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Peter Doherty
Peter Doherty (Blackpool.jpg).jpg
Personal information
Full name Peter Dermot Doherty
Date of birth 5 June 1913(1913-06-05)
Place of birth Magherafelt, Northern Ireland
Date of death 6 April 1990 (aged 76)
Place of death Poulton-le-Fylde, England
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Playing position Inside left
Youth career
Station United
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1933-1936 Blackpool 89 (29)
1936-1945 Manchester City 133 (81)
1945-1946 Derby County 15 (7)
1946-1949 Huddersfield Town 83 (33)
1949-1951 Doncaster Rovers (player-manager) 103 (55)
Total 423 (205)
National team
1935-1950 Ireland 16 (3)
Teams managed
1949-1951 Doncaster Rovers (player-manager)
1951-1962 Northern Ireland
1958-1960 Bristol City
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Peter Dermot Doherty (5 June 1913 – 6 April 1990) was a Northern Irish football player and manager.


Playing career

Doherty (left), in his Manchester City days, shaking hands with Jimmy Hampson, of his first club, Blackpool, in the late 1930s. The two were former teammates at Blackpool.

Born in Magherafelt, County Londonderry, Doherty began his career with Glentoran in the Irish League. After helping Glentoran to the 1933 Irish Cup,[1] early in the 1933–34 season Doherty joined English club Blackpool, at the age of 19. He scored 29 goals in 89 league appearances over three seasons. He joined Manchester City in February 1936 for a then-club-record of £10,000.[2] This was an exceptionally high transfer fee for the period; it came within £1,000 of the British record.[1] Doherty's Manchester City debut, against Preston North End, was not a successful one. Tightly man marked by Bill Shankly throughout, he failed to make an impact, leading to one catcall from the crowd of "Ten thousand pounds? More like ten thousand cigarette cards".[3] Doherty later described the remainder of his first Manchester City season as "uneventful",[4] but his second was to be anything but.

Manchester City started the 1936–37 season poorly, and were in the bottom half of the table until December.[3] Occasional big wins, including a 6–2 defeat of West Bromwich Albion and a 4–1 defeat of Everton, were mixed with extended barren runs; at one point the club gained just one win in twelve matches.[5] However, Doherty was scoring goals regularly. A goal in a 5–3 Christmas Day loss to Grimsby Town was his twelfth of the season. Christmas proved to be a turning point for the club, as a win against Middlesbrough the following day was the start of a long unbeaten run.[3] By April, City were second in the table, and faced a fixture against Arsenal, league leaders and the dominant club of the period.[6] Doherty scored the first goal in a 2–0 win, and City reached the top of the table.[3] The unbeaten run continued until the end of the season, and City secured their first league championship with a 4–1 win over Sheffield Wednesday. Doherty, with 30 league goals, was the club's leading scorer, helped by a run of eleven goals in seven games as the season drew to a close.[5]

Doherty scored 81 goals in 133 league appearances during his time at Maine Road. During the Second World War years of 1939–1945, Doherty served in the RAF. He remained registered as a Manchester City player, scoring 60 goals in 89 wartime matches,[2] though wartime games are not generally included in official records. He also guested for numerous clubs across the country: Port Vale, Blackburn Rovers, Derby County, Birmingham, Brentford, Grimsby Town, Lincoln City, Liverpool, Manchester United, West Bromwich Albion and Walsall.[7] After the conclusion of the war, he transferred to Derby County, with whom he won the FA Cup, scoring a goal in the final itself.[8] He also went on to play for Huddersfield Town,scoring 33 goals in 83 league appearances.

Management career

He made his final move to Doncaster in 1949, where he assumed the role of player-manager. He later became manager of Northern Ireland (1951-1962), for whom he had sixteen caps as a player. He led the country to the 1958 World Cup, reaching the quarter finals.[8] He also managed Bristol City. Later life saw him become a scout for Liverpool, helping to unearth such talents as Kevin Keegan.

Honours and awards

Doherty won a league championship medal with Manchester City in 1937 and a cup winner's medal with Derby in the 1946 FA Cup Final. His performances earned him the nickname Peter 'the Great' Doherty. He was regarded by the legendary Joe Mercer as the greatest player who ever lived.

He was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2002.

Following his death in 1990, there is a plaque to mark his birthplace in Magherafelt. It can be found at what is now a local barber's shop.


  1. ^ a b Ward, Andrew (1984). The Manchester City Story. Derby: Breedon. pp. 37. ISBN 0-907969-05-4.  
  2. ^ a b Clayton, David (2002). Everything under the blue moon: the complete book of Manchester City FC - and more!. Edinburgh: Mainstream publishing. pp. 69. ISBN 1-84018-687-9.  
  3. ^ a b c d Ward, The Manchester City Story, p36
  4. ^ Ward, The Manchester City Story, p35
  5. ^ a b James, Gary (2006). Manchester City - The Complete Record. Derby: Breedon. pp. 350. ISBN 1-85983-512-0.  
  6. ^ James, Manchester City - The Complete Record, p47
  7. ^ Kent, Jeff (1996). Port Vale Personalities. Witan Books. p. 86. ISBN 0952915200.  
  8. ^ a b Penney, Ian (1995). The Maine Road Encyclopedia. Edinburgh: Mainstream. ISBN 1-85158-710-1.  
  • Calley, Roy (1992). Blackpool: A Complete Record 1887-1992. Breedon Books Sport. ISBN 1-873626-07-X.  

External links



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