Rivals unite in tribute to legend

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The Independent Online

Brian Clough once famously said he would run Peter Taylor over if ever he encountered him on the A52.

Brian Clough once famously said he would run Peter Taylor over if ever he encountered him on the A52.

The threat came in the months after their acrimonious split when Clough was living in Derby and working at Nottingham Forest, and Taylor was resident in Nottingham and employed at the Baseball Ground.

Now they are "Together Again", in the words of a caption amid the vast City Ground tribute display in Clough's honour, and that 16-mile stretch of tarmac is on the lips of the football populace once more.

Clubs divided by fierce rivalry but united by being led by the same man to by far the greatest years in their history have found common ground in grief.

"We should rename it Brian Clough Way," said Nick Sellors, from the Derby County fans' group, Rams Trust.

"He is best known for his involvement with us and our friends down the road and, although both sets of fans try to claim him for their own, he was a football god in the East Midlands. The road that links the cities is the way to remember him."

Across the divide, the Nottingham Forest Supporters Club chairman, Paul Ellis, said: "Renaming the A52 could be the best idea. It would be the perfect link between the clubs."

At rest, Clough is as popular with one Forest supporter as at work or leisure.

Marcus Alton, from Bingham, had been busy campaigning for a knighthood for the man who took a League title, two European Cups and sundry lesser honours to the City Ground.

He has collected more than 5,000 signatures for a petition, and said: "I'm still going to present it to Downing Street because it shows the affection Brian Clough is held in.

"I'm not sure whether anyone can be knighted when they are dead but, if not, it's time things changed."

The mourning will be followed by a celebration of the Clough years at Sunday's League game at home to West Ham United. The occasion has been designated a green jumper day.

Clough's former Forest stars will parade the major trophies won in his era and one, John McGovern, said: "No one should be surprised by the public reaction because that's how big a guy Brian was. People here want to pay their respects."

A city centre statue and, more fancifully, the Brian Clough Airport are other mooted tributes but this man of the people would prefer to be remembered by the people in more down-to-earth ways.

"I must have his signature a hundred times, the last time from only a month ago," said Claude Foster, 71, from West Bridgeford. "I saw him in the street and asked if he could wait 10 minutes while I nipped home to fetch his latest book. He said Barbara wouldn't want him home, so, yes.

"That's how I'll remember him; as a gentleman as well as a magnificent manager."

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