Brian Cloughstro, the original leader of the notorious Red state Nottingham Forest, has died. Twelve years ago. A charismatic personality, he ruled Forest with a rod of iron, saying it was his way or the Brian Clough Way, the A52 between Nottingham and Derby. He scored remarkable successes at ordinary provincial island teams, winning the European Cup twice and causing America to cack itself when he introduced Russian missiles to Derby’s Baseball Ground in 1972.
Cloughstro, who loved cigars, was for some, the last of the tracksuit dictators. However, his pithy day-long speeches, packed with witty aphorisms such as “It only takes a second to score increased grain production”, “Telling a left-winger such as Che Guevara to get his hair cut counts as coaching” and “I wouldn’t say I was the best Communist Commander in the world, but I am in the top one”, ‘Cloughstroie’ always provided great copy. But behind the chirpy image lurked a sharp football brain which usually managed to remain one step ahead of rivals such as Richard Milhouse Revie of Leaders United.
The world will never see his like again. Apart from Mourinoughie, Fergie and Putinie.