The Life of Brian’s Statue: the beautiful game

May 6, 2010

The Life of Brian's StatueBrian Clough’s statue muses on his life and what’s happening in the world today…

You hear a lot of bloody nonsense these days about too many foreign players in the game. I hear it all the time when I’m stood up here on me plinth.

I had plenty of foreign players in my day. Most of ‘em were Scots. I hardly ever understood a word they said to me. But, to be fair, I wasn’t bothered whether I could understand ‘em or not, as long as they listened to me. They were good lads, did as they were told most of the time.

I also had Martin O’Neill, from Northern Ireland. That young man loved the sound of his own voice. He gave up a career in law to be a professional footballer. Now, that’s probably the one of the finest judgements he ever made. But, the best judgement he made was to shut up when I was talking. It took a while, but we got there in the end. I hear he’s doing quite well and that he’s often compared to me. There’s just the small matter of back-to-back European Cups though, eh Martin?

I had that Dutchman, Johnny Metgod. The fans loved him. His free kicks were like bullets. But half the time I didn’t know whether he was talking Dutch, double Dutch, or what. It didn’t matter though.

Y’see, football is a universal language. A bit like Esperanto. You don’t get to make polite conversation when you’re whacking a ball up and down a football pitch. You expect your captain to roar and bellow; your defenders to grunt. In midfield, you get a lot of heavy breathing, and your strikers tend to whine on like frustrated housewives.

And of course, in the dressing room there’s a lot of coarse language, most of it from me. Best of all though is the roar of the crowd. When you walk out onto that pitch at three o’clock on a Saturday afternoon, it sends shivers down you. You can feel the passion all around the stadium.

Y’see, football is a beautiful game. It’s just a shame most of the players are so bloody ugly.

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