I was saddened to hear that one of my heroes, Derek Dooley, had collapsed and died at his home in Sheffield age 78. I last saw him at a Sheffield FC vs Sheffield United 150th Anniversary match a few months ago. There is tremendous rivalry between United -'The Blades' and Wednesday 'The Owls', but the Big Man was admired by all fans and players in the Steel City.
As a teenager he set the league on fire with 62 goals in 61 appearances for Sheffield Wednesday,1949-52 until a sad afternoon at Deepdale, home of Preston North End, on 14th February 1953. He colliided with the Preston goalie Georg Thompson amd broke his leg. He was taken to hospital but lost his leg after gangrene set in, and never played again. I remember as my primary school friends and I sent him a get well card to hospital. Eventually he became manager at Wednesday but was disgracefully fired on Christmas Eve 1973 and later worked for Sheffiled United, and became commercial manager and then Chairman of The Blades'.
I once had the honour of entertaining me in my house when he was with United and enjoyed the conversation immensely. He was a humble man and had lived with his wife Sylvia and children in the same house since the 1950's. He had an honorary degree from Sheffield Hallam University and was made a Freeman of the City of Sheffield. He will be sadly missed.
Phil Garside the Chairman of Bolton Wanderers turned down some lucrative offers to have his home UEFA Cup match vs Sporting Lisbon televised. The catch was that one broadcaster wanted the kick-off at 7.00pm on a Thursday night and the other at 8.45pm, which was not convenient for Trotters fans at the Reebok Stadium. They kicked off at 8.00pm and attracted a crowd of 25,000, their biggest of the season in a thrilling 1-1 tie with Sporting. WELL PLAYED MR. CHAIRMAN!
Barnsley FC, who host Chelsea from the Premier League in this weekends F.A. Cup quarter-final want to make a little extra money. Clubs often have mascots accompany the teams as the come out of the tunnel and on to the field. Well parents of those at OAKWELL this weekend will have to pay £200 for the privilege, but they get to appear on television. Go easy with the make up!