Brian Clough Quotes

A look at some of the best Brian Clough quotes.

“I wouldn’t say I was the best manager in the business. But I was in the top one.” —Clough 2002.

“Age does not count. It’s what you know about football that matters. I know I am better than the 500 or so managers who have been sacked since the war. If they had known anything about the game they wouldn’t have lost their jobs.” — Clough after taking his first managerial post with Hartlepool, 1965.

“Success? Tell me the date when my obituary is going to appear and I’ll tell you whether I’ve been a success or not. If I get to 60 I shall have done pretty well.” — Clough as Brighton manager, 1973.

“Outside the family life, there is nothing better than winning the European Cups.” — Clough as Nottingham Forest manager, 1980.

“Do you know, Sinatra once met me.” — Clough to a colleague at Nottingham Forest, 1983.

“Resignations are for prime ministers and those caught with their trousers down, not for me.” — Clough after withdrawing his threat to quit Nottingham Forest, 1988.

“If the BBC ran a Crap Decision of the Month competition on Match of the Day, I’d walk it.” — Clough as Nottingham Forest headed for relegation, 1993.

“They didn’t want an England manager who was prepared to call the Italians cheating bastards. They failed to understand that I would have curbed my language and reveled in the relief from the day-to-day grind of club management.” — Clough, 1995.

“I’m ill-tempered, rude and wondering what’s for tea, same as ever.” — Clough on what he was like at 4.45pm on Saturdays after his retirement, 1994.

“We’d talk for 20 minutes, then decide I was right.” — Clough on how he handled disputes with players, 2002.

“One day my grandson turned to me and said: ‘You’re not having a drink, granddad, are you? I knew something had to be done. Sometimes when I went to bed, instead of counting sheep, I’d count the drinks I’d had. If I’d had six, I’d call it five. I’d kid myself about the numbers, like all drinkers do.” — Clough admits to drinking problems, 2003.

“I know that most people will say that instead of walking on water I should have taken more of it with my drinks. They are absolutely right.” — Clough, 2003.

“Don’t send me flowers when I’m dead. If you like me, send them while I’m alive.” — Clough, 2003.

“To put everybody’s mind at rest, I’d like to stress that they didn’t give me George Best’s old liver.” — Clough after a transplant helped save his life, 2003.

“I never thought my body would reject my new liver. Reject – that’s a word I’ve always hated. Well, ever since I was rejected for the England job.” — Clough, 2003.

“Rome wasn’t built in a day. But I wasn’t on that particular job.” — Clough had a notoriously high opinion of his managerial abilities.

“I’ve decided to pick my moment to retire very carefully – in about 200 years’ time.” — Clough finally stopped managing in 1993.

“If the chairman sacks the manager he initially appointed, he should go as well.” — Clough had numerous run-ins with senior management during his career.

“On occasions I have been big-headed. I think most people are when they get in the limelight. I call myself big head just to remind myself not to be.” — Clough shows an awareness of his failings.

“I only ever hit Roy [Keane] the once. He got up so I couldn’t have hit him very hard.” — Clough on dealing with Roy Keane when he managed him at Nottingham Forest.

“For all his horses, knighthoods and championships, he hasn’t got two of what I’ve got. And I don’t mean balls.” — Clough on Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson’s failure to win two successive European Cups.

“I like my women to be feminine, not sliding into tackles and covered in mud.” — Clough on women’s football.

“I’m not saying he’s pale and thin, but the maid in our hotel room pulled back the sheets and remade the bed without realizing he was still in it.” — Clough on former Nottingham Forest player Brian Rice.

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