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The Ones That Got Away…Derek Dougan

Full Name: Alexander Derek Dougan
Date of Birth: 20th January 1938, Belfast
Nationality: Irish
Position: Forward
Internationals: 43 Caps for Northern Ireland, 8 goals
Signed: March 1959 (£15,000 from Portsmouth)
Left: August 1961 (Sold for £15,000 to Aston Villa)
Clubs (Prior to Rovers): Distillery (Northern Ireland), Portsmouth. (After Rovers) Aston Villa, Peterborough United, Leicester City & Wolverhampton Wanders.

Derek Dougan, a man who went on to be one of the most feared forwards in English football in the late 1960's to mid 1970's becoming one of Wolverhampton Wanderers all time legends, had a brief spell with Blackburn Rovers in the late 50's to early 60's...

Dougan started his career with Distillery in the Irish League then as a defender, winning International honours with Northern Ireland in this position at Schoolboy and Youth levels.

His move to Portsmouth in 1957 saw him switched to the position that made him famous and feared as a centre-forward. However, injury almost ruined Dougan's career before it really took off! An injured ankle took eleven weeks to be diagnosed to its full seriousness, which in actual fact turned out be a broken ankle.

After scoring 9 goals in 33 matches at Fratton Park he moved to Ewood Park for £15,000 in February 1959 for the remainder of the 1958-1959 season.

Always renowned as a controversial figure Dougan took the unprecedented steps of putting in a transfer request on the biggest day in Rovers' history in over 30 years as they prepared for the 1959-1960 seasons FA Cup Final. Despite this he was still named in the side that went on to lose 3-0 to the team he would later be idolised by Wolverhampton Wanderers.

A little over a year later, having played another season with Rovers after his initial transfer request Dougan made the move to Aston Villa in August 1961 for the 1961-1962 season. Two years later, in 1963 he moved onto Peterborough before another move in 1965 to Leicester City.

The move that made Dougan, seeing his move to his spiritual home of Molineux with his £50,000 move to Wolverhampton Wanderers occurred in March 1967. His goals, 9 in only 11 matches at the end of the 1967-1968 season helped Wolves achieve promotion to the top flight.

At 37-years-old after having scored at least one hat trick in the League, League Cup and UEFA Cup competitions with a total of 123 goals in 323 appearances for Wolves he retired at the end of the 1974-1975 season.

A spell with non-league Kettering Town as manager would be followed by an unsuccessful spell back at Molineux when in 1983 he became Chief Executive. He has since raised money for many charities and is said to now be living near Wolverhampton in Codsall.

Although a move away from Ewood Park was ultimately down to Dougan's own doing, his legendary status during the years after his departure throughout the 1960's and mid 1970's certainly means to an extent Derek Dougan is one that got away...

The above information is as accurate to my knowledge as possible, up to and including 1st October 2006.

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The Journalist

Writer: Walker Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday October 27 2006

Time: 8:48AM

Your Comments

See an excellent export from Belfast and N.Ire. Not that im biased at all lol
Clint
There have been a few top footballing stars from Northern Ireland haven't there Pat Jennings, Norman Whiteside to name but a few but the daddy of all daddies and probably GREATEST EVER footballer is Northern Ireland's own the late George Best! Derek Dougan was a fine footballer, although he was before my time but I do know of the guy and have been told about him aswell.
Hughes Da Man
This is going to be controversial but I that in terms of career that Pat Jennings ( AUL SHOVEL MITS ) was the best to come out of NI. Whiteside would have been world class but kinda failed due to a short career in the game. Best is an undoubted talent but like Whitside he was too short in the game. Despite the impact he did have he wasted his talent!! Danny Blanchflower would be up there ther with Pat as my choice of greats out this wee nation
Clint
Fair points Clint. Best did waste his talent somewhat but what he showed was something else. Whiteside's career was cruely ruined and then ended by injury wasn't it so he couldn't quite make that step up he deserved. Blanchflower is an Irish legend isn't he, also one of Spurs' (it was Spurs wasn't it?) greatest ever. Will Northern Ireland ever bring through another real world-class talent like these guys again... from a home nations point of view I hope, but I'm not sure?
Hughes Da Man
I dont know if we'll ever produce a 'world class' talent but if you look at the squad at the min we have some very good young players. Look at Davis (Villa) Evans (Utd) Healy (Leeds) Capaldi (Plymouth) anyway thats off the subject so i'll shut up now.
Clint
No, carry on Clint, N.Ireland do have some good players coming through with Lawrie Sanchez doing a great job!
Hughes Da Man
well we are above the Rep for the first time in dont know how long and when u think we were ranked in outside the Top 100 not to long ago, its a credit to Sanchez and his scouting programme for these young and hungry players
Clint
Indeed Clint. Who will be the next Derek Dougan!!!
Hughes Da Man
The wee, well bid lad Lafferty, I think he will come on leaps and bounds. In the u21 there is Dean Shiels who was with Arsenal till last yr is going to come through and there is Steve Jones although he plays for Burnley so enuff said lol
Clint
well we will soon find out as football has improved and is moving fast than it ever has
marshinrover
 

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