The Brian Clough Interviews

The year is 1978. Nottingham Forest has yet to win the European Cup, but they have won the league and are holders of the League Cup. It’s the time when footballers were paid a good wage, but not all that well and so clubs would organise testimonials for their most loyal and long-term players so that they could gift them some money. It usually amounted to a few thousand pounds and teams with star studded line ups would give their services free. In that November Brian Clough and Peter Taylor organised an evening testimonial for themselves, but ticket sales were sluggish. I was at work that day but at home the phone rang. “Hello love, Brian here, is John around?” Kate, my wife, naturally thought it was a hoax. In the end Brian did speak to me and we set up a down-the-line interview for that day to go out live on my mid-morning show. I had agreed to the interview, but since Brian had already done plenty of interviews nationally that week, he agreed to take phone calls from listeners. This is the result. It’s a revealing insight into football’s social history at the time and you’ll hear calls questioning his loyalty to the Reds over Derby County, the lack of money coming into the club from world-wide TV coverage, fan violence and the lack of toilet facilities at the ground for women. He also makes interesting comments on his young squad, such as Larry Lloyd, David Needham and Tony Woodcock.