Vital Football

Latest Nottingham Forest News

New 'Cloughie' Book

New 'Cloughie' Book

'Just picture it: Brian Clough, deep into a forest in Sweden, is punching the bark of a tree. Punching it hard, too.'

Clough was a controversial character

It conjures up a strange mental image, but perhaps not so odd when you are talking about one of the most colourful characters in English football history.

Since Clough's death in September 2004, a smattering of books have been published covering various aspects of his illustrious career.

Duncan Hamilton's 'Provided You Don't Kiss Me: 20 Years With Brian Clough' is the latest and almost certainly not the last.

Hamilton was in a privileged position during Clough's time at Nottingham Forest, first as an agency reporter and then as a writer for the Nottingham Evening Post.

'I dread to think how many hours of my life I spent sitting in that corridor outside his office waiting for the nod to go in,' Hamilton told BBC Sport.

It is the sheer volume of hours spent in Clough's company that gives Hamilton the opportunity to offer such a rare insight into the legendary manager's life.

But he says he did not write the book so that it could be published.

'I watched the play someone wrote about him and then saw him on television and I complained to my girlfriend that no-one had done Clough in the way that I knew him,' says Hamilton.

'She said 'why don't you go and write a book yourself, then?' So I tried to get down a few pages and it went from there.

'It took me 12 weeks to do the first draft and I didn't have a publisher until I'd written all but one of the chapters.

I will always remember the time Brian stole a car at Luton

Duncan Hamilton

'To be honest, I wasn't that bothered about it. I just wanted to write it for my daughter to give her an insight into a massive part of my life.'

What a part of his life it was, too.

From the meteoric, never-to-be-repeated rise from Division Two drifters to double European Champions to the alcohol-fuelled misery of resignation and relegation, Hamilton had a front row seat for it all.

'I was very, very lucky, I know that,' he explains. 'At the precise moment I arrived in journalism, Clough arrived at Forest and the rest is history.

'I'm sure some people will read this book and say I haven't got it all right, but there is no definitive view of any one person.

'You can only tell the story how you saw it - someone else will probably come along and do it completely differently.

'There is a whole chapter on alcoholism but there is no mention of the bungs he is supposed to have taken.

'All I could do was portray him as I saw him and repeat the things I saw - I had no knowledge of the bungs whatsoever.'

So what does Hamilton believe were the main regrets of Clough's time at Forest?

Clough's split with Taylor (left) deeply affected the Forest boss

'One of the fundamental turning points later on in his life was the death of his former assistant Peter Taylor,' he added.

'Clough and Taylor fell out when Taylor was manager of Derby and until then they had been so close.

'When Peter died suddenly in 1990, I think that accelerated Brian's drinking because he regretted that they hadn't sat down and sorted it out.

'He wasn't the same for a long while after that. It bit very, very deep.'

Of course any book about Clough is sure to be filled with the kind of weird and wonderful stories that made him such a unique, larger-than-life character.

But what was the prolific former Sunderland and Middlesbrough striker doing in a forest in Sweden throwing punches at a tree?

'It was on a pre-season tour and, as he told us all later, it was what's known as a 'Punch Tree',' said Hamilton.

Brian Clough was a man who transcended sport, an absolute genius

Duncan Hamilton

'It's a Coastal Redwood and it has got a soft bark, so he was giving it everything. It looked pretty odd from 50 yards away though, I can tell you.'

Another such incident on the opening day of the 1985-86 season has stuck firmly in Hamilton's mind.

'I will always remember the time he stole a car at Luton,' says Hamilton matter-of-factly.

'After the game they all got back to the team coach to discover a car was blocking their way out. He decided to move it himself and left it some way from the ground.

'The bus had barely started moving when he turned to his assistant Ron Fenton and said 'Ron, I've just nicked a car, I may be in some trouble'.

'So he did the whole thing in reverse, walked to where he had left the car and drove it back to the car park.

'It was Stuart Pearce's first game for Forest - I swear I could see his eyes going round and round thinking 'what on earth have I got myself into'!'

