Tag Archives: brian clough

Brian Clough lays down the law

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Taken from the Brighton & Hove Albion Supporters Club Handbook 1974/75, Clough’s swaggering words leap off the page:

If I’ve turned Brighton upside-down and inside-out since my arrival from Derby County I don’t apologise.

This club needed a clean sweep and I’ve never been one for wasting valuable time. The work has always been hard, often frustrating but I can, at last, see the light.

I returned from Majorca with the team recently and began to wonder if the full realisation of what I have done here has reached the supporters.

We played one game on that beautiful island and won 8-2.

The score didn’t matter one iota. BUT WE HAD 10 NEW PLAYERS REPRESENTING BRIGHTON ON THAT PITCH. Two had never met their team mates before!

If there’s ever been a new start made in the history of football, then we have made it here at Brighton!

Certain players were not happy to be shown the door at the Goldstone Ground, but Peter Taylor and myself wanted, nay, demanded, new talent and new determination for our big push towards the Second Division.

We think we have reorganised well and are fully aware of the fact that we’ve left ourselves with 16 players.

Don’t be afraid of the drastic measures we have taken. We know what we are doing and we have a fair record at the bottom and top levels in this game of football.

Peter has already told you that we are men of action. Accordingly, we place ourselves at the mercy of the public because we are completely open to everybody’s judgement. We hide no secrets, we make no excuses – we believe our way is the healthy way.

It was Liverpool manager Bill Shankly who said at his team’s FA Cup banquet in London that too many clubs set out for survival rather than victory. I hope he doesn’t list Brighton among the survivors.

I promise that we will have a big, big, go to bring you entertainment and results in the same, successful package deal.

It wouldn’t be fair to ignore the fact I made trips abroad, during the season just passed and came under heavy fire from certain quarters.

I would ask you to bear this in mind… first of all my chairman, Mr Michael Bamber, was aware of all my movements, and secondly, I needed those breaks.

Leaving Derby County, a team we had built so well and so carefully, obviously led to personal difficulties.

I found much-needed comfort and Brighton benefited, too, from my travels. I’m sure my employers understood the turmoils I was facing at the time.

Now, we are looking forward to a great start from a new team. Exciting days, we are convinced, are coming to Brighton.

We will, I promise, give you plenty to shout about and we do look forward to your support.

Reading this, it’s the first and only time I’ve heard Clough justify his mid-season excursions, such as missing the away game at Cambridge in January 1974 to fly to New York to watch the Muhammad Ali boxing match with Joe Frazier. During his nine month spell as Brighton manager, he had also returned to Derby to campaign for Phillip Whitehead, the Labour candidate for Derby North. To cap it all, while Brighton were in the middle of a relegation battle, Brian Clough also travelled to Iran as a guest of the Shah with a view to taking over as manager the national side.

It was hard to escape the impression that Clough lacked commitment to his position at Brighton. Such an unsatisfying perception rang true when the Leeds United vacancy became available. Here is Brian Clough arriving at Heathrow Airport after cutting short his stay in Majorca to open talks with Leeds chairman Manny Cousins:

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By the time the Supporters’ Club Handbook had left the printers, and Brighton fans got to read Brian Clough’s rhetoric about ‘looking forward to a great start from a new team’, the manager was already gone.

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Meet the Girl Behind the Man: Lesley Beamish

From Goal Magazine on 4 August 1973:

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The wife of Brighton star Ken Beamish has a wide variety of hobbies – needlework, dressmaking, tennis, travelling abroad and watching her husband’s team. Lesley and Ken – and youngster Kirstie – live at Saltdean, Sussex.

What an absolute beauty, showing the elegance, style and warmth that undoubtedly appealed to our goalscoring hero. I am, of course, referring to Ken Beamish’s magnificent tank top!

Beamish had joined Brighton from Tranmere in March 1972. As he told Backpass Magazine (issue 18):

“Pat Saward was the Brighton manager who took me down there and the fee was £30,000 [actually £25,000] plus a player, whose name now escapes me [Alan Duffy]. Brighton were very much on the up and the south coast had great appeal. When you add in the fact that I was also doubling my wages, then it made for a very exciting move for me.”

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Beamish quickly found his feet at the Goldstone. Above, he shoots for goal against Aston Villa in the crunch match of the promotion race in March 1972. He totalled six goals in twelve starts for the Albion in 1971/72 and was then joint top scorer with nine goals when Albion’s brief flirtation with the Second Division ended cataclysmically.

In the season that followed the Goal Magazine feature, 1973/74, Saward was sacked in October as Brighton faced falling attendances amid the prospect of a second successive relegation. Enter Brian Clough:

“I recall the first time I met Brian quite clearly. We were staying in a hotel in Lewes ahead of his first game and we had been told to expect the new manager to join us for dinner. We all trooped down to the dining room and finished the meal, but no sign of Cloughie. We were wondering whether he would show up and he suddenly appeared at the top end of the table and asked everyone what they wanted to drink. The first couple of guys said half-a-lager and I joined with the same order. I had never had alcohol from Wednesday onwards during the season.

