Clough family 'was consulted' for film

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The Independent Culture

The makers of a film about legendary football manager Brian Clough have said they did their best to involve his family in the production.

Clough's family have boycotted The Damned United and previously spoken against the David Peace novel on which it is based.

Director Tom Hooper insisted the film was a balanced portrait of the manager and said Clough's family had been invited to read the script and watch early versions of the film.

The film depicts Clough's ill-fated stint in charge of Leeds United, which ended after just 44 days.

Hooper said he took the family's views very seriously.

"We tried to make the film as balanced as possible," he said. "I would like them (Clough's family) to see it one day and if they do I hope they realise that we are very fond of Brian Clough."

Hooper said he and producer Peter Morgan were keen to portray Clough in a more positive light than the book. "I felt it very important to make sure Clough's wit was there and that we captured the side of Clough that many people are so affectionate about."

Michael Sheen, who plays Clough, said that having the chance to recreate some of Clough's witty and outrageous outbursts had been an exhilarating experience.

He said he understood the late manager's family's concerns about the film. "If they come and see the film they will see it's an affectionate portrayal of the man."

The premiere of the film on Wednesday night in London's Leicester Square was attended by the film's cast and celebrities.