Published: October '08
Readers who selected this book also read The Last Game by Jason Cowley.
"Gentlemen, I might as well tell you now. You lot may have won all the domestic honours there are and some of the European ones but, as far as I'm concerned, the first thing you can do for me is chuck all your meddles and all your caps and all your pots and all your pans into the biggest f***ing dustbin you can find, because you've never won any of them fairly. You've done it all by bl**ding cheating."
In 1974, Brian Clough, the man, the enigma, the genius, took over the helm as manager of Leeds United, a club he very publicly despised. He was to last only 44 days. 44 days during which he barely spoke to the players, took an axe to his predecessor Don Revie's desk, saw his captain sent off for fighting with Kevin Keegan in the Charity Shield at Wembley, and won only one competitive game.
This is the fictionalisation of those catastrophic days, interspersed with Cloughie's early days in management: from Hartlepools in the third division to Derby County, the First Division Championship and a European Cup Semi-Final. In these happier days there are startling achievements and the beginning of a legend: the national acclaim, the players at Derby willing to go on strike to have him re-instated as manager, the hard work and the spending. But in the backdrop Cloughie's demons lurk: the alcohol and the paranoia, the determination and the arrogance; the obsession and the tragedy.
In focusing the story directly on Clough himself, David Peace is able to recreate the claustrophobic paranoia and desperation of the man himself; through detailed research he has created a novel which brings back to life a legend the like of whom will not be seen again.
You may find in the Readers Guide
three of the most important reviews (in the Guardian
, the Independent
and in the Times
) and the interview of David Peace in the Guardian
You may also watch here a short video of Brian Clough being interviewed by Big Ron. Talking about joining Leeds and being sacked.
And here is the trailer of the film by Tom Hooper starring Michael Sheen.