Boxing Day 1962: Sunderland’s star striker Brian Clough suffers a career-ending knee injury when he collides with an outrushing goalkeeper. After a forlorn battle to regain fitness, he retires early and sinks into deep despair.
October 1965: Clough persuades ex-’Boro teammate Peter Taylor to join him in managing perennial North-East strugglers Hartlepools United, lying next to bottom of the Fourth Division.
A magical football odyssey has begun.
Alchemy reveals the bittersweet reality of Brian Clough and Peter Taylor’s first management job together. Lower-league Hartlepools United are penniless, with a meddling chairman, a ramshackle ground and want-away players. Yet the management pair tackle every challenge head-on, forging a winning blueprint that later transforms unfashionable Derby County and Nottingham Forest into League and European Cup champions.
Exploiting a wealth of archive newspapers, plus interviews with those present at the creation, Alchemy exposes the humble origins of Clough & Taylor’s meteoric rise to the top of the football tree.