In the summer, I made myself a promise to read more non-fiction books after I read Bella Mackie’s Jog On. I have plenty on the bookshelf (both virtually and physically) but just never get round to reading them.
So 2021 will definitely see more non-fiction reviews, but why wait? I’ve always been a bit of a fan of the ‘celebrity’ memoirs; however, some may not class this as ‘celebrity’ but for me it is. I’m a Nottingham girl by birth and have followed Forest’s highs and lows over the years so it seemed right to read a book about the best managers the team has had (IMO).
Brian Clough famously remarked, ‘I’m not equipped to manage successfully without Peter Taylor. I am the shop window and he is the goods in the back.’
Often outrageous and always compelling, Peter Taylor and Brian Clough’s partnership shook the very foundations of the footballing world. They took two peripheral clubs Derby County and Nottingham Forest from the sleepy backwaters of East Midlands football to international renown. The first to pay £1 million for a player and the first to win two European Cups and two League Cups in successive seasons, their journey was a whirlwind of trophies, record-breaking transfers, bust-ups and sackings.
In a first-hand account told with immense candour, Taylor reveals the highs and lows of their relationship, and details the events that led to their unprecedented success.
Originally published in 1980 and available now for the first time in forty years, With Clough, By Taylor is the definitive account of the partnership that revolutionised English football and the trade of the football manager.
What Did I Think?
I grew up with Clough and Taylor at the helm of Nottingham Forest. But I never knew that much about Peter Taylor. For me, in my naive knowledge, Cloughie was the man managing Forest.
… arrogance is an asset in a footballer.
With Clough, by Taylor is the plotted history of the late great Brian Clough told by possibly the person (other than his family) who knew him the best. Peter Taylor was the man behind and beside Cloughie and his success both at Derby County and Nottingham Forest and the journey to get there. They may appear to have been the dream team but they had their differences, which Taylor details with no real holds barred.
… we’re always picking up each other’s thoughts and finishing each other’s sentences; we’re a twosome speaking as one.
Throughout the book, Taylor writes of the turbulent nature of football management in the 70s and 80s. From this side of the pitch, it seems a very different world to the one that plays out on the back pages in the 21st Century. He talks of the ructions with the boards of the club which would have been an interesting thing to witness. This is a time when money wasn’t the big driver it is today; though money was a necessity to keep a club going, it was nowhere near the extent of now. The thought of a manager like Klopp or even the current Forest manager Hughton raising funds within the community to keep a football club afloat is unheard of but at points in their careers, Taylor and Clough needed to.
Taylor’s account of his partnership with Clough is one fascinating read. It gave me more of an insight of the football world that I naively grew up in. Exploring this world was a trip down Memory Lane, as Taylor writes about the various players he dealt with over the years, names I knew from the (more successful) Forest squad of the 80s and names I knew through their notoriety. I have a few other books about this partnership so I’ll definitely be reading more!
Who Was Peter Taylor?
Peter Taylor, with Brian Clough, won seven major cups in eleven years at two unfashionable clubs, Derby County and Nottingham Forest, turning them into winners against all odds. Taylor was also a manager in his right, coaching Burton Albion, Brighton and Hove Albion and, later, Derby County. He died suddenly of pulmonary fibrosis while on holiday in Majorca in 1990.