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Monday, 20 January, 2003, 15:01 GMT
Clough 'had two months to live'
Former Nottingham Forest and Derby manager Brian Clough
Clough also had liver cancer
Brian Clough had two months to live before his liver transplant, his surgeon has revealed.

The transplant team also found cancer in the former Derby and Nottingham Forest manager's diseased liver when they performed the life-saving operation at Newcastle's Freeman Hospital.

But consultant Derek Manas told a news conference that the growth had been removed and 67-year-old Clough was making a good recovery.

Mr Manas said: "He is recovering very well, in fact things are going so well he could well be going home in a week."

Clough, who is being treated as an NHS patient, was in good spirits, the surgeon said, adding: "He is being his old self, teaching us all how to play golf and telling us what, and what not, to do.

"It was straightforward. The only complication was that he had liver cancer and we had to give him some chemotherapy. This is a normal protocol.

"He is very lucky. He had weeks or months (to live). I would have been worried if we had waited another two months."

The transplant expert said strict tests had shown Clough had not been drinking for at least six months.

I would have been worried if we had waited another two months

Consultant Derek Manas

"At one stage he said, to be honest, he feels very privileged that he has been allowed to be considered because of the amount of alcohol he has consumed in the past and I respect that in him.

"If we had any doubt about what would happen when he walked out of here we wouldn't have done it, regardless of whether he is Brian Clough."

He is now continuing his recuperation after the 10-hour operation.

And his son Nigel, a former Forest, Liverpool and England striker, is confident that Brian is making a good recovery.

"Dad's had a liver transplant and he's doing okay," Nigel told the Sun newspaper.

Clough revealed in his book Walking on Water the damage excessive drinking has done.

"I was spending time drinking when I should have been doing other things," said Clough.

"It was bound to take over. If you do something to excess, something has to suffer somewhere.

"Drink became more important to me than the anguish I was creating for those I loved most."

Clough guided Derby to the league title in 1972 before taking Forest to successive European Cup wins in 1979 and 1980.

Another leading British football figure, George Best, of Manchester United and Northern Ireland, also had a liver transplant last July after years of alcohol abuse.

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12 Aug 02 | Football
30 Jul 02 | UK News
30 Jul 02 | Health
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