Writer: Stuart Smith
Date:Sunday June 24 2007
Wolves legend Derek Dougan has died, aged 69.
One of the games more colourful characters, The Doog signed for Wolves in 1967 from Leicester City for £50,000, forming strike partnerships with Hugh Curran, Peter Knowles, and possibly most famously, John Richards.
He went on to make 323 appearances, including 18 in Europe, scoring 123 goals in total and was an integral part of the 1974 League Cup winning side where Wolves beat a Manchester City side featuring Frannie Lee, Rodney Marsh and Colin Bell 2-1.
Toward the end of his career he was elected Chairman of The Professional Footballers Association, and until his death remained a strong exponent of players rights in football, and their welfare after leaving the game.
In 1983 he returned to Wolves as Chief Executive under The Bhatti brothers, which for some, tainted his legacy, but to most Wolves fans, the memories will always be of a footballing wizard, not a political pawn.
Beginning his career in Northern Ireland with Lisburn Distillery, in August 1957 he signed professional forms with Portsmouth. He left Fratton Park in March 1959, signing for Blacburn Rovers for £15,00 and following moves to Aston Villa, Peterborough United and Leicester City, he joined Wolves in 1967 where he remained until retirement.
The Doog twice travelled to America, representing LA Wolves and Kansas City Spurs, winning the NASL title in 1967 and the NASL International Cup in 1969.
The only Wolves player to score a hat trick in Europe, The Doog earned 43 caps for Northern Ireland, scoring 8 times.
Sometimes magical, often controversial, the mercurial nature of The Doog's talent meant he frequently found himself on the wrong side of footballing authority, and he may still be the only professional player booked for throwing a snowball.
In 1973 he was one of the organisers of an "all Ireland " side, Shamrock Rovers XI also featuring Pat Jennings, Martin O'Neil and several Republic players that took on Brazil, with The Doog scoring in a 4-3 defeat.
The Northern Ireland FIA strongly opposed the unification match and The Doog never represented his country again.
For all the controversy, the jokes (that included once shaving his head bald) and the furore, everyone at Olofin Towers will always remember him as simply one of the most talented players to ever wear a Wolves shirt.
Vital Wolves offers its sincerest condolences to the Dougan family.
WOLVES PLAYING CAREER 1967-1975
League Appearances 244(14) Goals 95
FA Cup Appearances 12(0) Goals 4
League Cup Appearances 22 Goals 7
European Games Appearances 18(0) Goals 12
Other Appearances 11 (2) Goals 5
TOTAL APPEARANCES 307(16) GOALS 123
Date:Sunday June 24 2007
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