Brian Clough

Last updated : 06 November 2001 By Reggie Holdsworth

Name :

Brian Howard Clough

Birthplace :



21st March 1935

Signed From :

Great Broughton, May 1953

Sold To :

Sunderland, July 1961 for £55,000

Other Clubs :


Boro Record :

Played 222, Goals 204

Int. Record :

Played 2

Brian Clough was born and bred in Valley Road, Middlesbrough and watched the likes of Wilf Mannion and George Hardwick from the terraces of Ayresome Park as a child.

Brian signed as a professional in 1955 after he returned from National Service, he had previously been on Boro's books as a junior.

Even in his early days Brian was regarded as arrogant and cocky by his tem-mates. He regularly submitted transfer requests, his first after just nine games. There on in they were frequent and it became habitual for him to submit a request at every close season.

In his first full season he found opportunities limited behind the established stars like Charlie wayman and Lindy Delapenha but in the 1956-57 season he hit the headlines by scoring 40 goals in the season.

Brian was the first to hit the magic 40 since the great George Camsell back in 1926-27. He went on to notch 40 or more goals in the following three seasons.

He was Boro's top scorer five seasons in a row from that 1956-57 season, the Second Division's top scorer on three occasions and the country's top scorer in 1958-59.

One highlight of his career was when he netted five against Brighton in a 9-0 romp that still remains Boro's record league victory.

As Boro struggled to get promoted year after year Brian publicly accused his fellow team-mates of illegal betting against themselves and deliberately conceding goals. On more than one occasion it led to Brian exchanging blows with his colleagues. It was believed in some quarters that the accusations were true.

I don't suppose he was the first and certainly not the last player to cause friction in the dressing room.

Eventually Boro conceded to his constant transfer requests and allowed him to move to Sunderland for a club record £45,000 in the summer of 1961. There was a public outcry that he should be allowed to move to Boro's closest rivals, particularly when he continued to knock the goals in at almost a goal a game.

Sadly Brian never achieved the international recognition his talent so richly deserved but perhaps it was his off the field behaviour that cost him the big chance on the international stage.

His career was short lived at Sunderland, he managed only 61 games for the Wearsider's before injury forced him out of the game.

He took up management at Hartlepool alongside ex-Boro team-mate Peter Taylor and subsequently went on to become one of the greatest managers in history winning the league title with Derby County and Nottingham Forest, where he also won the European Cup.

His arrogant outspoken attitude carried on throughout his managerial career, he left Derby after a dispute with the chairman and later spent just 44 days in charge at Leeds United where he was alledgedly forced out by 'player power'.

He still remains Boro's most prolific goalscorer who went on to achieve more off the field than on it, albeit enforced by injury, and hence will be remembered more for his managerial career than his playing career.