Depressing fact of life: If something is too good to be true, it probably is.
Most football fans got a right giggle out of retired Welsh striker Dean Saunders’ story about a pissed Brian Clough trying to sign him for Nottingham Forest back in 1991.
The only problem? It does not appear to be true.
After Saunders told the story on talkSPORT and it went viral, The Guardian‘s chief football correspondent and Nottingham Forest fan Daniel Taylor smelled a rat – suspecting that the former Aston Villa and Liverpool player was embellishing the story for the benefit of the after-dinner speaking trade.
Taylor, who has written a couple of books about Clough, decided to investigate. You can read his piece here, complete with his own drunk Clough anecdote, which he doesn’t share for laughs.
He also put in a call to Clough’s then-assistant Alan Hill, the owner of the house, carpet and flowers at the centre of Saunders’ yarn.
“It’s a good after-dinner speech but unfortunately most of it isn’t true,” Hill told Taylor. “Brian wasn’t drunk, he wasn’t crawling on his hands and knees, he didn’t sit facing a wall, he didn’t mention the carpet once and there was no flowerpot.
“It just feels like he [Saunders] has put this story through a very imaginative scriptwriter and this is what they’ve come up with.”
Saunders declined to comment when contacted by Taylor.