I talk to. I will not talk to any cheating bastards." and then questioned the Italian nation's courage in the Second World War. It was these sorts of frequent, outspoken comments – particularly against football's establishment, such as the FA and club directors, and figures in the game such as Sir Matt Busby, Alan Hardaker, Sir Alf Ramsey, Don Revie and Len Shipman, along with players such as Billy Bremner, Norman Hunter and Peter Lorimer – combined with Clough's increased media profile, that eventually led to his falling out with Rams' chairman, Sam Longson, and the Derby County board of directors.
On 5 August 1973, Clough put his name to an article in the Sunday Express which savaged Leeds United's disciplinary record, stating that Don Revie should be fined for encouraging his players in their unsporting behaviour and Leeds relegated to Division 2. Clough also said that "The men who run football have missed the most marvellous chance of cleaning up the game in one swoop" and went on to say, "The trouble with football's disciplinary system is that those who sat in judgment being officials of other clubs might well have a vested interest."
Days afterwards, Clough was charged with bringing the game into disrepute, but he was cleared after he had later resigned from Derby. In September 1973, Clough travelled to West Ham United's Upton Park and made a £400,000 bid for Bobby Moore, a player he admired, and Trevor Brooking. Ron Greenwood told Clough that neither was available but that he would pass his offer onto the board of directors. Clough never told either his chairman, secretary or other board members at Derby about the bid. Longson found out four months later during a chance conversation with Eddie Chapman, West Ham's secretary at the time.
On 11 October 1973, Longson called for both Clough's and Taylor's sackings at a board meeting, but didn't gain the support that was needed to do so. Two days later, following a 1–0 win against Manchester United at Old Trafford, Jack Kirkland demanded to know what Taylor's role within the club was. Kirkland instructed Taylor to meet him at the ground two days later to explain. On the same day, Longson accused Clough of making a V-sign at Sir Matt Busby, and demanded that he apologise. Clough refused to do so, as he vehemently denied making the V-sign in the first place.
In the week before this incident, Longson demanded that Clough stop writing newspaper articles and making TV appearances, and had the grille pulled down on the bar to stop both Clough and Taylor drinking.
Resignation from Derby County
Eighteen months earlier, in April 1972, Clough and Taylor had briefly resigned for a few hours to manage Coventry City before changing their minds after getting more money from Longson. This time, it was for good. Both Clough and Taylor resigned on 15 October 1973, to widespread uproar from Rams fans, who demanded the board's resignation along with Clough and Taylor's reinstatement at the following home game against Leicester City five days later. That evening, Clough appeared on the Michael Parkinson show and attacked football directors for their apparent lack of knowledge of football.
Earlier that week Clough, as a television pundit, memorably called Poland goalkeeper Jan Tomaszewski a "circus clown in gloves" before the crucial World Cup qualifier with England at Wembley. The match, which England had to win, ended 1–1, mostly thanks to Tomaszewski's heroics. When commentator Brian Moore said: "You call him a clown, Brian, but he saved his side", Clough replied: "Would you want him in your team every week?" to which there was no answer.
The six years at Derby County had brought Clough to the attention of the wider football world. According to James Lawton, "Derby was the wild making of Brian Clough. He went there a young and urgent manager who had done impressive work deep in his own little corner of the world at Hartlepools. He left surrounded by fascination and great celebrity: abrasive, infuriating, but plugged, immovably, into a vein of the nation."
Brighton & Hove Albion
Such was the loyalty to Clough that along with himself and Taylor, scouts and backroom staff completed the walk out, following the pair for their brief spell with Brighton & Hove Albion. He proved less successful on the South Coast than with his previous club, winning only 12 of his 32 games in charge of the Division Three side. Whereas eight months earlier Clough was managing a team playing Juventus in the European Cup, he was now managing a club who, just after his appointment as manager, lost to Walton & Hersham 4–0 at home in an FA Cup replay. On 1 December 1973, his side lost 8–2 at home to Bristol Rovers. Albion eventually finished in 19th place that season.
Clough left Brighton less than a year after his appointment, in July 1974, to become manager of Leeds United following Don Revie's departure to become manager of England, though this time Taylor did not join him. Clough's move was very surprising given his previous outspoken criticism of both Revie, for whom Clough made no secret of his deep disdain, and the successful Leeds team's playing style, which Clough had publicly branded "dirty" and "cheating". Furthermore, he had called for Leeds to be demoted to the Second Division as a punishment for their poor disciplinary record.
