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Brian Clough Had A Curiously Effective Way Of Handling Appalling Racism

Brian Clough Had A Curiously Effective Way Of Handling Appalling Racism
Arthur James O'Dea
By Arthur James O'Dea
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With a professional career that spanned almost two decades, Viv Anderson, twice a European Cup winner with Nottingham Forest, will forever be remembered as the first black player to represent England in a full international.

Earning his first cap in 1978, Anderson's has been an experience tainted by the toxicity of casual racism.

Along with Forest, Anderson played for such high-profile clubs as Arsenal and Manchester United. Yet, reflecting on an astonishing playing-career, the magnitude of the abuse he and other black players in English football were subjected to cannot be waved away.

Working under the charismatic Brian Clough at Forest for a decade, Anderson revealed in an interview with The Times how the former Derby County and Leeds United manager helped him in dealing with the insidious comments and actions of those carrying out the racist behaviour in football grounds across England.


Recalling a particularly galling trip to Carlisle United, Anderson was "bombarded with fruit during the warm-up."

"Brian Clough told me to get back out there, do my warm-up and bring him back an apple and a banana," Anderson remembers.

A curious kind of logic, Clough reasoned that such a response would "show those fans it wouldn't affect me." Looking back on it now, Anderson claims; "And it didn't."


In reality, however humourous and effective Clough's method for dealing with the issue was, that these football fans could treat a person in such a manner is perplexing, and truly despicable.

You can read the entirety of Viv Anderson's insightful - and occasionally devastating - interview here

See Also: Gary Lineker Steps In It With Poorly Worded Brexit Tweet


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