‘I wouldn’t say I was the best Romanticist in the business. But I was in the top one’ - Byron Clough
Special power: Two faced
Comic Release Date: July 2014
Byron Clough (2010 – 2014) is a blend of two legendary Nottingham characters, the non-conformist poet, adventurer and author George Gordon Noel, Lord Byron (1788 – 1824), and the glory years Nottingham Forest manager, raconteur and non-conformist Brian Howard Clough (1935 – 2004). The unholy hybrid was reputedly conceived during a pub conversation by Matt Shelton, drawn by Rikki Marr for the front cover of issue 36 of LeftLion magazine and has since taken on a life of his own.
Both Clough and Byron were noted for their giant egos, skill with words and doing things their own way. Both fought and were defeated by battles on foreign soil, Byron at the head of an army at Missolonghi during the Greek war of Independence in 1824, Clough returning from Leeds United after a traumatic 44 days as manager in 1974. Byron had Percy Bysshe Shelley as companion in his cause, Clough had Peter Taylor.
Byron’s crowning achievement was his epic satirical poem Don Juan, Clough’s an unprecedented run of cup wins and titles for Forest between 1976 and 1979. As Byron Clough put it on that LeftLion cover in 2010: “I wouldn’t say I was the best Romanticist poet in the business but I was in the top one”.
Byron Clough Facts
1: Brian Clough’s time at Leeds United is the subject of David Peace’s novel The Damned Utd (2006). Lord Byron is the subject of three novels by Benjamin Markovits, Imposture (2007), A Quiet Adjustment (2008) and Childish Loves (2012).
2: Brian Clough has been played on film by Michael Sheen (2009). Lord Byron has been portrayed by Hugh Grant (1988), Gabriel Byrne (1986) and Jonny Lee Miller (2003).
3: Brian Clough’s statue in Nottingham is next to Market Square, Lord Byron’s at the entrance to Nottingham Castle.
4: Brian Clough was well known for his socialist views, while Byron supported the cause of Luddites and Frame Breakers in his Maiden Speech to the House of Lords.
5: Byron Clough is not the only hybrid involving Lord Byron in town. Nottingham author Christy Fearn’s novel Framed (2013) splices Byron with the semi-mythical Ned Ludd.