The Damned United

A play about legendary manager Brian Clough is coming to Sunderland – the city where his playing career was so tragically cut short.

Clough moved to the Black Cats from his hometown club Middlesbrough in 1961, scoring 63 goals in 74 appearances before an on-pitch collision on Boxing Day 1962 ended his days as a striker.

Always controversial, Clough went on to a hugely-successful managerial career, lifting the European Cup twice, as well as the League Cup (four times) and winning the First Division title with both Derby County and Nottingham Forest.

Anders Lustgarten’s play The Damned United charts his turbulent 44 days at Leeds United and will be performed at The Royalty Theatre on Tuesday 13th and Wednesday 14th of November (7.30pm).

A sell-out success when it received its world premiere in 2016, The Damned United is touring nationally for the first time. A stripped-back new staging performed by Luke Dickson (Brian Clough), David Chafer (Peter Taylor) and Jamie Smelt (Sam Longson/Syd Owen/Jack Kirkland et al) brings audiences up-close to the sweat, fury and power-struggles from pitch-side and inside the flawed but brilliant mind of ‘Old Big ‘ed’.

1974. Brian Clough, the enfant terrible of British football, tries to redeem his managerial career and reputation by winning the European Cup with his new team. Leeds United. The team he has openly despised for years, the team he hates and which hates him. Don Revie’s Leeds.

Originally co-produced with the West Yorkshire Playhouse, The Damned United takes you inside the tortured mind of a genius slamming up against his limits.

The play is adapted from David Peace’s best-selling novel and presented by Red Ladder. For tickets go to