The Ones That Got Away…Derek Dougan
Full Name: Alexander Derek Dougan
Date of Birth: 20th January 1938, Belfast
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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