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Anorak | Off The Clough

Off The Clough

by | 24th, September 2004

‘AFTER the wreaths come the brickbats as the Express leads with the news that someone has dared question the legacy of the dearly departed Brian Clough.

The Comfi-Slax sweater only comes in green

The man who has gone against the grain is Rick Parry, the former chief executive of the Premier League, who once headed a three-man inquiry into the sale of Teddy Sheringham from Clough’s Forest to Spurs in 1992.

“On the balance of evidence,” says Parry, “we thought he was guilty of taking bungs. I was surprised when the FA took no action against him or Forest.”

Anyone surprised at FA inaction might be either new to the game or horribly naive. Parry is neither.

And neither are the nodding heads who line to say how upset they are, outraged even, that with his body barely cold in the turf, Clough’s name should be dragged through the mud.

Former Forest hero Kenny Burns is “very angry”. His colleague from those heady days of European glory, former carpet fitter Garry Birtles, says Parry is “beyond contempt”.

And even the paper’s Harry Harris, writing in a piece entitled “Respect the rascal”, says how Clough should not be remembered “just because he liked a sweetener”.

No, he shouldn’t. He should be stuck in a museum and lionised as one of the greats of the game, a character, a one-off, a showman and have bestowed upon him all manner of epitaphs.

You can’t libel the dead, but, by ‘eck, young man, you sure can praise them to the skies.

You can also, as the Guardian says, buy one of Clough’s trademark hideous green jumpers, which have been flying off the shelves at the Nottingham Forest club shop.

Sunday has been designated Green Day at Forest, and for their home televised game against West Ham the fans will wear green jumpers, tuck their tracksuits bottoms into their socks and playfully cuff young lads hard round the head.

West Ham’s travelling support will then begin to sing about how they won the World Cup. It’ll be like the Premier League never happened.

Meanwhile, the Indy says that all of China is excited at this weekend’s Formula One Grand Prix.

The track – 3.387 miles long; nine straights and 14 bends (seven left, seven right); space for 200,000 spectators; 174,000 tyres in the barriers – is all ready for what the paper calls “the biggest sporting event to date held in the country”.

And what we call, a terrific result for Ferrari…’



Posted: 24th, September 2004 | In: Back pages Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink