Friday, March 20, 2009
The Wit and Wisdom of Brian Clough
Here’s my compilation of some of ‘Old Big ‘Ead’s greatest quotes, from the First Post.
I hope they raise a smile or two.
He was the most controversial, the most opinionated - and the most entertaining football manager of all time. Now Brian Clough's colourful career is being immortalised in a big screen adaptation of David Peace's book The Damned United, released on March 27.
It deals with Clough's 44-day reign as manager of Leeds United, and comes out just as ITV prepares to screen a major documentary about him, made with the help of his family.
This year also marks the fifth anniversary of his death and the 30th anniversary of perhaps his greatest achievement - the first of two consecutive European Cup triumphs with Nottingham Forest.
As a player, Clough was a promising and prolific striker with Sunderland who made two England appearances before his career was cut short by injury. But it was as a manager that he made his name, teaming up with Peter Taylor to form one of the greatest managerial partnerships in football history.
ON DAVID BECKHAM:
"Beckham? His wife can't sing and his barber can't cut hair."
ON HIS REPUTATION:
"I wouldn't say I was the best manager in the business. But I was in the top one."
ON GETTING THINGS DONE:
"They say Rome wasn't built in a day, but I wasn't on that particular job."
ON HIS DRINKING:
"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. They are absolutely right."
"I can't even spell spaghetti never mind talk Italian. How could I tell an Italian to get the ball - he might grab mine."
ON TREVOR BROOKING:
"Trevor Brooking floats like a butterfly... And stings like one."
"Football hooligans? Well, there are the 92 club chairmen for a start."
ON THE LONG BALL GAME:
"If God had wanted us to play football in the clouds, he'd have put grass up there."
"Academically, I was thick. I'm not sure school taught me that Columbus discovered America, I learned that in later life. Some people might wish he never had, because if they are the leading lights in this world, my God, they leave a lot to be desired."
"There are more hooligans in the House of Commons than at a football match."
"Players lose you games, not tactics. There's so much crap talked about tactics by people who barely know how to win at dominoes."
ON THE ENGLAND JOB:
"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 ONE OF HIS PLAYERS:
"I'm not saying Brian Rice is pale and thin, but I'm telling you, the maid in the hotel re-made his bed without realising he was still in it."
ON MARRIED LIFE:
"My wife said to me in bed 'God, your feet are cold'. I said 'You can call me Brian in bed, dear'."
ON THE ENGLAND JOB, AGAIN:
"People wonder what kind of England manager Cloughie would have turned out to be. There’s only one answer - a bloody good one."
ON LEARNING THAT ELTON JOHN WAS WAITING TO MEET HIM:
"Tell the fat poof I'll be out in a minute."
"If it meant getting three points on a Saturday I would shoot my grandmother. Not nastily, I would just hurt her."
"I don't believe in an afterlife. I am an avid reader of newspapers but I've yet to see proof of anyone dying and coming back after the funeral."
"I have no problem in having money in the bank, a large house and a Mercedes, and still being a socialist."
"If a player had said to Bill Shankly 'I've got to speak to my agent', Bill would have hit him. And I would have held him while he hit him."
ON HIS LEGACY:
"I want no epitaphs of profound history and all that type of thing. I contributed. I would hope they would say that, and I would hope somebody liked me."