Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 06.37.51JUST as his beloved Boro return to the top flight, Cloughie’s back on the treatment table.

The legendary striker was immortalised in bronze in Albert Park in 2007 and has been a popular feature with football fans and park users ever since.

The work captures Clough on the route he would walk from his home in Valley Road to his beloved Ayresome Park.

In 2009 the 7ft statue – situated near the Dorman Museum/Cenotaph entrance – needed treatment after a stress fracture appeared on the standing leg.

Expert views were sought from a variety of sources including sculptor Vivien Mallock and a leading metallurgist at Teesside University before a solution was devised.

The work was carried out by a firm of bronze repair specialists, with a new support added to the figure’s left foot to improve the statue’s stability.

Now a new crack has appeared in a weld just above the ankle of the same leg, and investigations are under way to assess the extent of the problem.

The statue has been fenced off to allow for a full diagnosis and repair.

Brian Clough made more than 200 appearances for Boro between 1955 and 1961 and would often walk through Albert Park on his way to the club’s former Ayresome Park ground.

Councillor Tracy Harvey, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Environment, said: “The statue is a hugely popular tribute to one of Middlesbrough’s legendary figures.

“Unfortunately wear and tear on such statues is inevitable, but we will look to find a cost-effective and long-term solution.

“I’m confident we will soon have Cloughie match fit again – maybe even in time for Boro’s return to the Premier League.”