Sam Longson says that Dave MacKay has "broken more bones than Evel the Knievel." It's unlikely in 1968 Longson would have known about him as Evel Knievel only became popular in Britain in the mid 1970s.
During the scene where Brian Clough remains in his office during the 2-1 win over Leeds, the crowd can be heard singing a song to the tune of Tom Hark by The Piranhas. Whilst this is an oft heard tune at football games, the Piranhas cover of Tom Hark wasn't actually recorded until 1980.
In the scene where Leeds United travel down to play Derby for the first time, The shot shows fans rushing to greet the players. In the background you can clearly see a man wearing a current JD sports bag, A modern Addidas tracksuit and baseball cap, clearing having just walked in on the scene.
In the car scene where Brian Clough is going to try and sign Dave McKay, Pete (Timothy Spall) is seen eating a salt and vinegar packet of crusader crisps. Crusader crisps are a Netto own brand product, and Netto first opened in 1981, a few years after the film was set.
Brian Clough had a talk with the team in the tunnel facing the pitch. This was filmed on location at the real Elland Road stadium in Leeds. Visible was the East Stand with its two tiers and the North Stand- behind the goal - both sections were all seated. When Clough was at Leeds United the North Stand would have been completely terracing (ie standing space) and the East Stand would have had standing space at the bottom and seating at the top. It was obvious that the stadium was not a 1970s stadium
When the Leeds players confront Brian Clough in the tunnel at Elland Rd, the new East Stand can be seen behind Clough. This stand was not built until 1990. Also the tunnel they are standing in is not the one used by players to run onto the pitch.
As Clough and Taylor are talking at the Derby training ground, with the rows of terraced houses behind them, two people behind Clough clearly in the picture, disappear on the close up of Clough. The dog and walkers also vary position throughout the scene.
Brian Clough and Peter Taylor are shown walking along the seafront when they travel to Brighton. When they are filmed looking out to the Channel it can be seen they are walking on level ground. When the shot switches to the opposite direction, it is clear they are walking along a road with a definite downwards slope to it.
In the film you see a pier call Brighton Pier, yet in the 1970s this was called the Palace Pier or even Brighton Palace Pier. It was also a completely different looking pier to what was seen, it has been refurbished and changed many times since.
The tie against Leeds shows Derby being so badly fouled by the Leeds players they have to field reserves against Juventus. While Derby did suffer some injuries in the tie against Leeds that year, it actually came before their quarter-final match against Spartak Trnava, which Derby still won despite missing some key players. Moreover, the injuries were not as serious as implied in the film, and all the injured players had recovered by the time of the eventual 3-1 defeat by Juventus which was with a near full-strength Derby squad minus two players who were suspended.
In the montage of footage of actual matches showing Derby's rise to the Second Division championship in 1968-69, one of the games is against Everton. Everton haven't played in the Second Divison since 1953-54. The footage is from 1969-70 when both were in Division One. Everton won the league that season.
The 'snub' of Clough by Don Revie probably never happened as it has never been mentioned by Clough in any of his memoirs and Revie's son Duncan feels it would have been completely out of character for his father to do such a thing.
After being beaten by the Italians, Clough blames the defeat on Leeds. In reality Clough felt that Juventus somehow influenced the referee to favour their side and afterwards berated not Leeds, but Juventus.
When Billy Bremner was punished after his sending off in the Charity Shield he was represented by Maurice Lindley, not Brian Clough. Kevin Keegan who was also at the hearing said that Bremner, who is shown as belligerently unrepentant in the film apologized to him and was close to tears after the sending off
After his sacking, Clough and Revie appeared on a Yorkshire TV Calendar special 'Goodbye Mr Clough'. Revie's participation was not a surprise to Clough as the movie claims. The depiction of it in 'The Damned United' bears only a passing resemblance to reality with the writers inventing most of what was shown on screen. Most notably, the 27.01.68 'snub' was not mentioned by Clough.
The 3rd round F.A Cup tie between Leeds and Derby on the 27th of January 1968 depicted in the movie was played in Leeds, not in Derby, making the entire 'Brian cleans up the Baseball Ground' sequence fictional.
An action scene depicts the Leeds side conceding a goal to Luton Town and post match scenes that depict Luton players celebrating a victory with a caption saying Leeds 0 Luton 1. While the match is correctly portrayed as the game that precipitated the sacking of Brian Clough the actual result was a 1-1 draw.
Brian Clough stays in the dressing room and Peter Taylor tells him they won 2-1. Derby did not beat Leeds 2-1 during Brian Cloughs managership, in fact the first game they played at the Baseball ground against Leeds after getting promoted, Derby won 4-1.
Leeds are depicted as inflicting so many injuries that they were subsequently beaten by Juventus in the European Cup. Actually the subsequent European game was against Spartak Trnava, and a contemporary report, archived at the Derby County website, reports only one serious foul during the Leeds-Derby game in question, inflicted by Colin Todd of Derby on Billy Bremner of Leeds.
Dave Mackay is named on the team sheet for the fictional game against Leeds prior to the Juventus game in 1973 and is the only Derby player not to support Clough's reinstatement as manager. In reality Mackay had left Derby County in 1971. Alan Hinton is also named as in the team for the Leeds game, but he was injured at the time.
Brian Clough is shown to sign Colin Todd as a direct response to the 5-0 defeat at the hands of Leeds United in 1969. In reality, Todd didn't sign for Derby until 1971, at the start of the campaign that saw Derby win the league title.
In some scenes we see the players tunnel, especially when Clough is being berated by Bremner and other players, behind Clough we can clearly see the much more modern two-tier stand which was built in the early 1990s, yet this film is set in the mid 1970s.
A game against Leeds is described as being four days before the 1973 European Cup semi final in Turin versus Juventus. Derby actually played Arsenal on that particular Saturday. The events shown in that game are completely false and notice that no score for that game is shown.
Derby County's rise up the Second Division table in 1968-69 is cleverly shown by superimposing a league table that clocks up points over a montage of footage of their games. However, the table almost always clocks up two points at a time. Derby drew a number of games over the season so the table should have risen by only a single point on occasion.
Brian Clough is shown smoking in the film. His family maintain that he never took up the habit. However in a documentary made in the early 1970's Clough spoke about smoking too much and trying to quit. Perhaps he was careful about not smoking in the company of his family.
Brian Clough seems to resign on behalf of Peter Taylor in the film, but English law makes it impossible to resign on behalf of another person. However, the Derby board may have been unaware that Taylor's resignation letter was a forgery created by Clough, or may have simply not cared about its origin.