Thanks to the generosity of author Dave Armitage I am able to offer one lucky reader the chance to win a signed copy of his excellent book 150 BC: Cloughie the Inside Stories. I’ve just finished reading it after my ‘interim review‘ a few days ago – and it’s a brilliant combination of heart-warming, tear-jerking and rib-crackingly hilarious collection of anecdotes and stories.
Better still, Dave has kindly written a small piece for the blog about the dilemma of naming the book and his background:
The number of people who have made favourable comments about the title of the book has been quite staggering – if only they knew!
Once I’d established the idea that trying to compile a collection of Cloughie stories was a good one, I mused over a working title.
Obviously, you try to come up with something that sets it apart from other books on the great man and yet still captures the essence of the whole thing.
Then it came to me – 100 BC. Surely that would be a winner. I liked it straight away and, barring any other flashes of inspiration, decided virtually from day one that would be the way I would go.
It had a nice ring to it – the only problem was if I didn’t manage to assemble a whole century of Cloughie stories. After all, how many personalities football or otherwise lent themselves to one hundred tales or anecdotes?
I vowed that the very second the stories showed any signs of duplicating I would call a halt and if it had to be 82 BC or 77 BC then so be it. I still liked the idea behind the BC part of title and was happy to stick with it whatever figure I finished up at.
It quickly became clear that hitting a ton wasn’t going to be a problem (surprise, surprise!) and so the book grew under a working title of 125 BC and so on . . .
At 150 I really had to start thinking about bringing it to a close although I was aware there were still a whole host of people I hadn’t got hold of.
In essence, that’s it. I stopped at 150 and reluctantly ‘pulled’ a further 20 or so that I had. I was happy that the content satisfied the criteria of a decent sized book and wasn’t repetetive.
And so, there it is. The finished article ‘150 BC: Cloughie the Inside Stories‘ and, at the risk of sounding smug, I am very pleased with it. It’s a kind of jigsaw where the reader can build up his or her own picture without the author/narrator preaching to them.
I was happy that it might just give an alternative side to the darker aspects portrayed in The Damned United or, for that matter, certain sectons of Duncan Hamilton’s Provided You Don’t Kiss Me.
I thought the Damned United was a horrible book, though I know many who really enjoyed and even think it didn’t portray Cloughie in a bad way. I can’t see that, but that’s just my take on things.
Let’s be straight, he could be an awkward cuss and prided himself on it more often than not. But there was a generosity, warmth and humour about him that I honestly don’t think other books have always got over.
I know Duncan personally and he chose to do his in a certain way and I chose to do mine from a slightly different take. Neither is right or wrong. You pays your money and you takes your choice.
What was nice was that nearly all the people I interviewed were more than happy to give up some of their memories for the book and many that I have seen since it came out have been complimentary.
I’m sure I’ve gone on long enough, but if anyonedoes have any particular questions that they would like answering, I’d be more than happy to do so.
All the best to you die-hard Forest fans and let’s hope it isn’t too long before the City Ground is playing hosts to the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool and the likes again.
Anyone else find the above a rather tantalising almost-admission that we could see a sequel of more stories? Anyway, I digress – how to you win a copy of this fantastic book?
To be in with a chance of winning a signed copy of the book, please email me the answer to the following question: What was the name of Brian Clough’s faithful Golden Retriever? Send your entries to firstname.lastname@example.org and please include your postal address, and whether you would like Dave to inscribe a particular message in the book.
Entries will close on midnight 28th October, and Royal Mail strikes permitting hopefully we will be able to arrange delivery in time for Christmas!