Sunday, 11 May 2008

Making peace with Ol' Big 'Ed

The Damned Utd is David Peace's mesmerising blend of fact and fiction, tracking the mental turmoil of Brian Clough as he embarks on 44 ill-fated days as manager of the club he hated most, Leeds United -- along with the torments and joys of his first coaching job. It's engaging, dark, funny, witty, provocative and numbing, all at the same time. Peace features on ITV's The South Bank Show with Melvyn Bragg at 10.50pm tonight (or thereabouts, depending on your location). We are also promised a wider look at football writing. Peace was profiled in The Guardian yesterday.

Oh yes, while I think about it, congratulations to Nottingham Forest for making it back into the Championship (or Division Two, as some of us still call it). My Ekklesia co-director and friend Jonathan Bartley is a fan from his college days. I've always had a soft spot for the Forest, and indeed for dear, departed, delightful, despotic Cloughie. Back in my days as a current affairs editor, I once sent a photographer to take a picture of him down at the City ground. The poor bloke had long hair and an earring. That photo cost him a "right wigging" from Our Brian, as you might expect!


Michael said...

The best football book ever - by a mile.

Fr Kenny said...

Eek! I missed it! One of the most fascinating books I've ever read, although I understand it was rejected as nonesense by family members and those who would deify Clough. I finished the book wanting more! I wanted the writer to go on and give us different insights into the glory years which came later. How he was continually snubbed by the FA when it came to appointing the England Manager. His battle with the bottle. (close to my heart)

I wonder if there's any way I can see the programme that I missed. The South Bank Show is never a "must" in my viewing pattern. So enraged I missed it this time!

Simon Barrow said...

Not sure, Kenny. I'll see if anyone I know has a video. It was definitely worth seeing. I think it's a fascinating book, but the programme made the point that it isn't a rounded picture of Clough, who was a complex and nuanced character, as well as a loud and colourful one.