In the absence of anything transfer-related to write about it’s nice to have a slight distraction. I’ve written about Peter Taylor a few times, he tends to divide Forest fans opinions given the nature of his departure all those years ago, but what is generally undeniable is the impact the formidable combination of him and the more-public-facing Brian Clough has had on our football club.
Of course, there’s been a real glut of Clough-themed books in recent years, culminating in the cinematic release of ‘The Damned United’ – and whether you’ve picked up Duncan Hamilton’s book, David Peace’s or the more recent Maurice Edwards book – you can’t help but have gained a strong sense of the dynamics reported by these authors between the pair. A real partnership, given the stature of the clubs they managed together – probably the most potent that English football has ever seen.
Certainly in an official capacity Forest tend to fall very much on the ‘out of favour’ side with regard to Taylor. Not only did he ‘retire’ only to resurface at Derby, he took prized asset John Robertson to the Baseball Ground causing a rift with Brian Clough that wasn’t to heal until after Taylor had died in the early nineties. Even then, Forest never honoured him with a minute silence nor considered his name in the renaming of the Executive Stand.
Perhaps characteristically I find myself on the fence teetering towards going against the official stance. Regardless of his movements after Forest, Taylor’s influence on Forest and our historic stature is undeniable. Indeed, if Forest could as an organisation take Robbo back into their care and affections – then it seems rather double-standardish to maintain and reinforce a grudge which might’ve been understandable at the time.
Maybe I’m just too reasonable – but I would have liked to have seen the Executive Stand bear the names of both the men whose achievements – very literally – built it. I would also like to see Forest – as Derby have – commission a statue of both men to be present at the ground (I can understand and fully support the Brian Clough statue sited in the city centre, which is testimony not only to Clough’s managerial prowess, but the profile he brought through his media persona to our city).
So I digress completely, as ever. The purpose of this post was to alert you to a book that is about to be released telling very much the Taylor side of the story. The first volume might be of less interest to Reds fans since it charts his life up to and including his time at Derby, with a second volume picking up where that left off due next year. It’s been written by his daughter, Wendy Dickinson and former journalist Stafford Hildred.
If you order now, you can get it delivered for a discounted £15 rather than the recommended price of £17.99 – and whilst of course it doesn’t quite reach the full heady heights of Peter’s time at Forest – it’s worth remembering that he is a son of Nottingham, and will include chronicles of his time growing up in our fair city. Something we could do well to remember when we consider his rank of local hero – in a birthright sense as well as his achievements.
I’ve placed my order and look forward to having a read – I’m sure I’ll feel compelled to impart what wisdom I might glean from it in due course, and – much like when I went to see The Damned United (which I found a lot more palatable than the book) – it will surely whet the appetite for what we know is to come in the second book. Obviously I’d be – as ever – very interested to hear your thoughts!