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Provided You Don't Kiss Me: 20 Years with Brian Clough

Duncan Hamilton



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05 May 2008
Biography: sport; Sports & outdoor recreation; Football (Soccer, Association football)
Look Duncan, you're a journalist. One day you'll write a book about this club. Or, more to the point, about me. So you may as well know what I'm thinking and save it up for later when it won't do any harm to anyone.

Duncan Hamilton was there through all the madness, the success, the failures, the fall-outs, the drink, and the crumbling of Brian Clough's heady twenty years as manager of Nottingham Forest. He saw it all. From his first day on the job sitting in Clough's office, a nervous, green sixteen year-old sat opposite one of the self-proclaimed giants of the English game, politely refusing a morning whiskey, he would become an integral part of Clough's empire, and eventually one of his most trusted confidants.

From the breakdown of Clough's testy relationship with Peter Taylor, his co-manager and joint founder of Forest's success, through the unrepeatable double European cup triumph, and on into the wilderness of the mid-eighties through which Clough's alcoholism would play an evermore damaging role, Hamilton had access to every aspect of the club, and more remarkably, the man in charge. Here, he paints a vivid portrait of a huge personality, a man with a God-given gift for management and the watertight confidence and ego to stare down his detractors in the media, boardroom and beyond. A man who grabbed life, and most of his players, by the balls and wouldn't let go until he got his way.

This is a strikingly intimate portrait, at times sad, at others joyous, in which one of the unforgettable characters of English football is laid bare. But it is also the story of a man's education in the bizarre happenings of the football world, appreciatively guided by the most wonderful, loud-mouthed, big-headed and cocksure teacher of all.
By:   Duncan Hamilton
Imprint:   HarperPerennial
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 198mm,  Width: 129mm,  Spine: 19mm
Weight:   230g
ISBN:   9780007247110
ISBN 10:   0007247117
Pages:   256
Publication Date:   05 May 2008
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Duncan Hamilton was a journalist at the Nottingham Evening Post for over twenty years. He now works and lives in Leeds.

Reviews for Provided You Don't Kiss Me: 20 Years with Brian Clough

'A unique insight!a captivating memoir.' News of the World 'He drank on duty, punched employees, called journalists shithouses , produced classic one-liners and was rumoured to like a bung -- but he got results. No, not Gene Hunt from Life on Mars , but another Seventies icon, Brian Clough. Playing the Sam Tyler role here is Duncan Hamilton, a teenage reporter on the Nottingham Evening Post. Readers of David Peace's novel The Damned Utd , set in 1974, will be familiar with Clough's boozy, brilliant, bombastic world. Hamilton's reality is just as entertaining.' Pete May, Independent ' Provided You Don't Kiss Me is a case of great title, great book.' Sunday Express 'Exhibiting a refreshing turn of phrase, Hamilton explains why the mercurial Clough would not survive in today's game.' Arena 'This gem of a book successfully casts fresh light on numerous facets of Clough's complex personality and managerial style. A brilliantly insightful, superbly crafted book and essential reading for anyone who wonders what made the great Brian Clough tick.' Jon Spurling, FourFourTwo***** 'Best Book' 'The best sports book you'll read all year!Duncan Hamilton's biography is that rare thing -- a work of sporting non-fiction that has genuine literary resonance!I recommend you buy a copy.' Independent Magazine 'This memoir superbly captures the force of Clough's defiance and the weakness that made him, ultimately, a tragic figure.' FT Hamilton has unusual gifts of empathy, and he brings us the real, visceral Clough, a driven and driving man.' The Times 'He deftly recalls the beautiful game! a tender depiction of Clough.' The Independent 'A Refreshing biography!a book that celebrates the north.' The Guardian 'An intensely personal memoir!fascinating.' Scotland on Sunday 'Hamilton's willingness to reveal Clough's lust for money and the drinking problems, but also to revel in his naked talent and genius, make this a supreme biography.' Herald 'Compelling anecdotal detail. This is an intimate portrait of the man in full rather than the bombastic media image Clough helped so much to create.' Alan Chadwick, Metro 'This is a strikingly intimate portrait!read this book, for we will never know genius like this again.' Irish Examiner 'The story in between -- the memoirs of nearly two decades serving as Clough's mouthpiece in the Nottingham Evening Post -- blows away anything The Damned Utd came up with. I wouldn't say that this was the best book about Brian Clough ever written -- but for now it's in the top one.' Al Needham, 'When Saturday Comes' 'The local footballer is in a unique position. He is part of the club's fabric: friend, agony aunt and punch bag for players and manager alike. But when he went to Nottingham Forest, Hamilton was gifted with a tale with resonance well beyond the provincial. Clough was a huge figure, his face and mannerisms known outside the confines of football. On virtually every page of this book is evidence of an unsurpassed talent for motivation.' Daily Telegraph 'An affectionate and funny portrait of this often eccentric football legend.' Big Issue 'A vivid, often painful memoir of Brian Clough's triumphs and subsequent decline into the dark pit of alcoholism. By September 2004, Duncan Hamilton was deputy editor of the Yorkshire Post. A decade earlier, he had decided to give up writing about football. Or even watching it. He was sick of the game. Now he learned of Brian Clough's death. A million images came swimming back. Eventually, he cried. And then, thank goodness, he wrote this book.' Derby Evening Telegraph 'His account of those extraordinary days adds to the mountain of anecdotes surrounding his subject.' Sunday Times 'Anyone who remembers Clough should read this book, and one can only hope the younger generation of fans will seek out the tale of one of the true characters of the game that existed before Sky TV. While accepting the enigma of Clough will endure, Hamilton has probably come closer than anyone ever will to distilling a remarkable football coach and unforgettable man.' Sean O'Connor

  • Short-listed for British Sports Book Awards: Best Football Book 2008
  • Short-listed for British Sports Book Awards: Biography 2008
  • Short-listed for William Hill Sports Book of the Year 2007
  • Shortlisted for British Sports Book Awards: Best Football Book 2008.
  • Shortlisted for British Sports Book Awards: Biography 2008.
  • Shortlisted for William Hill Sports Book of the Year 2007.
  • Shortlisted for William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award 2007.

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