THE “rock behind” football legend Brian Clough has died.
Barbara Clough, wife to Brian for 45 years until his death in 2004, died in hospital in Derby on Saturday evening after a short illness, the family announced last night.
Former Derby County star Roy McFarland said: “Barbara was the woman behind the man.
“I think she was probably the rock behind him that gave him the time and confidence to carry on and do what he had to do.”
She married Clough in 1959, the prolific striker interrupting their honeymoon to score twice for Middlesbrough in a win over Liverpool at Anfield.
Clough enjoyed a stunning career at both Boro and Sunderland before injury ended his playing days.
He was appointed boss of Hartlepools United in 1965, transforming the fortunes of the strugglers alongside friend and former Boro team-mate Peter Taylor.
Not only did Cloughie manage the side, he learned to drive the team bus and often did many jobs around the Victoria Ground, including painting the stand.
While the boss was throwing himself into the Pools job, Barbara was in their Fens home bringing up their young family, until Clough and Taylor joined Derby County in 1967.
The duo went on to enjoy success at both Derby and Nottingham Forest and McFarland says Barbara had a huge role.
“I imagine at times Brian must have been rather difficult to live with and Barbara was the one he came home to,” the defender told the BBC.
“She sorted the kids out, sorted the home out, sorted the family out and everything else.”
Barbara’s death comes just two months after that of Lilian Taylor – widow of Cloughie’s right hand-man.
The pair backed a successful campaign for a bronze statue of their husbands lifting the First Division trophy, unveiled outside Pride Park in 2010.