Brian Clough OBE RIP – Football Poets Tributes

To mark the sad passing of Brian Clough,
here are some of the tributes that have been added
onto the Football Poets website in his honour.

Firstly, in his own words (taken from the BBC website) :

“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.” – On being remembered

Cloughie, by Parry Maguire

Tell Heaven’s XI to get their
Boots and shirts on
The manager’s just arrived….

God Bless you Cloughie RIP.

Floodlight, by Alan McKean

A floodlight
Has been turned off
Over our fields of dreams,
See you Cloughie.

A great character

God Bless You Brian, by Glenn Walker

He suffered not those fools and oafs that mocked his football brain,
The high and mighty of the game said he was insane,
He did it all the Cloughie way, the only way he knew,
He did it cos he loved the game, the players, me and you.

There will never ever be another Brian Clough,
And some will say “thank God for that, one Clough is just enough”,
But we all will miss the anecdotes, the logic and the guile,
The way one look or word could make you run a country mile.

So to the fans of Nottingham, Derby and the rest,
I envy how you shared the presence of the very best,
But spare a thought for the angels, they will have it tough,
From the gifted football genius known as Brian Clough.

A sad sad day..:(

Brian Clough OBE, by Clik the mouse

“Stands for
Old Big ‘Ead”, he was wont to say
Be that as it may
We would all like to pay

Sad news today :
Brian Clough has passed away.

To his family and friends, condolences from his legion of fans.

In appreciation of, one of the games greatest ever characters,
may he RIP.

R.I.P. Cloughie, by Mark Merriman

Ole Big ‘ed is dead
the ( tabloid ) papers said;
a legend is no more.
One of the game’s greats gone for good;
it shocked us to the core.
Football fans rise as one
to salute you Brian Clough;
of your pearls of wisdom
I could never get enough.

You took the rams of Derby
to the top for several years;
brief sojourn at Leeds United
bound to end in tears.

Then on to Forest’s City Ground,
where you quickly made your mark,
turning a team of journeymen
into a unit on the park.

Remember Robertson’s jinking runs?
Shilton’s blinding saves?
Gemmill, Bowyer, Peter Withe –
they came at teams in waves.

Remmber when the football world
was shocked by your behaviour?
Spending one million pounds
not on a team, but just one player?

Trevor Francis was the name,
a clever, cunning schemer;
got on that cross from Robertson
to nod it past the keeper.

Instead of celebreating
with players and fans alike
you bemoaned the team’s performance:
” Young man, take a hike!”

You discovered many a player
of the calibre of Keane,
but never managed England –
it just remained a dream.

You preached to players that football
should be played along the deck;
not smashed high into the sky
for fans to crane their neck.

Towards the end the booze
had begun to take its toll;
Red-faced, tired, bleary-eyed,
you watched another goal.

The baggy sweatshirt grew more creased
just like your tired old face,
the team in free-fall down the league,
like you, just off the pace.

Forest’s fans are grieving now
as their gaffer rests in peace;
Flowers adorn the City Ground gates
written tributes, poems, wreaths.

The football world will never be
quite the same again.
We have lost a true icon.
one of football’s greatest men.

So R.I.P. Cloughie,
R.I.P. Big ‘ed, young man.
We may mourn your passing,
but we salute you, every fan.

© mark merriman 18 sept 2004

Genuine sadness for the death of a legend.

by John J O’Connor

On September the Twentieth,
the year Two Thousand and Four,
a stern looking gentleman,
knocked on heavens door.

St Peter answered cautiously,
then recognised the face,
and he told the man to come on in,
and find himself a place.

The man nodded at Bill Shankly,
Bob Paisley, Bertie Mee,
shook the hand of Joe Mercer,
and waved to Matt Busby.

With shoulders back,
head in the air,
he marched over to God,
who sized the man — up and down,
and gave a friendly nod.

” I need to know the history,
of what you did on earth,
I need the total details,
from the moment of your birth.”

” I was born a proud Yorkshireman,
in the year of Thirty Five,
and through passion and endeavour,
in football I did thrive.

My wife she called me Brian,
some others ‘ Ol Big ‘ead,’
but throughout my life,
I never cared,
what other people said.

I played for my home team Middlesbrough,
won two England caps as well,
and ended up at Sunderland,
when Boro chose to sell.

But my world was rocked by injury,
at the age of Twenty Six,
when I tore my knee at Bury,
something doctors couldn’t fix.

My managerial career I started.
at the bottom of the heap,
the terraces at Hartlepool,
myself I had to sweep.

Next I went to Derby,
and brought them great success,
those were the happiest of my days,
to that I must confess.

