This morning I finished Provided You Don’t Kiss Me: 20 Years with Brian Clough by Duncan Hamilton. Hamilton as a local journalist had great access into Clough’s time as manager of Nottingham Forest. This book is his insight into the great highs and lows of Clough’s career.
Clough was a real character, much missed in today’s modern football world, dominated by money and players. He was unpredictable, but justified that by being a very good manager. Even today his management feats at two regional teams like Derby County and Nottingham Forest – two league championships and two European Cups – is remarkable.
The book dwells heavily on his partnership with Peter Taylor, who played a vital role in those successes, and yet has not been highlighted in football history. The splitting of this partnership, and Clough’s reliance on alcohol explain the decline of his career.
This is a must read for all those football supporters who admired and/or were intrigued by the enigma that was Brian Clough.