Friday, April 27, 2012

Provided You Don't Kiss Me: 20 Years with Brian Clough by Duncan Hamilton (Harper Perennial 2007)

He wasn't satisfied with the eulogies written about Taylor. Not because each one did not describe him generously, but because in Clough's eyes none did Taylor sufficient justice or apportioned enough credit for the work he had done in the partnership. It was as if he'd become the guardian of Taylor's posthumous reputation.

'Your obit on my mate was crap, utter crap,' he yelled at me, his face flushed, the voice rising in protest. 'You're all the same, you journalists - crap. Every paper missed the point, the real story. No one showed him the way he was. No one managed to give him the send-off he deserved. He was funny - you know that. He was intelligent - you know that too. He had a football brain - everybody could see it. And he was my mate. And we had some great times. And now . . .'

Clough slumped into a chair. He seemed to be stringing together in his mind all the bright days he had shared with Taylor.

'What a waste,' he said after a long pause. 'All those years when we could have been sitting together having a beer. All those years when he could have come, as an honoured guest, to watch us play. All those years without the laughter he was capable of providing. No one - absolutely no one - has made me laugh like him. I always missed that, and now . . . he's gone. I can hear his voice . . . telling joke after joke. But all we did at the end was slag one another off. Oh, fuck.' He shook his head slowly, his eyes staring at the floor.