I had a brilliant partner,
Peter Taylor he was named,
for scouting out new talent,
throughout England he was famed.

I got average players,
and made them great,
I brought big heads down to size,
the press and public loved me,
but me the F.A. did despise.

I had McGovern, Nish, McFarland,
who no one could get by,
Alan Hinton, Archie Gemmill,
and the gallant Dave Mackay.

I was a fixture on the telly,
my comments were profound,
but I got into trouble one night,
for calling a Polish man a clown.

A short spell then at Brighton,
where I discovered Peter Ward,
but after a while down by the sea,
I started to get bored.

I insisted my teams play on the ground,
never use the old long pass,
if football was to be played up on the clouds,
wouldn’t you have put down grass?

I took over Leeds United,
from Mr Revie over there,
but only lasted Forty- Four days,
cos the players they didn’t care.

Then a call came from Notts Forest,
my services they beckoned,
and I took the reins of a team,
who were lowly in the Second.

Soon with brilliant management,
I had Forest on the rise,
and soon we were up in the First,
taking the big boys by surprise.

I brought in Peter Shilton,
Kenny Burns a solid rock,
and up front I had John O’Hare,
Birtles and Woodcock.

Archie Gemmill and John Robertson,
Ian Bowyer a bargain steal,
Frank Clark and Peter Withe,
and of course Martin O’Neill.

Untrendy Forest won the League,
and the Euro Cup as well,
it was in football management,
my most successful spell.

Another Euro Cup was added,
as for League Cups I lost count,
but alas with Peter Taylor,
tensions began to mount.

We had a major falling out,
and never spoke again,
it caused me guilty feelings,
and many years of pain.

I see him over there now,
plotting tactics with Saint Paul,
and showing young Jeff Astle,
how to head the ball.

I wouldn’t say I was the greatest,
but I was clearly the top one,
but without my old mate Taylor,
a lot wouldn’t have been done.

My young son Nigel made the grade,
which made me very proud,
and I signed Roy Keane and Stuart Pearce,
to please the Forest crowd.

I believed in tough man management,
I had a temper to avoid,
just ask Edward Sherringham,
or the cocky Larry Lloyd.

I never won the F.A Cup,
or possessed the England job,
mainly cos the suits in London,
didn’t like my gob.

I departed Forest in 93,
disillusioned with the game,
and life for me unfortunately,
would never be the same.

I did my share of drinking,
a new liver I acquired,
but for the last year of my life,
I’ve felt so weak and tired.

So now MY Lord to you I’ve come,
and laid my soul quite bear,

© John J O’Connor Sept 22 2004

Brian Clough 1935 – 2004 R.I.P

Brian Clough, by Peter Goulding

He could turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse,
He berated the fans for the way that they’d curse.
If you didn’t defer, he was tetchy and terse,
But you prospered in Cloughie’s regime.

As a footballing pundit, he was brash and outrageous.
His humour was dry and completely contagious.
His tactics were bold and uniquely courageous,
For he knew how to manage a team.

We were taken aback when he first burst upon us,
His sides had no superstars, no prima donnas,
But he moulded them well and achieved many honours,
Including the ultimate dream.

He could brandish the chequebook, but only when needed,
And budgets were rarely, if ever, exceeded,
His own fallibility was never conceded,
And he rose to the top like the cream.

Quotations are legion, the myths are updated,
The anecdotes told and the folklore related,
The thirst for the stories has not dissipated,
For he was the manager supreme.


“The Germans, Brian,” said Brian Moore,
“Have not been too inspiring.
It doesn’t seem they want to score,
And some of them are tiring.”

Cloughie didn’t say a word,
The silence was unbroken.
It seemed as though he hadn’t heard
The words that had been spoken.

“Brian?” said the anchorman,
As though he’d indigestion.
“Yes?” replied Clough, quite deadpan,
“You’ve not asked me a question.”


When Forest won at Wembley,
He took the Cup back home,
Placed it on the telly
And watched the game again
On “Match of the Day.”

Now that, I dare suggest,
Is class in the extreme.

What Cloughie would have done with this football poem

by Clik the mouse

Roared at it
Disparaged it
Cursed it
Cajoled it
Chided it
Cuffed it
Cuddled it
Kissed it
Talked it up
Cut it down to size
Torn it up
Binned it
Re-written it
Worked in the phrase ‘young man’
Then proclaimed it as the best poem ever

note :
on watching the documentary tribute to Brian Clough
last night on BBC, narrated by John Motson.

So many moving tributes to the main man.

I particularly loved the exchanges with Muhammed Ali.

Source: http://footballpoets.org/news/2004/09/20/brian-clough-obe-rip-football-poets-tributes/