Old Big ‘ead ‘imself, the best manager England never had and Boro legend, Brian Clough.
Clough was prolific for Middlesbrough, and his 204 goals puts him third on the list of our all-time top scorers. In the early 2000s a campaign was started to finally give the man his due in his hometown. A combination of fundraisers, donations and Heritage Lottery funding provided the £65,000 needed for its creation.
The statue itself was sculpted by notable artist Vivien Mallock, who captured Clough – boots slung over shoulder – walking to training at Ayresome Park. It was unveiled in Albert Park on May 16th, 2007, but hasn’t had the easiest of times since then.
Much as Brian Clough’s own career was cut short by a horrific cruciate and medial ligament injury while playing for Sunderland, his statue fared little better. Two separate cracks (the result of stress fractures and/or kids swinging on the statue depending on who you ask) were found on the standing leg of the work – the first in 2009 and the second in 2016.
A remodelling of the statue’s base did the trick for a while, and Cloughie was reinstalled in Albert Park in December 2016. You can see the differences in the base in two of the photos below. Thanks again to Ian Stubbs for kindly sharing his images.
The statue is currently fenced off, and there are moves to have it relocated to the Riverside Stadium (a stadium with no connection to Clough). Personally I hope it stays where it was intended to be, with Clough – ever the obstinate outsider at his hometown club – walking to training.
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