For Pete’s sake..

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!

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17 Responses

  1. i like what you’re saying nffc, peter taylor was a big factor in our emergence as a top european side, but and it’s only my opinion, if lets say “forest” were to recognise everybody who helped acheive anything for forest in the form of a statue,stand name,car park name etc we’d be fast running out of corners to put statue’s up, stands to put names on,,,,,,out of all who have acheived something apart from brian clough probably he is the one who should be recognised, and not just because our neighbours down the A52 have got something planned in his name along side brian because that would be wrong in my books

  2. I will read it indeed.
    I completely agree with your sentiment about dedicating Executive Stand to the memory of both men, and about paying tribute to the Taylor’s genius.

    I’m actually reading With Clough, a book that disclose a (maybe unobjective but very interesting) sight to the immense contribution of Taylor in building Forest of magics.

    And, yes, about the “profile he brought through his media persona to your city”, I’m Italian, and live near Milan, but I’ve been falling in love with Forest and Nottingham for 33 years (never been in England in whole my life, even tho I hope to fix the wound this summer).

    • I picked up a copy of ‘With Clough..’ earlier this year, as it’s pretty hard to come by – it was an interesting read if a little clunky in language.

      I hope you get to Nottingham soon! Try to make it to coincide with a Forest match, though!

      • echo those thought’s – never really considered us having fans living anywhere like milan with it’s champions league winners and AC….strange eh !

        • @nffc

          Don’t tell me any more… I’ve bought Taylor’s book on eBay, and I’ve paid for it an outrageous and shocking amount of money. But Brian Clough looked at this book as one of the things that brought about a bad change in their relationship, so I was ever curious about it. It’s really a sort of players market handbook, really a good reading.
          I’m planning to visit Nottingham during Xmas holidays, in order to see the match against Derby County, hopefully…

          @Seanyboy

          You can’t imagine the impressions and the feelings that Forest’s european masterworks moved here.
          Championship is really well covered by tv, here in Italy, and I watched playoffs with some very old friends of mine, football fans, happy to see Forest again: for the most part of them, it was the first City Ground match on tv since the semifinal with Ajax!
          And, yes! In 1981 Internazionale qualified for European Cup, and I hoped fiercely it could clash with Forest, at some point, just to see Reds live. Strangely, Forest never played in Italy an official match, in its european spell.

          (If I can further exploit NFFC kindness: I’m going to interview for my blog Raimondo Ponte — now manager at Chiasso FC, a swiss team settled not far from Milan — about his year at City Ground, and about his memories of BC. If someone has some anecdote about him, or some memory, and would be so kind to write me, I will be happy to mention them in a Ponte-dedicated post).

  3. Interesting to note that the book’s main selling point, its front cover, includes a picture of Taylor with Sir Brian. Sums it up really.

    Don’t think I will bother.

    • good point matey !

    • It’s a fair point, but a little uncharitable I feel. Equally many books chrinicalling BC feature PT on the cover – if not there, then they all feature him prominently in the prose.

      Plus I don’t think anyone would deny the heights of his managerial achievements were in association with BC (and vice versa), so it seems a reasonable choice for a cover shot on that score too!

      Finally, there’s that old adage of never judging a book by it’s cover – something tells me irrespective of the picture choice you’d have come to the same conclusion (which you are, of course, perfectly entitled to do!)

  4. Sir Brian was certainly a one-off and hugely influential in his own right. But … check out BC’s record with and without Taylor – including his spell at Forest before PT joined him.

    As one who lived through the glory days, I always considered it to be a partnership bordering on equal.

    Doubtors should watch recordings of matches in the 78 – 80 era and take particular notice of the Forest bench. Clough might have got in the papers with his ‘pointing’ picture, but watch how BC talks to Taylor constantly – PT’s input was there for all to see – if you cared to look.

    • Yes, there is a lot of truth in your point, but you can’t overlook the fact that after 1982 european football started to definitively change, and to become true modern football.
      Fascism fell in Spain, opening that market, and Berlusconi got in charge in AC, making players market getting really crazy: the 50% genius-50% money blend grow to be more likely a 10-90. A lot of previous glorious giants from little industrial towns in Europe began to fade away: Borussia Moenchengladbach, Bruges, Saint-Etienne, Malmoe… Even in that changed world, Forest kept going on, struggling bravely with teams with more than twice the resources Forest had. Even in the last dramatic years, Roy Keane’s signing was truely a Taylor-esque bargain.

  5. whats going on re- the transfers in department .
    Marhturs about to **** up again ?! aaarrgh !

  6. PT was a legend and should be remembered as such.

  7. Taylor was – in the end – a traitor, no wonder the Derby lot are honouring him.

    • By the same token why are they also honouring Clough, who by your logic, should be considered a traitor by them?

  8. I’m with the posting from Alan Charlesworth. I’ve long believed that we (ignore the sheep) only found success when Clough & Taylor were a partnership. But impressions are one thing – facts another. I keep promising myself that I’ll go through the records and produce a graph to confirm or dispel my impression. The problem, apart from my laziness, is what parameter to use for the X axis of the graph. The Y axis is simply “seasons” but how to measure success on the X scale? Matches won per season? But that would be distorted by years of European runs……

    Maybe we should just let the ghosts rest.

    But then I admit to always thinking they should have named the A52 westbound “Peter Taylor Way” and the eastbound side “Brian Clough Way”.

  9. Vittorio glad to hear our support stretches far & wide; Can’t remember much about Raimondo Ponte apart from the fact that he had a fantastically exotic name in a time when we had a rather steady fall from grace, before Cloughie reigned it in & started to create his next successful side.
    Only young at the time but remember us buying one/two duds @ the time like Wallace & Ward to name but two. From memory Raimondo did look rather stylish in that old Panasonic Shirt…

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