Brian Clough was one of the most successful football managers in English history. However, his life was cut short by a tragic illness. Clough died on September 20, 2004, at the age of 69.

Clough was born in Middlesbrough, England, in 1935. He began his football career as a player for Middlesbrough, Sunderland, and Nottingham Forest. However, he is perhaps best known for his successful managerial career, which included stints at Derby County and Nottingham Forest.

Clough’s time at Derby County was particularly successful. He led the team to the First Division title in the 1971-72 season, and then took them to the semi-finals of the European Cup the following year. He left Derby County in 1973 to manage Leeds United, but his time at the club was less successful.

In 1975, Clough was appointed manager of Nottingham Forest. He quickly turned the team around, leading them to the Second Division title in his first season in charge. In 1978, he led Nottingham Forest to their first ever European Cup victory, beating Malmo 1-0 in the final. Nottingham Forest would go on to win the European Cup again in 1979 and reach the final in 1980, cementing Clough’s legacy as one of the greatest football managers in English history.

Unfortunately, Clough’s health began to deteriorate in the late 1990s. He suffered from a rare liver disease, and underwent a liver transplant in 2003. While the transplant initially appeared to be successful, Clough’s health began to decline again in the months leading up to his death.

When Did Brian Clough Die?

On September 20, 2004, Clough passed away in a hospital in Derby. His death was mourned by football fans around the world, and he is remembered as one of the greatest football managers of all time. The Brian Clough Trophy, which is awarded to the winner of matches between Derby County and Nottingham Forest, serves as a reminder of Clough’s legacy in English football.

In the wake of Clough’s death, tributes poured in from across the football world. Players, managers, and fans all spoke of the impact that Clough had had on English football, both as a player and a manager.

One of the most poignant tributes came from former Nottingham Forest player John Robertson, who said of Clough, “He gave me everything I have in football. He made me what I am today.” Robertson played under Clough during Nottingham Forest’s European Cup winning campaigns in the late 1970s, and remained a close friend of the manager until his death.

Clough’s legacy as a football manager remains strong to this day. He is remembered for his innovative tactics, his ability to inspire his players, and his relentless pursuit of success. His success at Derby County and Nottingham Forest inspired a generation of English football managers, many of whom have gone on to have successful careers of their own.

However, Clough’s legacy is not limited to football. He was known for his sharp wit and his outspoken personality, and was often called upon to provide commentary on a wide range of social and political issues. He was a vocal opponent of racism and discrimination, and was known for his support of various charitable causes.

In the years since Clough’s death, his impact on English football has continued to be felt. He remains a beloved figure among fans of Nottingham Forest and Derby County, and his legacy as one of the greatest football managers of all time is secure. While his life was cut short by illness, the mark that he left on the world of football and beyond will not soon be forgotten.

In addition to the tributes that poured in after his death, Clough has been the subject of several books and documentaries. These works have explored not only his achievements on the football pitch, but also his personality, his philosophy on life, and his impact on English culture.

One of the most famous of these works is “The Damned United,” a novel by David Peace that was later adapted into a film. The book and movie tell the story of Clough’s brief and tumultuous time as manager of Leeds United, and have been widely praised for their portrayal of Clough’s complex personality.

Clough’s impact on English football is also reflected in the numerous awards and honors that he has received posthumously. In 2009, he was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame, and in 2015, he was posthumously awarded the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award.

Beyond football, Clough’s legacy also lives on through the various charities and causes that he supported throughout his life. He was a patron of the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign and the Rainbow Trust, and was known for his support of local community projects in Nottingham and Derby.

In many ways, Clough’s life and legacy serve as a reminder of the power of sport to inspire and unite people. His success as a football manager was due not only to his tactical acumen, but also to his ability to connect with his players on a personal level and to instill in them a sense of pride and purpose.

While his death was a tragedy, the mark that Clough left on English football and society more broadly is a testament to his enduring influence. As former England striker Gary Lineker said in a tribute to Clough, “He was a one-off, and the world of football is a poorer place without him.”

Clough’s impact on football has been particularly significant in the East Midlands, where he managed both Derby County and Nottingham Forest. In the years since his death, the rivalry between these two clubs has continued to be a source of passion and excitement for fans, and the annual matches between them continue to be among the most anticipated fixtures of the football calendar.

The Brian Clough Trophy, which was first contested in 2007, is awarded to the winner of these matches. The trophy is a fitting tribute to a man who played such an important role in the histories of both clubs, and who remains an iconic figure in English football to this day.

Looking back on Clough’s life and legacy, it is clear that he was much more than just a football manager. He was a complex and multifaceted individual, whose impact extended far beyond the pitch. He was a symbol of hope and inspiration for countless people, and his legacy continues to inspire new generations of football fans and players alike.

As we remember the life and legacy of Brian Clough, it is fitting to reflect on the lessons that we can learn from his example. His unwavering dedication to his craft, his ability to inspire those around him, and his commitment to his community are all qualities that we can aspire to in our own lives.

While his death was a loss for football and for society more broadly, the mark that Clough left on the world will endure for generations to come. His legacy is a reminder of the power of sport to bring people together, to inspire hope and change, and to make the world a better place.