On reflection, Hamilton has no doubts whatsoever that he was blessed to work with one of the greats.

'Brian Clough was a man who transcended sport, an absolute genius.

'People knew all about him even if they weren't interested in football.

'As well as giving us some fantastically magical moments, you couldn't help but be hooked every time he spoke or wrote something.

'There was no-one like him before and there never will be again.'

To win a copy of Duncan Hamilton's 'Provided You Don't Kiss Me: 20 Years With Brian Clough' please Click Here


Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Date:Thursday May 3 2007
Time: 1:26PM


God certainly did move in mysterious ways thats for sure. Sounds like a good read anyway.
03/05/2007 14:18:00
Johnny Kipper
05/05/2007 10:21:00
Whoops I think i'll get a copy, should bring back some great memories
Johnny Kipper
05/05/2007 10:23:00
Page 1/1
  1. 1

Login to post a comment

Recent Nottingham Forest Articles

Stats: Nottingham Forest v Cardiff

All the stats from Nottingham Forest (1) vs (2) Cardiff, City Ground, 22/10/16 Att: 16,539

Forest v Cardiff; Vital's Match Preview

Philippe Montanier`s Forest welcome the Sky TV cameras and Neil Warnock`s Cardiff City Trentside for this afternoon`s Championship clash.

Vital Pre-Match - Championship, 21st-22nd October

The 2016-17 season continues with the latest round of matches this weekend, which will see us among those having a match in this upcoming schedule with three-points the aim of course.

Match Day Officials v Cardiff (22/10/16)

The Football League have now announced the Match Day officials that will take charge of the game against Cardiff City this Saturday.

Archived Vital Forest Articles

Vital Forest articles from

Site Journalists

Kev Finnegan
no email
Our Kids Dad
Editor email
Those Feet
no email
no email
no email
no email
no email

Current Poll (see more polls)

Cardiff MotM
Suggested By: Site Staff
Sub - Assombalonga0%
Sub - Grant0%

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Newcastle 14 10 1 3 31 19
2 Brighton 14 8 4 2 28 9
3 Huddersfield 14 9 1 4 28 4
4 Norwich 14 8 3 3 27 7
5 Sheff Wed 14 7 3 4 24 1
6 Bristol City 14 7 2 5 23 6
7 Birmingham 14 6 5 3 23 3
8 Reading 14 6 4 4 22 -3
9 Preston 14 6 2 6 20 1
10 Leeds Utd 14 6 2 6 20 -1
11 Brentford 14 5 4 5 19 5
12 Barnsley 14 6 1 7 19 3
13 Q.P.R. 14 5 4 5 19 -3
14 Fulham 14 4 6 4 18 -2
15 Burton 14 4 5 5 17 0
16 Aston Villa 14 3 8 3 17 0
17 Ipswich 14 4 5 5 17 -2
18 Wolves 14 4 4 6 16 -1
19 Forest 14 4 3 7 15 -3
20 Cardiff 14 4 3 7 15 -9
21 Derby County 14 3 5 6 14 -4
22 Blackburn 14 3 3 8 12 -8
23 Wigan 14 2 5 7 11 -3
24 Rotherham 14 1 3 10 6 -19
Write for Vital Football
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News
The Vital Football Members League

Recent Nottingham Forest Results (view all)

Nottingham Forest Fixtures (view all)

Oct 29 2016 3:00PM : Reading (a)
Sky Bet Championship
Nov 5 2016 3:00PM : Queens Park Rangers (H)
Sky Bet Championship
Nov 19 2016 5:30PM : Ipswich Town (a)
Sky Bet Championship
Nov 25 2016 7:45PM : Barnsley (a)
Sky Bet Championship
Dec 2 2016 7:45PM : Newcastle United (H)
Sky Bet Championship
Dec 11 2016 12:00PM : Derby County (a)
Sky Bet Championship

Vital Members League Table

1.Jimmy Gordon411
5.Calvin Plummer215
6.da fuq194
8.the jock144
Vital Football Comment