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Byline: John Aldridge

BRIAN CLOUGH waited far too long before apologising for his outrageous comments about the Hillsborough tragedy.

Clough was manager of the Nottingham Forest side that faced the Reds on that fateful day.

But his proximity to the tragedy clearly didn't help him understand the events.

In his autobiography, published in 1994, five years after Hillsborough, he suggested the disaster was a result of the actions of drunk Liverpool supporters.

Not only was it a scandalous, sickening suggestion, he also managed to cause further unnecessary pain and hurt for the families and friends of those people that lost their lives.

This week he apologised for the comments. An admission that he was wrong was long overdue, but shouldn't have been needed in the first place.

He should never have said what he said.

As a prominent footballing figure, people looked up to him. Football fans put great stock by the words of their heroes, and Clough was a hero to a lot of people.

As a result, the pain his comments caused was magnified because of his stature in the game.

He should have kept his mouth shut. Instead, he demonstrated a shocking lack of compassion and a complete failure to understand what really happened that day.

He plummeted in my estimation after those comments.

He may have apologised now, but it is far too late to change my opinion.

I am sure that is a view shared my many people throughout the city.


HOLLOW WORDS: Clough's belated apology won't wash with many on Merseyside
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Copyright 2001 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Oct 6, 2001
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