Gary Lineker has shared a brilliant story involving Nottingham Forest icon Brian Clough. He told the tale on this week’s edition of The Rest is Football.

Lineker tells hilarious story on Forest icon Brian Clough

Most players who played in Lineker’s era have a story about the legendary Forest man. Lineker’s might just be one of the best of the lot.

Forest Lineker
Photo; GLYN KIRK; AFP; Getty Images

He told The Rest is Football: “Towards the latter stages of my career when I was at Barcelona I was 29 going on 30 and I’d been playing on the wing all that season. I’d decided I had to leave really at the end of the season.

“We were on the end-of-season tour with England playing in Denmark and we had a friendly there and I always roomed with Peter Shilton. The phone went and I was actually in the bathroom and I heard Shilts answer the phone.

“He was an incredibly confident guy with everybody but I thought, I could hear him chattering away, and I thought, ‘That doesn’t sound like Shilts, he sounds like he’s a little bit nervous here’.

“He shouted to me and I came in and Shilton covered the mouthpiece of the phone and he told me it was Brian Clough. I walked over a picked it up and this voice said, ‘Young man, have you washed your hands?’

“I told him I had Mr Clough and he told me to call him Brian. He then asked if I was signed, sealed and delivered and I told him I was quite open-minded. He then asked if I’d consider coming back to England with Nottingham Forest.

“I told him, no and that if I came back to England I’d want to go back to one of the big clubs. At that point, Shilton buried his head in the pillow.

“I dug myself into a massive hole and in the end I said I was from Leicester and asked him if he understood that aspect. He replied, ‘No I don’t, call me Mr Clough’, and put the phone down!”

Lineker was wanted by Clough at Forest

The Reds would have welcomed Lineker at that time. He had proved himself as one of the most important strikers in the country at that point and adding him to the Forest ranks would have been quality.

Lineker would go on to sign for Tottenham at that point. He actually played against Forest in the 1991 FA Cup Final and it would seem as though he made the right call.

For Forest fans, hearing Clough stories from players and managers of old is incredible. He really was one of a kind and there are some crackers out there.

Forest Lineker
Photo; Julian Finney; Getty Images

Clough was arguably the greatest manager ever to work in football. He won everything there was to win with Forest at that time, except for the FA Cup.

In leading Forest to two European Cup wins in successive seasons was remarkable. He did it in an emphatic fashion with a group of players who gave everything for him.

Lineker didn’t seem to hold any regrets about not signing for him on the podcast. However, hearing this story might make Forest wonder what the Reds could have achieved with Lineker in their team.

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