The Tears of a Clown

Now if there's a smile upon my face…

The Damned United

I finally got to a screening of the long-awaited The Damned United at the excellent Broadway Cinema in Nottingham last evening. After reading the recent good reviews of the movie I was not disappointed with this 1hour and 38 minutes of pure 1970s’ football nostalgia.

As a resident of Nottingham and a football fan who lived in Nottingham through Brian Clough’s long reign at Nottingham Forest’s City Ground, I was interested to see how much the partly fictional film measured up to my perceptions of Brian Clough and his partner, Peter Taylor, not to mention the various football luminaries of the era that I remember so well.


It has been said that Brian’s widow, Barbara and family were unhappy about the way the great football manager was portrayed in the original book and without having read the book, that is fairly lamentable I feel. It’s an issue with which I have some sympathy. Recently Brian’s family stated that they were consulted prior to the making of the movie however and I hope that they were happier with this portrayal of both the man and the era. Certainly I found Brian’s character, although young and brash as he undoubtedly was, difficult not to like. It seemed essentially a lot like the man I recall from that time, though doubtless there were inaccuracies, as in any re-telling of a story. This informative interpretation, reflecting on Clough’s 44-day stay at Leeds United before his ignominious sacking should perhaps not be viewed in isolation in that way.

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April 9, 2009 Posted by | Ripping Yarns | , , , , | 2 Comments


I’ve written a few words on the subject of Brian Clough on occasion and I’ll make little excuse for doing so again here. Last evening, ITV showed the documentary ‘Clough’ at 10.35pm and I looked to the TV schedules without too much hope of witnessing a new angle about the man.

The documentary was ostensibly about the new movie based on the best-selling book by David Peace, The Damned United, a part-fictional work on Clough’s infamous 44-day reign as manager of Leeds United in the 1970s’.


It was well-publicised at the time of the book’s release that members of Brian Clough’s family were unhappy about the ‘fictional’ report of his short stay at Elland Road over three decades ago. His widow, Barbara received a forum in this documentary to voice her own great disappointment at the way her late husband had been depicted, as did Brian’s son, former Forest and Liverpool player and now Derby County manager, Nigel Clough.

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March 26, 2009 Posted by | Sporting Tales | , , , , | 2 Comments