Woodcock reveals words of wisdom from Clough and Taylor after Nottingham Forest’s 1979 European Cup triumph

HOPE Valley League round-up.
HOPE Valley League round-up.

Tony Woodcock has revealed former Nottingham Forest management duo Brian Clough and Peter Taylor had to lift the team’s spirits after they won the European Cup in 1979.

The Reds overcame Malmo 1-0 thanks to Trevor Francis’s brave header at the far post to lift European football’s most sought after trophy but Woodcock recalls the game being a disappointment.

He said: “We wanted to win and we wanted to play well. It was not a particularly good game.

“Afterwards we were a little bit disappointed because we’d not put on a real show.

“Even though we’d won, there was no jumping around in the changing room. We liked to play nice football.

“But Brian and Peter said, ‘it’s about the whole competition, not the final game, and you’ve been brilliant all the way through so enjoy it now’.

“That got us out of our disappointment.

“It didn’t last long! We were as good at celebrating as we were on the field.”

It was a special time in the club’s history - from languishing mid-table in Division Two to champions of Europe - and a special time in football, as the achievements of Clough and Taylor are yet to be replicated.

Some say they never will.

“I remember everything, really,” said Woodcock.

“We were in Munich two or three days before the final. Brian was in Majorca on holiday.

“We had two days training and he wasn’t even there.

“He turned up in the afternoon the day before the game after a few days’ holiday.

“We’d been there with Pete just chilling out for a couple of days. It was all very low key and relaxed.

“Whether we were playing Skegness Town or the European Cup final, there was not much of a difference. The preparation was the same.

“I remember getting into Munich, first of all.

“The coach was parked at one end of the Olympic Stadium. We came out at a corner. All the Forest fans were already in the stadium.

“They were already in there as we walked in to head to the changing rooms and we were like, ‘wow’, it was fantastic support.

“But for us, it was just another game. Yes, it was the European Cup, but we just took it in our stride.”

Forest’s history boys gathered for the premiere of Jonny Owen’s I Believe In Miracles - a film documenting Woodcock and co’s achievement on the big screen and now on DVD.

“It’s always the same when we’ve been away and then meet up again. We’re still very close and very tight,” said Woodcock.

“Whenever something like that happens it’s always great.

“It’s like we’ve never been apart when we get back together.

“Nothing ever changes. There’s always a lot of banter.

“You remember everything.

“Then when we’re together, all different stories are coming out; individual stories, what’s gone on with Cloughie or each other.

“It was a pretty wild time with everything that happened.

He added: “All the lads are pretty unassuming. We didn’t know what to expect.

“We’d done a few interviews and knew they were using some footage but we didn’t really dwell on it too much.

“We just left it in Jonny’s hands to put together.

“We didn’t really make too much of it. We all just thought, we know what happens.

“But seeing it put together was great.”