Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 27 August 2014

Wolves honour for Derek Dougan

Colourful former Northern Ireland skipper, the late Derek Dougan, has been inducted into the Wolverhampton Wanderers Hall of Fame.

‘The Doog’, as he was affectionately known, played 43 times for his country, scoring eight goals, and was a massive hit at Wolves in the twilight of his illustrious, and often controversial, career.

Dougan, who died in 2007 aged 69, helped organise an all-Ireland team to face Brazil at Lansdowne Road in 1973. He was scorned by many in Northern Ireland for his role in the enterprise.

As PFA chairman, Dougan led the fight for freedom of contract for players.

After leaving Wolves, he became player/chief executive at Southern League club Kettering Town where he introduced the then ground-breaking concept of shirt sponsorship.

Dougan was also a popular television pundit, working for ITV during the 1974 World Cup.

He returned to his beloved Wolves as chairman and chief executive in 1983 — as part of the ill-fated Bhatti brothers regime — but resigned in 1985. He later dabbled in politics.

But it will be for his football that Dougan is chiefly remembered.

He was friend and Northern Ireland team-mate to the great George Best, acting as pall-bearer at his fellow east Belfast man’s funeral in 2005.

Dougan played for Distillery, Portsmouth, Blackburn, Aston Villa, Peterborough, Leicester and Wolves where he collected a League Cup winners medal in 1974, his last full season at the club. Dougan stayed at Molineux for seven years — his longest spell at any club — and scored 123 goals in 323 games for the Midlanders.

It was his larger-than-life personality as much as his goals that endeared him to the Wolves faithful.

A legend has gained his rightful place in the club’s Hall of Fame.

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