So how is your football-obsessive General Secretary going to persuade Next Left readers that last night's Brian Clough ITV documentary is a relevant subject for this political blog?
Very easily indeed.
1. For a start, there was my Fabian Executive colleague Austin Mitchell, in his Yorkshire television days, right at the centre of the most amazing slice of archive footage that they had: as the interviewer for the TV debate between Brian Clough and Don Revie, the predecessor whom he hated and who had gone on to be England manager on the very night that Clough had been sacked at the end of his disastrous 44-day spell managing league champions Leeds United.
Clough-Revie was Yorkshire's very own Kennedy-Nixon debate, said Mitchell: watching the footage (video), there was no hyperbole in this claim.
2. Interestingly, another former Fabian chair, Philip Whitehead, has a cameo role in the David Peace novel, The Damned Utd, as the MP tries to broker a peace deal between Clough, the board and the protesting fans after Clough resigns amidst acrimony having won the league championship for Derby. Oh, the European success they missed. Clough returned to campaign for his friend Whitehead in the 1979 election.
(Perhaps to secure the cooperation of the Clough family and Leeds players, I felt the programme was rather unfair on Peace's mesmerising novel. The Damned United film is reportedly rather different and somewhat warmer: something of a love story between Clough and his assistant Peter Taylor, who did not follow Clough to Leeds. (I have not read any of the David Peace books on which the major Red Riding adaptation was based: having watched the grim and gripping TV series, I now know that I couldn't face them).
3. Clough was, of course, a popular and populist socialist, if perhaps slightly less New Labour than Alex Ferguson. Clough twice turned down offers to be a Labour candidate. (I don't know the details: can anybody else illuminate us?)
And Clough remains relevant to Labour's fairness message today. He should also now be seen as the great champion of football's lost social mobility. Clough's achievement in winning the league championship with both Derby and Nottingham Forest, and then winning the European Cup twice with a small Midlands club on the basis of his mercurial talent, is no longer possible. If we study the causes and consequences of football's lost social mobility, it tells us something about opportunity and equality in society too. But that is a story for another time.
UPDATE: Alastair Campbell's take this morning. I think I've got more politics into mine?!