Had a night away from the laptop yesterday, and took Mrs Builder to the cinema in Burton to see 'The Damned United'.
I clearly remember Brian Clough's short spell at Leeds United, being an 8 year old soccer-mad kid and Leeds fan living in the city. I also remember the hostility awarded to Clough by the people of the city, fans or otherwise.
The film sensibly avoids being a film about football. It concentrates on the relationships between Clough and three others - his friend and number two Peter Taylor, his rival Don Revie, and his Derby Chairman Sam Longson. Whilst the film's biggest weakness is the shallowness of the secondary characters - Johnny Giles is played by an actor who thinks he's playing Vinny Jones - it has two main strengths. Firstly, Taylor, Revie and Longson ( Timothy Spall, Colm Meaney and Jim Broadbent ) are excellent in their roles.
And secondly ( and the reason you should see this movie ), Michael Sheen as Brian Clough makes the film. Forget about the football, Sheen plays Clough superbly. I believe the book from which the film is adapted is a bit of a hatchet job, but Sheen makes him a likeable if complicated man, and you come away from the film with admiration for Clough and similar admiration for Sheen.
And watching in a Burton cinema, you also get a sharp intake of breath when, during an argument with Taylor, Clough barks 'without me, you'd still be at Burton Albion'!