He lasted in the job only 44 days before he was sacked by the Leeds directors on 12 September 1974, after alienating many of Leeds's star players, notably Johnny Giles, Norman Hunter and Billy Bremner. During one of the first training sessions he took for Leeds United, he reportedly said "You can all throw your medals in the bin because they were not won fairly." He has the unenviable record of being Leeds United's least successful permanent manager, winning only one match from six games. Leeds were fourth from bottom in 19th position with only 4 points from a possible 12, their worst start in 15 years. His pay-off was estimated at £98,000, a huge amount at the time.
On 6 January 1975, Clough made a return to management with Nottingham Forest, who at the time were in 13th place in Division Two. Clough replaced Allan Brown. Clough's first game in charge was the third round FA Cup replay against Tottenham Hotspur, a 1–0 victory thanks to a goal by Scottish centre-forward Neil Martin.
Clough made fewer TV appearances whilst Forest manager, and toned down the outspoken comments he had made earlier at Derby. After finishing 8th in the old Second Division, in his first full season in charge alone, in July 1976 Clough was joined by his old assistant Peter Taylor from Brighton, who had just missed out on promotion from the old Third division. Together, Clough and Taylor transformed the club's fortunes rapidly: the first success at the club came in Clough's second full season (1976–77) when they won promotion to Division One, finishing third. In the summer of 1977 Clough was interviewed for the England manager's job recently vacated by Revie, but it instead went to Ron Greenwood.
In their first season after promotion Forest won the League Cup, beating Liverpool 1–0 in a replay at Old Trafford, and were crowned champions of Division One, finishing seven points clear of nearest challengers Liverpool. This made Clough the first manager since Herbert Chapman to win the English league championship with two different clubs. (Tom Watson and Kenny Dalglish are the others to achieve the feat).
In the 1978–79 season, Clough signed the 24-year-old Birmingham City striker Trevor Francis, Britain's first £1 million footballer. Forest missed out on the league title, finishing as runners-up to Liverpool, but made amends by retaining the League Cup with a 3–2 victory over Southampton and reaching the European Cup final (knocking out defending champions Liverpool en route), which they won 1–0 against Malmö FF, with Francis scoring the winner. A year later, Clough guided Forest to a second successive European Cup success, this time beating Hamburger SV 1–0, and a third successive League Cup final, though they were defeated by Wolverhampton Wanderers 1–0.
Despite retaining the European Cup, Clough regarded his greatest achievement to be the record breaking unbeaten run his team set between 26 November 1977 and 9 December 1978, the team went undefeated for 42 league games – the equivalent of a whole season, beating the previous record of 35 games held by Burnley. The record stood until August 2004, a month before Clough's death, when it was surpassed by Arsenal, who went on to play 49 league games without defeat.
After this results dipped and Forest finished 7th in 1980–81 and 12th in 1981–82 as the European Cup-winning side was broken up and big money signings such as Justin Fashanu, Peter Ward and Asa Hartford failed to work out. Taylor retired in 1982, ending his partnership with Clough, and within a few years their friendship had soured for good. In 1983–84 Forest improved to finish 3rd in the league (just six points behind champions Liverpool) and reached the UEFA Cup semi-finals, where they were controversially knocked out by Anderlecht; several contentious decisions went against Forest, and it later emerged that before the match the Spanish referee Guruceta Muro, killed in a car crash in 1987, had received a £27,000 "loan" from Anderlecht's chairman Vanden Stock. In 1997 the UEFA barred Anderlecht for this for one year from European competition.
It was not until 1988–89 that Clough and Forest would enjoy another major trophy success, when they beat Luton Town in the League Cup final. For a time, Forest were on course for a treble that season, but ultimately had to settle for third place in the league. Defeat in the FA Cup semi-finals was in a replay after the first game abandoned shortly after kick off due to the Hillsborough disaster. Clough had to manage the team from the stands in the latter half of the season as he was serving a touchline ban after hitting three supporters who had invaded the pitch at the end of a match against Queens Park Rangers. A year later, Clough guided Forest to another League Cup victory with a 1–0 over Oldham Athletic.
