Steve Stone says Brian Clough scared everyone at Nottingham Forest – even the chairman

Nottingham Forest manager Brian Clough at the 1992 League Cup final between Nottingham Forest and Manchester United at Wembley Stadium in London, United Kingdom
(Image credit: Brendan Monks/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)

May a footballing figure found themselves on the receiving end of Brian Clough's famously sharp tongue over the years – and former Nottingham Forest (opens in new tab) midfielder Steve Stone was one of those who felt the fear from Old Big 'Ead.

But there was a much gentler side to the iconic Forest boss, whose long tenure at the City Ground came to and when he retired in 1993 following the inaugural Premier League season.

Stone – who made the bulk of his career appearances for Forest – experienced both facets of Clough, having played under him as a youngster at the very beginning of his career.

Chatting with FourFourTwo for the latest issue available to buy (opens in new tab), Stone reminisced in his time with Clough and the effect the great man had on all around him:

"I joined Forest as a 14-year-old trialist and spent six years under Brian. He had his issues when he left in 1993, but I had some great times with him. 

He was such a charismatic person who always seemed to have control of everything. Everyone was scared of him, including the chairman! He had that aura, but he could be so kind too.

The younger lads used to go and do his garden in the summer; he'd cook us a big meal and give us a glass of wine, even though we were under age! It was all about getting to know us. There were two sides to the man, and I saw both."

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Tom Hancock started freelancing for FourFourTwo in April 2019 and has also written for The Analyst and When Saturday Comes, among others. He supports Wycombe Wanderers and has a soft spot for Wealdstone. A self-confessed statto, he has been known to watch football with a spreadsheet (or several) open...