Sir: So, Brian Clough has decided to call it a day. I thought he'd thrown the towel in years ago. On cue come the thousands of words praising his managerial 'genius'; the man, we are told, is/was a 'one-off', a maverick; with his retirement comes the end of an era. Clough was on the ball enough to realise the media love nothing more than a lovable rogue. Add a pinch of (predictable) unpredictability, an easily mimicked voice, one old, green sweatshirt and just wait for the TV and pressmen to beat a path to your door. Clough the eccentric non-sufferer of fools was carefully created by Clough the shrewd businessman.
Clough's managerial golf bag carried just one club. Fear. If a player was big and confident enough to want to be actually treated as an adult, and not a wet-behind-the-ears puppy, then he was on his way. Kids, and men who hadn't made it elsewhere, were prepared to put up with it. He may be gone, but he won't be forgotten. He and his publicity machine will see to that.
Yours with a firm handshake,