In 1991 Forest reached their first FA Cup final under Clough against Tottenham Hotspur. With typical idiosyncrasy, Clough selected two players – Lee Glover and Ian Woan – with only a handful of league games behind them and left England international Steve Hodge on the substitutes' bench, preferring the young Roy Keane in the starting line up. After 90 minutes with the score at 1–1, Clough did not go on to the pitch to encourage or advise his players before extra time, but remained on the bench. Tottenham won 2–1 with an own goal by Des Walker in extra time. Keane later admitted in his autobiography that he was injured and shouldn't have taken part in the game. The FA Cup was to be the only major domestic trophy which eluded Clough. In 1992, Forest reached another League Cup final, but lost 1–0 to Manchester United.
The 1992–93 season was Clough's 18th with Forest – and his last. They were one of the 22 clubs in the inaugural Premier League, but the sale of key players like Teddy Sheringham and Des Walker, and Clough's increasing battle with alcoholism, saw the club's fortunes take a sharp decline and they were bottom virtually all season. Just before a 2–0 defeat against Sheffield United confirmed the club's relegation after 16 years in the top flight, Clough announced his retirement as manager.
Clough's time at Forest saw him at odds with Justin Fashanu whose goals and then confidence dried up as he failed to fit in with the playing and lifestyle demands of Clough. When Clough discovered Fashanu's homosexuality he barred Fashanu from training with the side. Clough recounts a dressing down he gave Fashanu after hearing rumours that he was going to gay bars. "'Where do you go if you want a loaf of bread?' I asked him. 'A baker's, I suppose.' 'Where do you go if you want a leg of lamb?' 'A butcher's.' 'So why do you keep going to that bloody poofs' club?" It was in this book that he admitted his one regret was leaving Derby County.'
Links with other jobs
Clough was a popular choice to be appointed England manager throughout the 1970s and 1980s. However it was widely felt that the FA were uneasy about appointing him, on account of his numerous outspoken comments about the English football authorities. He was interviewed for the job twice, in 1977 and 1982, but lost out to Ron Greenwood and Bobby Robson respectively. Such was the demand for Clough to be given the job, incumbent manager Robson told then-FA chairman Sir Bert Millichip: 'I'm having a rough time and everybody wants Brian – give the job to him. If he's successful, everybody's happy. If he fails, that's the end of the clamour for Brian Clough to be England manager'."
Clough was still a popular choice to be given the job of England manager before Graham Taylor's appointment in 1990. Clough himself quipped: "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." He has been called the "greatest manager England never had".
Following Mike England's resignation as manager of Wales in 1987, Clough was offered the position as manager of Wales on a part-time basis, something later done with John Toshack. Clough was keen on the chance to become an international manager, however the directors of Nottingham Forest refused to let him split his loyalties. In April 1986, Clough had declared that he intended to spend the rest of his managerial career with Nottingham Forest. In June 1986, Clough was linked with the job of Scotland manager, but the vacancy was filled by Andy Roxburgh (a long-serving member of the Scotland coaching set-up) instead. Clough had also been linked with the Republic of Ireland job the previous year, before it was filled by fellow Englishman Jack Charlton.
Rift with Taylor
Peter Taylor, Clough's friend and long-time assistant at Hartlepools, Derby, Brighton and Forest, retired from football in 1982, bringing to an end their partnership. Several events had strained their friendship in the past: while at Derby, Taylor was riled when he learned that Clough had accepted a pay rise from Sam Longson without telling him; Taylor did not get one. Then in 1980, Taylor released a book, With Clough, By Taylor, which detailed their partnership, but had not told Clough that he was writing the book. Six months after retiring, Taylor was appointed Derby County manager. When their teams met in the FA Cup third round in January 1983, the two managers ignored each other.
When Taylor signed John Robertson from Forest without informing Clough, it was, according to Robertson, "the straw that broke the camel's back" and the two men would never speak again. In a tabloid article, Clough called Taylor a "snake in the grass" and declared that "if his car broke down and I saw him thumbing a lift, I wouldn't pick him up, I'd run him over." Taylor retorted that Clough's outbursts were "the sort of thing I have come to expect from a person I now regard with great distaste."
