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Derek Dougan
Personal information
Full name Alexander Derek Dougan
Date of birth 20 January 1938(1938-01-20)
Place of birth    Belfast, Northern Ireland
Date of death    24 June 2007 (aged 69)
Place of death    Wolverhampton, England
Playing position Defender / Midfielder / Forward
Youth career
1951–1954 Cregagh Boys
Senior career1
Years Club App (Gls)*
Blackburn Rovers
Aston Villa
Peterborough United
Leicester City
Wolverhampton Wanderers
Los Angeles Wolves (guest)
Kansas City Spurs (guest)
Shamrock Rovers XI (guest)
Kettering Town
076 0(17)
033 00(9)
059 0(26)
051 0(19)
077 0(38)
068 0(35)
258 0(95)
011 00(3)
006 00(4)
0110 (11)
0350 (37)
National team
Northern Ireland Schoolboys
Northern Ireland U-19's
Northern Ireland Amateurs
Northern Ireland B
Northern Ireland

1 Senior club appearances and goals
counted for the domestic league only.
* Appearances (Goals)

Alexander Derek Dougan (20 January 1938 – 24 June 2007) was a Northern Irish professional footballer. Dougan played for several clubs, but had his longest association with Wolverhampton Wanderers.

In 18 years in the English League, Dougan scored 294 goals in 685 matches, including 95 in 258 for Wolves. He began his career as a wing-half / central defender before being converted to a centre-forward. During his career, Dougan scored hat-tricks in the First Division, the Second Division, the Third Division, the FA Cup, the League Cup and the UEFA Cup and scored more English League goals than any other Irishman.

On 24 June 2007, Dougan died at the age of 69 from a heart attack at his home in Wolverhampton.[1] His funeral was held on 5 July 2007 at St. Peter's Church, Wolverhampton, and the service was transmitted to a crowd of mourners outside the church with loudspeakers.

He was the first ever player to score against San Marino in international competition, netting two for Northern Ireland during a 7-0 friendly victory in 1963. It was the first ever competitive fixture to be played by San Marino (their team was only formed in 1962) and they have not won a single match since.


Club career


Early years

Dougan made 76 appearances and scored 17 goals for Distillery, helping them win the Irish Cup in 1956, before joining Portsmouth for a fee of £4,000 in August 1957. Dougan made 33 league appearances and scored 9 league goals for Portsmouth, playing a further three games for them in the FA Cup.

He then moved to Blackburn Rovers in March 1959 for a fee of £15,000 and scored on his debut in a 1-1 draw away to Arsenal. 'Doog', went onto to play for Rovers in the 1960 FA Cup Final against his future club Wolves, despite having asked for a transfer on the eve of the match. It was his brace in the semi-final against Sheffield Wednesday that had secured Rovers' passage to Wembley and Dougan famously went on to score four goals in a 6-2 victory over West Ham.

After two and a half years at Ewood Park, Dougan went to Aston Villa in July 1961. Two years later he moved to Peterborough United before signing for Leicester City in May 1965, where he stayed for just under two seasons.

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Dougan joined Wolverhampton Wanderers for £50,000 in March 1967. In just over eight seasons at Wolves, he made 323 senior appearances and scored 123 goals, placing him as their eighth highest goalscorer of all-time.

He marked his home debut by scoring a hat-trick against Hull City on 25 March 1967, in a season that saw him help Wolves clinch promotion from the Second Division. He was then leading marksman at Wolves in 1967-68, 1968-69 and 1971-72. He also netted a hat-trick in the UEFA Cup against Académica, becoming the only Wolves player to date to have scored a hat-trick in a major European competition. His tally of 12 goals in European competition is also a club record. Four days before that game, Dougan had also netted three goals when Wolves beat Nottingham Forest in a league match.

During his time at Wolves, Dougan formed successful partnerships with Peter Knowles, Hugh Curran, Bobby Gould and then John Richards and in 1974 collected a League Cup winners medal. Dougan also played for Wolves in the United States when, playing as the Los Angeles Wolves, they won the United Soccer Association title in 1967, and in 1969, playing as Kansas City Spurs, they won the NASL International Cup.

Dougan was a beloved personality of the game and idolised by the Molineux crowd for his sometimes audacious antics and opinionated views on the game and, in particular, a professional players lot within the Football Association vis a vis their ownership or "free agency" rights. Dougan was known for his traditional centre forward heading prowess but was surprisingly adept with his feet despite his gangly height. This was particularly evident during his "de rigueur" move of playing a ball to the corner flag and achieving a very high percentage of corner kicks.

He played for Wolves until his retirement from league football in 1975, when he went into management with non-league Kettering Town. He was honored with a testimonial by the club against a Don Revie Select Xl on 20 October 1975.

International career

Dougan represented Northern Ireland at schoolboy, U-19, amateur and B level as a wing-half and centre-defender. Dougan won 43 senior caps and scored 8 goals for Northern Ireland. He made his international debut on 8 June 1958 in 1-0 win against Czechoslovakia during the 1958 FIFA World Cup, his country's first-ever World Cup finals match. He made his final appearance for Northern Ireland on 14 February 1973 in a 1974 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Cyprus.

Together with Pat Jennings and Martin O'Neill, Dougan was also one of seven Northern Ireland internationals to feature in a "Shamrock Rovers" XI against Brazil in an exhibition match in July 1973. Dougan scored one of Rovers goals in the 4-3 defeat. The Rovers XI was actually an All-Ireland team, which also featured Republic of Ireland internationals. The Northern Ireland-based IFA had opposed the staging of the game, with the FAI also having reservations (according to Republic manager Liam Tuohy). Dougan, who had helped organise it, was subsequently to allege that his involvement in this game meant he never played for Northern Ireland again,[2] though this overlooks the fact that he hadn't actually played in any of Northern Ireland's five previous games, had failed to score in any of the last 10 Northern Ireland games he had played in and at 35, was in any case near the end of his career. Dougan continued to be an advocate of an All-Ireland soccer team, however.[3]

Off-field life

During the 1970 FIFA World Cup Dougan was a panelist for ITV. He served as chairman of the Professional Footballers Association from 1970 to 1978 and was instrumental in the establishment of players rights and free agency. Dougan believed passionately that players should control their own destiny and used his position as Chairman of the PFA to further players rights. Many of football's modern elite have benefited from Dougan's passionate perseverance of this issue and this may well be reflected upon as his lasting, albeit controversial, legacy.

In August 1982 he became chief executive and later chairman of Wolves, as part of a consortium that saved the club from liquidation, a position he retained until 1985. He stood as a parliamentary candidate for East Belfast in the 1997 election, but got only 1.4% of the vote. In December 2005, Dougan helped carry the coffin of George Best with a number of other Northern Ireland teammates. On 14 June 2006, he appeared on the BBC political show Question Time, as a representative of United Kingdom Independence Party.



Blackburn Rovers


Los Angeles Wolves

Kansas City Spurs


  • Who's Who Of Aston Villa (2004): Tony Matthews [1]
  • The Sash He Never Wore (1972): Derek Dougan
  • The Sash He Never Wore ... Twenty Five Years On (1997): Derek Dougan


External links


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