Clough's War, by Don Shaw

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The Independent Culture

In the past couple of years we have had David Peace's 'The Damned Utd' and Duncan Hamilton's 'Provided You Don't Kiss Me', and in a way this book completes a Brian Clough trilogy.

The first two deal – in very different ways – with the mercurial manager's time at Leeds and Nottingham Forest respectively; Shaw concentrates on the six years at Derby County. He is avowedly partisan, as a family friend who led the protest movement after Clough's controversial departure from Derby, but he isn't blind to Clough's faults, observing acutely that his pride was as much a source of weakness as of strength.

An award-winning scriptwriter, Shaw dramatises the increasingly bitter confrontations between Clough and Sam Longson, Derby's dour chairman, very well – an account of secret meetings, complete with passwords, reads like a John le Carré novel. Clough bitterly regretted leaving Derby, and though the road linking the city to Nottingham was renamed Brian Clough Way, he never wanted to make the journey in the first place.

Published in hardback by Ebury Press, £16.99