“By the time the round had been completed I think we all had half-a-lager except for one lad who ordered a coke. I don’t know to this day what Brian made of us – the South Coast drinking gang or what – but he let it pass without comment.

“His managerial methods were unconventional. We trained down at Sussex University playing fields and sometimes he would have us there at 5pm, even in mid-winter when it was getting very dark. He only really joined in on us on Thursdays and Fridays and was a little distant.

“I was never quite sure what he made of me, but I certainly got the message at the end of my third season. I had finished top scorer and was looking forward to a team trip to Spain. The flip flops were out and ready to be packed up when the travelling party was announced my name wasn’t on it. To say I was surprised would not do justice to how I felt. I was gutted – and confused.

“I don’t think Cloughie spoke to me again and the local media down there was full of speculation that I would be leaving. I got most of my information from a next-door neighbour who was forever coming up to me to say what he had read about me in the local paper or heard on the radio.”

It was a sad end for Beamish, who had hit twelve League goals and had done so much to prevent Brighton falling into the Fourth Division. Indeed, it was the striker’s double at Southend in the 2-0 win in April 1974 that saw the Albion home and dry to fight another campaign in Division Three. As hotshot Fred Binney arrived at the Goldstone Ground, Beamish was sold to Blackburn Rovers for £26,000, becoming a favourite at Ewood Park after his two-and-a-half year stint as an Albion striker, and Saltdean resident, was up.

For more in the series visit:
Meet the girl Behind the Man: Rita Irvine

Thanks to Ian Hine from Seagulls Programmes and to Goals and Wickets for tipping me off about this very 1970s magazine feature.

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Psycho’s brother bother

Here’s the back of the programme for the first leg of the Brighton’s cup tie against Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest in the Littlewoods Cup in 1986.

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Take a glance at the name of the linesman with the red and yellow flag, R.D. Pearce. Surely just a coincidence that he has the same surname as Forest’s left back? Or is it?!

Writing in ‘Psycho,’ his autobiography, Stuart Pearce explains how his brother Ray took up football officiating, eventually finding his way to running the line at the Goldstone Ground:

He progressed through non-league into the Football League and ran the line in top matches. The big age difference between us meant that when he was asked the usual questions about whether he had any relatives in the game he answered quite truthfully that he had not.

I’m not sure that makes complete sense, unless Ray Pearce was only ever asked the question only once, before Stuart became a pro…

Anyway, the punk-lovin’, tough tacklin’ Pearce continues:

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A trivia question that would flummox even the most knowledgeable football fan is when did two brothers take part in the same game with one playing and one officiating? It happened to us when he ran the line in a Nottingham Forest League Cup tie at Brighton. He disallowed a goal for Brighton! I had no fears, however, about his honesty. He would err on the side of Brighton rather than favour me.

No one knew, apart from the Forest team. It was funny running up the wing and having my brother alongside me on the touchline. He could have booked me because I kept taking the mickey out of him – ‘Oi, you ginger dickhead,’ is one thing I remember calling him. Perhaps it is a good thing that he never became a League referee because it would have come out eventually that he was my brother.

Is it too late to demand a replay?

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Clough’s bargains boost Brighton

An interesting article from Shoot! in 1974, with some striking cyan and black design work:

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Since leaving Derby in November, Brian and his right-hand man Peter Taylor have not enjoyed an overnight success. In fact, they couldn’t have feared a more frightening start in the opening games. A humiliating 4-0 FA Cup defeat at home by amateurs Walton and Hersham was followed three days later by an even more shattering 8-2 home trouncing from Bristol Rovers in the League.

But gradually results picked up, and Clough and Taylor achieved their first aim – to clear away any relegation clods hanging over the club.

“Peter Taylor and I are determined to do well at Brighton, says Clough. “There is plenty of scope and potential here and we can see no reason why this club can’t go places.”

Certainly the club has crowd potential, which brings in useful revenue. Brighton & Hove’s population is even larger than Derby’s.

“We know our resources and we have to spend accordingly,” says Taylor. “I go mainly for youngsters. If they can play a bit they are bound to get better as they build up experience.”

Apart from those early defeats, Clough has been in the limelight for other matters. He stopped his trainer treating players with minor knocks on the field and also gagged his men from giving Press interviews.

But he has not always had things his own way. In April the Football League refused him permission to sign a replacement goalkeeper after the transfer deadly, although both Peter Grummitt and Brian Powney were injured.

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Brian Clough: You Can’t Win ‘Em All

A fitting time to share this gem of a pop record, after Brighton’s painful 0-2 Play-Off Semi-Final home defeat against Crystal Palace yesterday.

