The damning Brian Clough verdict that almost ended Rangers hero's career as he reveals hilarious tale

Mark Hateley won plenty at RangersMark Hateley won plenty at Rangers
Mark Hateley won plenty at Rangers
The Rangers legend was discussing his career on a popular football podcast when he told the hilarious Brian Clough story.

Rangers striking hero Mark Hateley has recalled the moment he was told by English managing icon Brian Clough that he would never become a professional footballer.

The 62-year-old Gers legend enjoyed an illustrious career that saw him capped 32 times by England, play for the likes of AC Milan and AS Monaco and win 11 trophies during his spell at Ibrox in the 1990s. However, speaking to UndrTheCosh podcast, Hateley revealed Clough shockingly advised him he would never become a pro during his early days in football.

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"I did two pre-seasons at Nottingham Forest. First year was good. Second year was really good. The second one was the year I left school so it was all or nothing. I had a good pre-season, could run all day and I was tall. I was 6ft2-6ft3. Pre-season was never a problem for me," explained the former Rangers forward.

"I played in a couple of bounce games, scored a couple goals then the day came to knock at the door and find out if you were going to get the youth apprenticeship. Brian Clough sat right at the back of his big long office.

"I walked in and he said 'young man, young man - don't bother sitting down. You'll never make a f***ing footballer. Go and get yourself a job in the council. That was it. Off I went out. Out the door. I phoned my Dad and he said 'no, I'm not going to have it.'

"He rang up Gordon Milne, who he played with at Liverpool and was the Coventry City manager and he said 'yeah, send him over and we'll have a look at him'. We went over there and in that November, I signed professional forms, straight onto professional," said Hateley.

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The ex-Ibrox man would of course prove the iconic English manager wrong by going on to win countless trophies in Scotland and abroad, while he was also named 14th in the Ballon d'Or awards back in 1987. However, Hateley did concede he managed to get him own back on the ex-Nottingham Forest boss shortly after he rejection - though he isn't too sure Clough even knew it!

"That year I got to play left wing against Nottingham Forest and I crossed the ball for Mick Ferguson to score the winning goal against Forest. I ran all the way back up the touchline to stand in front of Brian Clough to celebrate...he didn't have a clue who he was," laughed Hateley.

The full episode of UndrTheCosh with Mark Hateley is available to watch on YouTube here.

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