Brian Clough Quote
When you get to a certain age, there is no coming back.
There is no absurdity so palpable but that it may be firmly planted in the human head if you only begin to inculcate it before the age of five, by constantly repeating it with an air of great solemnit...
During his playing career with Middlesbrough and Sunderland, Clough scored 251 league goals from 274 starts, making him the third most prolific scorer in the league. Before retiring from playing at the age of 29, after sustaining anterior cruciate ligament damage, he won two England caps, both in 1959.
In 1965, he took the manager's job at Fourth Division Hartlepools United and appointed Peter Taylor as his assistant, the start of an enduring partnership that would bring them success at several clubs over the next two decades. In 1967 the duo moved on to Second Division Derby County who, in 1968–69, were promoted as Second Division champions and, three years later, crowned champions of England for the first time in the club's history. In 1973, they reached the semi-finals of the European Cup. However, by this point, Clough's relationship with chairman Sam Longson had deteriorated; he and Taylor resigned.
An eight-month spell in charge of Third Division Brighton & Hove Albion followed, before Clough (without Taylor) returned north in the summer of 1974 to become manager of Leeds United. This was widely regarded as a surprise appointment, given his previous outspoken criticism of the Leeds players and their manager Don Revie. He was sacked after just 44 days in the job but, within months, he had joined Second Division Nottingham Forest where he was re-united with Taylor in the summer of 1976.
In 1977, Forest were promoted to the top flight and the following season won the league title (the first in the club's history), making Clough one of only four managers to have won the English league with two clubs. Forest also won two consecutive European Cups (in 1979 and 1980) and two League Cups (1978 and 1979), before Taylor retired in 1982. Clough stayed on as Forest manager for another decade and won two more League Cups (1989 and 1990) and reached the FA Cup final in 1991, but could not emulate his earlier successes. Forest were relegated from the Premier League in 1993, after which Clough retired from football.
Charismatic, outspoken and often controversial, Clough is considered one of the greatest managers of the English game. His achievements with Derby and Forest, two struggling clubs in the English regions with little prior history of success, are rated among the greatest in football history. His teams were also noted for playing attractive football and for their good sportsmanship. Despite applying several times and being a popular choice for the job, he was never appointed England manager and has been dubbed the "greatest manager England never had".