on 2 December 2013
THIS IS A GREAT BOOK ABOUT VERY COMPLEX MAN WHO HAD AN IDEA OF HIMSELF AS A MAN OF THE PEOPLE BUT AS YOU TURN THE LAST PAGE UNLIKE SCROOGE THE GHOSTS OF PAST PRESENT AND FUTURE REMAIN SEATED IF EVER THEY GOT A CALL.JUST LOOK AT THE GREAT PHOTOGRAPHS INSIDE..DEREK DOOGAN WAS A CROSS BETWEEN LEE VAN CLEEF,JASON KING,AND LATER ON IN LIFE HE ADDED THE RUTHLESS PERSONALITY OF ALAN B'STARD...AND YET LIKE ALL THE COWBOY BADBOYS HE WAS LOVED AND DESPITE AS FUTURE FOE JOHN RICHARDS SAID 'HE HAD A STUNNING WIFE!' IN FACT AS SOMEONE WHO NEVER SAW HIM IN THE FLESH YOU ARE LEFT IN NO DOUBT HE WAS HOLLYWOOD MATERIAL.ITS SO SAD THAT THE MEDIA HAS HIT ON THE CULT OF CLOUGH, BECAUSE I THINK THE LIKES OF REVIE,STOKOE, AND ADDED TO THAT LIST DEREK DOUGAN ARE FAR MORE INTERESTING!..I.M SURE DONE RIGHT YOU COULD MAKE A GREAT LITTLE TV SERIES ABOUT HIS LIFE, FOR IT COVERS MANY SUBJECTS!(I MEAN HE EVEN UPSET ERIC MORECOME!AND TRIED TO LUMP DOUG ELLIS.YOU WERE NOT MEANT TO FEEL SORRY FOR HIS PASSING AND AFTER READING MANY YEARS AGO HIS FIRST BOOK ATTACK,I WANT TO KNOW MORE!AFTER YEARS OF TRAWLING THROUGH THE LIFE OF MANY 70S FOOTBALL ICONS...DEREK DOUGAN IS MY NUMBER 1.... SUPERB TALE ABOUT A REAL COWBOY CHARACTER!..FROM AMAZON UK
"Derek Dougan - Football's most controversial figure" the strap line tells us. Well, I thought, he's in with a stiff bit of competition here, Maradona might have something to say about this.
I remembered Dougan from the early 70s, a swashbuckling strong, fast forward, the type of player that Andy Gray thinks he himself was, with pace that scared full backs and a face the scared children. I also remembered him from the 80s when he was chairman of a sinking Wolves that plummetted down the league, but what I knew nothing of was the earlier career of one of the few players still playing when I became interested in football who had played in the 1958 World Cup.
The first thing that astounded was how old the Doog was, I never really thought about his pre-Wolves years but this book certainly fills in those gaps. Written in a similar style to many football autobiographies there is one significant difference. The authors do not fawn upon Dougan's memory and point out inconsistencies and hypocracies as they see them.
The picture of The Doug as a man is of a complex individual who perhaps didn't live up to the standards in his personal life that he expected of others. He comes across as a man who would be your best friend and do anything for you, but once you disagreed with him you were in the wrong. No questions, he was right and you weren't, as a succesion of managers and ultimately his striking partner and friend, John Richards, were to discover.
The self assured arrogance and even bullying nature does come through in the book, but is balanced by a caring and principled nature of someone with strong, albeit inflexible, convictions. Dougan is not often talked about as a footballing genius beyond the gates of Molinuex, but speak to the Wolves fans of that generation and they will tell you different. A flawed genius, but a genius notheless.
So, was Dougan football most controversial figure? That is for you to judge yourself, but read about his involvement in a fatal car crash, his work for the PFA at the time when freedom of contract was achieved, the arranging of an all-Ireland team to play Brazil and his ultimately doomed time in the Wolves boardroom, and you may come to the conclusion that if he isn't, he's running the competition pretty damn close!
on 6 July 2013
I should know better at my age, but I was seduced by the "Incredible Story of....." title. Granted Doogan did light up quite a few stadiums during his occasional swashbuckling playing career, and had a fairly interesting life off the field. But "incredible" ???? Hardly at all in my neutral view.
I was anticipating inroads into many secret aspects of the man`s life and times but was left feeling somewhat underwhelmed. In fact, VERY underwhelmed. The writers have contributed merely to portray Doogan as just another run of the mill player, in a style which borders on both the banal and the boring.
If you are a Wolves fan then maybe this book will appeal greatly, but for those seeking a well written account of an illustrious British footballing career my advice is to give this a wide berth and get your kicks elsewhere.