Dereck Dooley of Sheffield

Sheffield is a city of two big football team in common with such cities there is rivalry between the two teams. However one figure is cherished as part of the history of both teams: Dereck Dooley. To the extent a major road in Sheffield is named after him; Dereck Dooley way.

Dereck Dooley was born in Sheffield 13 December 1929. Many people who have travelled by car in Sheffield will have been on Dereck Dooley way. His first professional games were at Lincoln City. He only played two games for Lincoln but he scored in both therefore Lincoln would have liked to keep him but he naturally chose Sheffield Wednesday instead. He continued his impressive record as a striker at Sheffield Wednesday; on average scoring every game. This average boosted by occasions like scoring 8 in the same match against WHO?

Unfortunately his playing careeer was cut short on Valentine’s Day 1953 when he suffered a broken leg colliding with the Preston keeper during an away match. It was a double fracture which developed gangrene and hence led to an amputation. At the time this tragedy was rounmered to be party blamed on chemicals from white touch line getting into his leg.

Filling the end of his playing career he took several non playing positions at Sheffield Wednesday before becoming manager in January 1971. His most sucked uk season as manager was 1972 -1973 when Wednesday finished 10th. However the next season that started later in 1973 started bad due to changes in management and a virus in November wiping out much of the team. He was sacked on Christmas Eve 1973, leaving him so bitter that he did not return to Sheffield Wednesdays ground for 20 years. Today although never playing for Aheffiekd United there is a stature of him outside their ground dressed in a suit and tie.

Following his sacking from Sheffield Wednesday he ended up working for their rivals Sheffield united instead in a variety of roles including commercial manager, director and chairman. In 2006 when he was chairman Sheffield united returned to the premiership for the first time in 12 years.

Ultimately Dereck Dooley became highly regarded in Sheffield. At a match at Sheffield Wednesday’s ground against Sheffield united in 1992 he received a standing ovation from both sets of fans. In 1993 he was made a freeman of the City of Sheffield in 1993. In 2003, he was awarded an MBE in the New Years Honours List. and received an honorary doctorate degree from Sheffield Hallam University.

Dereck Dooley died in 2008. Although I was in Sheffield at the time I was not aware of his funeral taking place in Sheffield cathedral with crowds gathered outside.

Author: wonderwall360blog

So many wonders of the world to write about on my blog wall. I'm an Oasis fan hence using wondewall as blog name.

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