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Brian Clough, 69, soccer manager

DERBY, England -- Brian Clough, the charismatic coach who led Nottingham Forest to consecutive European Cup titles in 1979-80 and became known as the ''best manager England never had," died Monday at Derby City General Hospital. He was 69.

Mr. Clough, who also managed Derby County, had stomach cancer, his family said.

Mr. Clough, who battled alcoholism toward the end of his career, had a liver transplant in 2003.

He won nine major trophies during his 18-year stint with Nottingham Forest and was one of the most colorful, and respected figures in English soccer.

''The success he had here goes down as one of the great football achievements of all," Forest chairman Nigel Doughty said. ''Wherever you go in the world, the city of Nottingham has become synonymous with Robin Hood and Brian Clough."

Mr. Clough, famous for his quips, once said: ''I wouldn't say I was the best manager in the business. But I was in the top one."

Apparently considered too outspoken for the job, he never coached England's national team.

Mr. Clough appeared in only two games for England before knee injuries ended his playing career at age 29. He scored 251 goals as a forward for Middlesbrough and Sunderland.

He began his managerial career with Hartlepool from 1965-67. He managed Derby from 1967-73, steering the side to the second division title in 1969 and its first top flight championship in 1972.

After brief spells with Brighton and Leeds, Mr. Clough managed Nottingham Forest from 1975 until his retirement in 1993.

Forest won the English league title and League Cup in 1978, the European Cup and League Cup in 1979, and the European Super Cup and European Cup in 1980. Forest also won the League Cup in 1989 and 1990.

Only one British manager won more European Cups, with Bob Paisley leading Liverpool to three titles.

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