brian clough 1991.

Dean Saunders tells hilarious story of how Brian Clough tried to sign him

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Brian Clough is undoubtedly one of the most revered and colourful managers in English football history.

There are so many legendary anecdotes about the Derby-born coach who will always be remembered for his wit, dry sense of humour and his remarkable achievements as a coach.

Clough’s most outstanding achievement came during his 18-year spell with Nottingham Forest, who were guided to back-to-back European Cups in 1979 and 1980 under the charismatic Englishman.


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He stayed at Forest until 1993, when he announced his managerial retirement under a cloud following the club’s relegation from the top flight.

But a couple of years earlier he’d attempted to sign Dean Saunders, who was with Clough’s former employers Derby County at the time.

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Liverpool beat Forest to Saunders' signature

The Welsh striker was one of the most sought-after footballers in England and Clough used every trick in the book in attempt to prevent him from joining Liverpool instead.

It didn’t work. Liverpool signed Saunders for a British record fee of £2.9 million.

Dean Saunders of Liverpool and Anton Rogan of Sunderland

However, Saunders admired the incredible effort that Clough made in an attempt to bring him to the City Ground - and the story he told on talkSPORT last week about the pursuit of his signature is one of the funniest football-related tales we’ve ever heard.

It involves Clough giving him flowers, crawling along the carpet and turning up unexpectedly at his house.

Listen to Saunders' epic story here

We can’t do the story justice by typing it up - you need to listen to it here…

Saunders eventually joined Forest in '96

Saunders would eventually end up at Forest, in 1996, when Clough had long-departed the club.

But he only managed to score five goals in 43 appearances and left the club the following summer.

Dean Saunders of Nottingham Forest

Who knows what might have happened had he worked under Clough a few years earlier.

Is Brian Clough the greatest English football manager of all time? Have your say by leaving a comment below.

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Dean Saunders
Derby County
England Football
Premier League
Nottingham Forest

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