The world according to B. Clough OBE

Old Big 'Ead was a legend in the world of football, and beyond. He had opinions about everything. All you had to do was ask...
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The Independent Football

On Brian Clough

On Brian Clough

"The river Trent is lovely, I know because I have walked on it for 18 years"

"I wouldn't say I was the best manager in the business, but I was in the top one"

"Walk on water? I know most people will be saying that instead of walking on it I should have taken more of it with my drinks. They are absolutely right"

"Don't send me flowers when I'm dead. If you like me, send them while I'm alive"

"I want no epitaphs of profound history and all that type of thing. I contributed - I would hope they would say that, and I would hope somebody liked me"

"I'm sure the England selectors [including Alf Ramsey] thought if they took me on and gave me the [manager's] job, I'd want to run the show. They were shrewd, because that's exactly what I would have done"

"I have been big headed. I think most people are when they get in the limelight. I call myself Big Head to remind myself not to be"

On Posh and Becks

"Beckham? His wife can't sing and his barber can't cut hair"

"He should guide Posh in the direction of a singing coach because she's nowhere near as good at her job as her husband"

On Roy Keane

"I only ever hit Roy the once. He got up so I couldn't have hit him very hard"

"They say Al Capone did some good things in his life. Trouble was, he would go out in the streets and shoot people. Keane is becoming United's Al Capone"

"I get sick and tired of hearing how much running Keane does. He has had more than enough rest through suspensions alone. He's had more holidays than Judith Chalmers"

On Martin O'Neill (then manager of Leicester City)

"Anybody who can do anything in Leicester but make a jumper has got to be a genius"

On whether O'Neill is a better manager than him...

No, that's being ridiculous

On Sven Goran Eriksson

"At last England have appointed a manager who speaks English better than the players"

"I've been off the booze for more than six months now - doctor's orders. If I ever go back to the bottle, Eriksson will get the blame"

On England's exit from Euro 2000

"Players lose you games, not tactics. There's so much crap talked about tactics by people who barely know how to win at dominoes"

On foreigners

"I can't even spell spaghetti, never mind talk Italian. How could I tell an Italian to get the ball? He might grab mine"

On Arsene Wenger's Arsenal

"They caress a football the way I dreamt of caressing Marilyn Monroe"

"That Seaman is a handsome young man, but he spends too much time looking in his mirror, rather than at the ball. You can't keep goal with hair like that"

"I'm loath to confess they could be as good as us [Forest]. They are brilliant. It sticks in the craw a little bit, because nobody likes Arsenal"

"I bet their dressing room will smell of garlic, rather than liniment over the next few months"

On Manchester United

On Eric Cantona's kung-fu kick at a fan in 1995

"I'd have cut his balls off"

On opting-out of the FA Cup to play in South America

"Manchester United in Brazil? I hope they all get bloody diarrhoea"

On Sir Alex Ferguson's failure to win two successive European Cups

"For all his horses, knighthoods and championships, he hasn't got two of what I've got. And I don't mean balls!"

On a streaker's interruption

"The Derby players have seen more of his balls than the one they're meant to be playing with"

On David Platt's first season as Forest manager in 2000

"He's learnt more about football management than he ever imagined. Some people think you can take football boots off and put a suit on. You can't do that"

On passing to feet

"If God had wanted us to play football in the clouds, he'd have put grass up there"

On motivation

"I gave my players a version of the same message at ten-to-three every Saturday: 'I would shoot my granny right now for three points this afternoon.' They knew how important it was to give everything in the cause of victory. Every time. That's why my granny enjoyed more lives than my cat"

On his players

On his youthful Nottingham Forest team

"Acne is a bigger problem than injuries"

"The ugliest player I ever signed was Kenny Burns"

Advice to players

To John McGovern at Hartlepool

"Stand up straight, get your shoulders back and get your hair cut"

To Trevor Francis when receiving an award

"Take your hands out of your pockets"

On players' problems

"We talk about it for twenty minutes and then we decide I was right"

On too much football on TV

"You don't want roast beef and Yorkshire every night and twice on Sunday"

On who nominated him for a knighthood

"I thought it was my next door neighbour, because I think she felt that if I got something like that, I'd have to move"

On moving house

"Barbara's supervising the move. She's having more extensions built than Heathrow airport"

On women's football

"I like my women to be feminine, not sliding into tackles and covered in mud"

On club chairmen

"Football hooligans - well, there are 92 club chairmen for a start"

On his drink problem

"[Goalkeeper Fabien] Barthez looks at times as if he's had more red wine than I ever managed to drink"

"I'm dealing with my drinking problem and I have a reputation for getting things done"