Brian Howard Clough OBE. MA
21st March 1935 - 20th September 2004
Brian Clough was called up for National Service in 1953 and served in the Royal Air Force. In his 1994 autobiography, he stated he hated the thought of leaving home for two years, but the uniform he wore generated a strange sense of pride the moment he put it on.
He did 12 weeks of square-bashing at RAF Padgate, near Manchester, and was then mainly based at RAF Watchet in Somersetshire, where he spent the rest of his time marching, standing to attention, swimming, running and playing football. And apparently sneaking off to listen to the Test Match commentary on the radio.
Cloughie never reached a higher rank than Leading Aircraftman and wasn't bothered, he found the camaraderie more meaningful than rank. The RAF let him play a lot of football "but couldn't see the talent under their noses, much like the FA in later years". He was never picked for the National RAF Team.
Travelling home for leave enabled him to play in Middlesborough third team for the princely sum of £7 a game! - on top of the 37/6d (£1/87) a week he was getting from the RAF.
He met only one girl during his National Service (he couldn't remember her name) when he was the last one to be picked at a dance, probably because of his "White face and big ears which kept up the cap my mam always made sure I wore since I was little".
In 1955/56 Brian, serving at RAF Weston Zoyland in Somerset, played against 22 Coy, Royal Army Service Corps, in Taunton. Gerald Tregunna remembers marking him at right back but switched before long to outside right, the score was 6 - 0.
"If anyone wants to see my O-Levels and A-Levels, I'll get my medals from upstairs and put them on the table. They are my O-Levels and A-Levels"
Credits: Andrew Bird (his letter to the Daily Mail)
Gerald Tregunna, (his letter to the Daily Mail)
Copyright: The Clough Family.