TREATMENT TABLE: Brian Clough statue repairs
For eight months now the statue of legendary Boro striker Brian Clough has been fenced off.
However, it is now known that he is due back on the treatment table after yet another ankle injury, though the Covid pandemic has slowed his recovery.
Deputy mayor Mieka Smiles has said that she hopes the Albert Park statue will be fixed up and fence-free again soon.
She added: “Sadly Cloughie’s picked up another ankle injury, so he’s back on the treatment table.
“We’re in touch with the company that has carried out previous repairs – they were unable to travel during the pandemic restrictions, but now things are starting to return to normal, we hope to arrange a visit in the near future.
“That will enable them to assess the damage and carry out any necessary repair work to get him back to his best.”
How many times has Cloughie been sidelined before?
This is not the first time that the 7ft statue – situated near the park’s Cenotaph entrance – has been benched due to injury since its unveiling in 2007.
In 2009, the statue, which is popular with footie fans, needed work done after a fracture appeared on its standing leg, which was successfully patched up.
However, injury hit again in 2016 when the statue endured a six-month lay-off after a crack in Cloughie’s ankle saw him needing repairs.
He was repaired by Bronze Age Sculpture Casting Foundry who both diagnosed and repaired the issue.
It’s not clear yet how long the statue will remain fenced off on this occasion or how long the repairs will take, but we’ll all be hoping he is back fighting fit sooner rather than later.
What inspired the statue?
Sculptor Vivien Mallock immortalised Clough on his walk between his house on Valley Road, in Grove Hill, to the infamous Ayresome Park.
Between 1955 and 1961 Clough played for Boro more than 200 times and would frequently walk through Albert Park on the way to the ground.
Despite a devastating knee injury shortening his career, he went on to become, arguably, one of the greatest managers English football has ever seen.
In 1967, Clough, along with assistant Peter Taylor, joined second division team Derby County and by 1972 the team was crowned English champions (now the Premier League).
Brief spells at Brighton and Hove Albion and Leeds United followed before Clough went to Nottingham Forest where he repeated his magic.
As the manager, much like he did with Derby County, he took Forest all the way to become English Champions and even won two European Cups and two League Cups.
Hopefully, the injured statue doesn’t act as a bad omen for Boro whose upcoming fixtures include Bristol City, QPR, and Derby County.
The team started their Championship season with a 1-1 draw to Fulham, however, have since lost their first-round Carabao Cup match 3-0 to Blackpool meaning they are out of the competition.
Words: Emily Craigie, Local Democracy Reporter
Watch the channel on TV