Brian Howard Clough, OBE (/ˈklʌf/ KLUF; 21 March 1935 – 20 September 2004) was an English football player and manager.
As a striker Clough was a prolific goalscorer with Middlesbrough and Sunderland, scoring 251 league goals from 274 starts, making him the 3rd most prolific player in the league with a conversion rate of 91.61%. 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 four 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) and reached the FA Cup final in 1991, 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.
In January 2017, Clough was named among the 10 greatest coaches since the foundation of UEFA in 1954.Close