This track (file under ‘philosophical football’), where Brian Clough made an astounding guest appearance, was by JJ Barrie, the Canadian singer and songwriter, most famous for his cover of ‘No Charge’ which was number one in the UK in June 1976. How he ended up recording a song with the then Nottingham Forest manager is a mystery to me although I have heard suggestions that Barrie was a fan of the City Ground side.

For your reference, the improbable fantasy commentary is:

“Neeskens is going down the wing. He’s crossed to Beckenbauer and he heads down to Keegan. A one-two with Dalglish. He takes on two defenders. Brady takes over. He lobs to Cruyff. He’s in the 30 yard box with a short pass to Pele. He shoots. It’s in! What a goal – ONE – NOTHING! In the final twenty seconds. It’s just as Peter Taylor predicted!”

A very nice touch to namecheck assistant boss Peter Taylor in there. Apart from the FA Cup, the management double-act pretty much did win ’em all: League Championship, League Cup, Charity Shield, European Cup and European Super Cup. Unlike at Forest and Derby, I think the track is far more relevant to Clough and Taylor’s brief time at Brighton together, where results were often mediocre, or even dire such as Albion losing 4-0 at home in the FA Cup to Walton & Hersham (which Clough wittily said sounded more like a branch of solicitors than a football club!) in November 1973 and then getting trounced 8-2 by Bristol Rovers at the Goldstone Ground three days later.

Here the two men are in an unhappy mood, with Brighton chairman Mike Bamber in between. As the song suggests, defeat is no more than ‘a toss of a coin, the luck of the draw’ although when the stakes are high, it doesn’t often feel this way.

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With Clough By Taylor: The Peter Ward Story

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Fascinating extract from this book by Peter Taylor first published in 1980:

I wish Peter Ward had signed for us earlier. I saw Ward slotting straight into Woodcock’s position, with Trevor Francis striking from midfield; everything about the deal looked right, yet everything went wrong.

I had signed Ward for Brighton from Burton Albion – a deal that came about through appointing Ken Gutteridge, Burton’s manager, as a coach at Brighton. He told me, ‘I’ve two or three players at Burton who are good enough for the Third Division. They are Ward, Corrigan and Pollard. Clubs have looked but turned them down. Now will you have a look?’ I sent my assistant manager Brian Daykin, who watched them in an away match and gave the thumbs down. Gutteridge, though, persisted and said, ‘You must rate me to have fetched me all the way from Burton to Brighton so at least give me the satisfaction of seeing these three for yourself.’

There was no answer to that, so I went to Burton and watched them in the second leg of the FA Trophy semi-final against Buxton, whose centre-half was Peter Swan, the old England player. Swan gave Ward a hard time and Burton lost, but I still thought, ‘Yes, he’ll do.’ Burton played at Maidstone four days later and I took Brian Daykin with me. He’d seen Ward once and voted no; I’d seen him once and voted yes, so it seemed a good idea to watch him together. The pitch was bad; Burton, who had turned up with a scratch side, were bad; and Ward was bad – yet he still showed a few class touches, enough to make him worth a £4,000 gamble.

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Ward has scored a hat-trick for England Under-21s and had a place in the full England squad but I don’t think he’ll realise his full potential because of inconsistency. Yet I like him. He is very good with his back to goal because he can turn and lick defenders and finish. That’s a rare quality – sticking it in the net.

I thought he would be good value for Forest at £300,000, the price I agreed with Brighton chairman Mike Bamber on the night before leaving for a European Cup tie in Romania. The signing was arranged for the day after our return but, shortly after landing, I heard a story that Derby were hoping to exchange Gerry Daly, their Irish midfield player, for Ward. Efforts to contact Alan Mullery, Brighton’s manager, were unsuccessful, which made me suspicious. Then Brian, for the first time in our partnership, doubted my judgement and asked, ‘Are you right about Ward?’

I felt floored and insulted. ‘Right?’ I shouted. ”I’ve got every detail about him except his fingerprints. I’ve bought him once; I’ve played him. He’s tried and tested. I know him as well as I know you’ – and with that, I left the ground. Brian, on seeing my conviction and eagerness to complete the deal, then got in touch himself with Mullery and Bamber but found them no longer anxious to sell, because Ward was returning to form. He played at Forest in November and gave a dazzling display in Brighton’s 1-0 win. This was our first home defeat in the League for fifty-one consecutive matches, stretching back to April 1977. Mullery said afterwards, ‘You couldn’t have him for £600,000.’

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Up the Dolphins with Brian Clough’s Aces!

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A quite marvellous piece of Albion tat from the club shop during the 1973/74 season – and the first piece of Brighton merchandise I’ve seen that mentions Brian Clough’s name. The hand graphic features the slogan ‘Up The Dolphins.’

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