35 Brilliant Brian Clough Quotes Every Football Fan Must Read

Words of wisdom from Old Big 'Ead.
Publish date:
Updated on

35. "Rome wasn't built in a day. But I wasn't on that particular job."

34. "The ugliest player I ever signed was Kenny Burns."

33. As a young manager at Hartlepool: "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."

32. "The River Trent is lovely, I know because I have walked on it for 18 years."

31. When Martin O’Neill asked why he’d been dropped: "Because you’re too good for the first team."

30. On Forest midfielder Brian Rice: "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 realising he was still in it!"

29. "Beckham? His wife can’t sing and his barber can’t cut hair." 

28. "We used to go to the pictures every Saturday night but we had to leave a little bit early and get home and watch Match of the Day. My wife still complains she missed the last five minutes of every film we saw."

27. To the Forest physio after Stuart Pearce suffered concussion: "Tell him he’s Pele and that he’s playing up front for the last 10 minutes."

26. "Don't send me flowers when I'm dead. If you like me, send them while I'm alive."

25. On the new offside rule: "If any one of my players isn’t interfering with play, they’re not getting paid."

24. "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 revelled in the relief from the day-to-day grind of club management."

23. In his relegation season at Forest: "If the BBC ran a Crap Decision of the Month competition on Match of the Day, I’d walk it."

22. "Resignations are for prime ministers and those caught with their trousers down, not for me."

21. On Roy Keane: "I only ever hit Roy the once. He got up so I couldn't have hit him very hard."

20. "I regret telling the entire world and his dog how good a manager I was. I knew I was the best but I should have said nowt and kept the pressure off ‘cos they’d have worked it out for themselves." 

19. On televised football: "You don't want roast beef and Yorkshire every night and twice on Sunday."

18. "Walk on water? I know most people out there will be saying that instead of walking on it, I should have taken more of it with my drinks. They are absolutely right."

17. On Sven getting the England job: "At last we’ve appointed a manager who speaks English better than the players."

16. "When I go, God’s going to have to give up his favourite chair."

15. On who might have nominated him for a knighthood: "I thought it was my next-door neighbour because I think she felt that if I got something like that I would have to move."

14. "I’ve decided to pick my moment to retire very carefully – in about 200 years’ time."

13. "I can't even spell spaghetti never mind talk Italian. How could I tell an Italian to get the ball - he might grab mine."

12. "Players lose you games, not tactics. There’s so much crap talked about tactics by people who barely know how to win at dominoes."

11. On Martin O’Neil’s success at Leicester City: "Anybody who can do anything in Leicester other than knit a jumper has got to be a genius. If he’d been English or Swedish, he’d have walked the England job."

10. "If a chairman sacks the manager he initially appointed, he should go as well."

9. "I'm sure the England selectors thought if they took me on and gave me the job, I'd want to run the show. They were shrewd, because that's exactly what I would have done."

8. "Outside the family life, there is nothing better than winning the European Cups."

7. After his liver transplant: "To put everybody’s mind at rest, I’d like to stress that they didn’t give me George Best’s old liver."

6. "Telling a player to get his hair cut counts as coaching as far as I’m concerned."

5. On his relationship with players: ”We talk about it for twenty minutes and then we decide I was right.”

4. "Ah yes, Frank Sinatra. He met me once y’know?"

3. "If God had wanted us to play football in the clouds, he'd have put grass up there."

2. "I want no epitaphs of profound history and all that type of thing. I contributed - I would hope they would say that, and I would hope somebody liked me.”

1. "I wouldn't say I was the best manager in the business. But I was in the top one."


Stuart Pearce Autobiography Suggests Eventful Marriage