The rift had not been repaired by the time Taylor died in October 1990. Clough and his family attended Taylor's funeral. According to Taylor's daughter Wendy, Clough was "deeply upset" by Taylor's death and telephoned her when he heard the news. Clough dedicated his autobiography in 1994 to Taylor and when he was given the freedom of Nottingham he also paid tribute to him, as he did in September 1999 when a bust was unveiled of himself at the City Ground.
In the 1990s Clough was implicated in the "bungs" scandal in English football. Under particular scrutiny was his involvement in the transfer of Teddy Sheringham from Nottingham Forest to Tottenham Hotspur in 1992. Then-Tottenham chairman Alan Sugar claimed under oath to have been told by Spurs manager Terry Venables that Clough "liked a bung", an illicit payment made to ensure a transfer deal went through. Sugar sanctioned a cash payment of £58,750, which he believed would be paid to an agent, but instead it was handed over to Ronnie Fenton, Clough's assistant at Forest. Sugar, protected by legal immunity as a court witness, never repeated the allegation out of court during the rest of Clough's life.
Clough was also alleged to have made illegal payments to players and backroom staff in breach of FA rules, something confirmed by former Forest chief scout Alan Hill. Clough himself denied the allegations, saying "Asking me what it's like to make money out of transfers is like asking 'What's it like to have VD?' I don't know, I've never had it." Clough was charged with misconduct by the FA, who later dropped the case due to Clough's ill health. Former Premier League chief executive, Rick Parry, who led the inquiry, said: "On the balance of evidence, we felt he [Clough] was guilty of taking bungs. The evidence was pretty strong."
Personal life and family
Clough was a lifelong socialist, often appearing on miners' picket lines, donating large sums to trade union causes, and being the chairman of the Anti-Nazi League. On two occasions he was approached by the Labour Party to stand as a parliamentary candidate in general elections, although he declined in order to continue his managerial career in football.
On 4 April 1959, Clough married Barbara Glasgow in Middlesbrough. He later said that meeting Barbara was "the best thing I ever did". They went on to have three children; Simon, born in 1964, Nigel, born in 1966 and Elizabeth, born in 1967. Nigel also became a professional footballer and played for his father at Forest in the 1980s and 1990s. He then moved into management and in January 2009 followed in his father's footsteps when he was appointed manager of Derby County. In 2011, his family and friends contributed memories to a book entitled 'The Day I Met Brian Clough' which also included recollections from fans and journalists. His widow, Barbara, died on 20 July 2013 at the age of 84.
Much of Clough's retirement was spent concentrating on his fight against alcoholism, ill-health and corruption allegations. His battle with alcoholism dated back to the 1970s and was chronicled in part by Duncan Hamilton in his award-winning book Provided You Don't Kiss Me: 20 Years With Brian Clough. He considered applying for the job as manager of Wolverhampton Wanderers on the resignation of Graham Taylor in October 1995. Nothing came of it, however, and Clough's managerial career was over.
Nottingham Forest honoured him by renaming the City Ground's largest stand, the Executive Stand, the Brian Clough Stand. Clough was made an inaugural inductee of the English Football Hall of Fame in 2002 in recognition of his huge impact as a manager. In 1993 he was awarded the freedom of the city of Nottingham. In 2003, the city of Derby followed suit. He wrote a column for Four Four Two magazine up until his death.
In January 2003, the 67-year-old Clough underwent a liver transplant; 30 years of heavy drinking had taken its toll and doctors said that Clough would have died within two weeks without a transplant, as his liver was severely damaged. The transplant gave Clough a new lease of life for the next 20 months; he took up light exercise again and appeared happier than he had for many years. Clough died of stomach cancer on 20 September 2004, on Ward 30, in Derby City Hospital, at the age of 69, having been admitted a few days earlier. Such was his popularity, fans of Derby County and Nottingham Forest, usually the fiercest of rivals, mourned together following his death. A memorial service was held at Derby's Pride Park Stadium on 21 October 2004 which was attended by more than 14,000 people. It was originally to have been held at Derby Cathedral, but had to be moved because of demand for tickets.
In August 2005 the stretch of the A52 linking Nottingham and Derby was renamed Brian Clough Way. His widow Barbara expressed her gratitude to Nottingham City Council, saying: "Brian would have been amazed but genuinely appreciative". Since the opening of the Nottingham Express Transit system, tram No. 215 has been named Brian Clough.
After a long process of fund-raising, his home town of Middlesbrough commissioned a statue of Clough, which was unveiled on 16 May 2007. Although there was a movement to erect a statue in Grove Hill, his birthplace, the site chosen was the town's Albert Park through which he usually walked on his way from home to Ayresome Park, Middlesbrough's former stadium.
In August 2000, a tribute website was set up in honour of Clough with the backing of his family. This helped to raise money for a statue of Clough, which was erected in Nottingham's Old Market Square on 6 November 2008. In December 2006, the Brian Clough Statue Fund in Nottingham announced it had raised £69,000 in just 18 months for a statue of Clough in the city. The winning statue was selected from a choice of three designs in January 2008. The site chosen for the statue is at the junction of King Street and Queen Street in the centre of Nottingham. On 6 November 2008 the statue was unveiled by Mr Clough's widow Barbara in front of a crowd of more than five thousand people.  The tribute website brianclough.com is still attracting visitors from around the world and was praised by Barbara Clough on its tenth anniversary in 2010. Mrs Clough said she hoped it would continue to be a success for many years. "Brian Clough Tribute Website". brianclough.com.  In 2007/08 a redevelopment scheme building new houses on the old Middlesbrough General Hospital site named roads after famous former Middlesbrough F.C. players including Willie Maddren, George Camsell and Clough.
Derby County and Nottingham Forest competed for the inaugural Brian Clough Trophy at Pride Park Stadium on 31 July 2007. In future, any league, cup or friendly game played between Derby and Forest will automatically become a Brian Clough Trophy game. Proceeds from the game will go to charities in the East Midlands.
In April 2009, Derby County announced that they would erect a statue of the former Rams' managers Clough and Peter Taylor, at Pride Park, with sculptor, Andy Edwards, who previously produced the Steve Bloomer bust already in the stadium, commissioned for the statue. The Brian Clough and Peter Taylor Monument was officially unveiled in a family service on 27 August 2010 and publicly on 28 August 2010.
The Damned United
The story of his short spell in charge of Leeds United was the subject of a novel by David Peace, titled The Damned Utd. The publishers of the novel were successfully sued by Irish midfielder Johnny Giles who wrote, "Many of the things Peace talks about in the book never happened and for that reason, I felt it necessary to go to the courts to establish that this was fiction based on fact and nothing more."
The book includes a scene with Clough in the Elland Road car park burning Don Revie's old desk. There is no factual source for this. The Clough family have expressed disappointment at the publication of the book. The book was adapted into a film called The Damned United, starring Michael Sheen and released in 2009. The Clough family declined to co-operate with the film, despite efforts by the film-makers to lighten the dark tone of the novel.
As a manager
- First Division (1): 1971–72
- Second Division (1): 1968–69
- Texaco Cup (1): 1971–72
- Watney Cup (1): 1970
- First Division (1): 1977–78
- League Cup (4): 1977–78, 1978–79, 1988–89, 1989–90
- Full Members Cup (2): 1988–89, 1991–92
- FA Charity Shield (1): 1978
- European Cup (2): 1978–79, 1979–80
- European Super Cup (1): 1979
- Anglo-Scottish Cup (1): 1976–77
|Hartlepools United||1 October 1965||1 May 1967||84||35||13||36||41.67|
|Derby County||1 June 1967||15 October 1973||289||135||70||84||46.71|
|Brighton & Hove Albion||1 November 1973||30 July 1974||32||12||8||12||37.50|
|Leeds United||30 July 1974||12 September 1974||7||1||3||3||14.29|
|Nottingham Forest||6 January 1975||8 May 1993||907||411||246||250||45.31|
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- Classic Brian Clough Quotes
- Brian Howard Clough – Facebook Fan Page
- Brian Howard Clough - The Facebook Tribute
- Brian Clough timeline
- BBC Obituary
- Brian Clough Books
- BBC quotations by Clough
- Brian Clough Memorial Service
- Brian Clough on BBC Tees
- Nottingham Forest's double European Cup win
- Brian Clough management career stats at Soccerbase
- English Football Hall of Fame Profile
- Brian Clough Quotes
- Full Managerial Stats for Leeds United from WAFLL
- Your Tributes
|European Cup Winning Coach
1978–79 & 1979–80