Tommy Docherty: Former Scotland, Chelsea and Manchester United manager dies aged 92

Former Scotland, Chelsea and Manchester United manager Tommy Docherty has died at the age of 92 following a long illness.

Tommy Docherty pictured in a Scotland jersey in season 1970/71.

Docherty, who was known as 'The Doc', spent nine years as a player with Preston, and won 25 caps for Scotland.

He went on to manage 12 clubs – including Chelsea, Aston Villa and Derby – as well as a stint in charge of Scotland.

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But he was best known for his five-year spell at Old Trafford, overseeing an FA Cup final win over Bob Paisley's Liverpool in 1977.

Docherty died at home in the north-west on England on December 31.

A family statement read: "Tommy passed away peacefully surrounded by his family at home.

"He was a much-loved husband, father and papa and will be terribly missed.

"We ask that our privacy be respected at this time. There will be no further comment."

A football career which began at Shettleston Juniors in the east end of Glasgow ended with ‘The Doc’ in the dugout after coaching 12 different clubs and establishing himself as one of Scottish, and British football’s, most colourful characters some four decades later.

Capped 25 times for the national team he would also go on to manage for 15 months, Docherty starred for Scotland at both the 1954 and 1958 World Cup finals.

He would have led the national side to the 1974 World Cup too, but was lured to Manchester United, a career move he later said he regretted. However, Docherty also reflected if he hadn’t made the move, he wouldn’t have met second wife Mary Brown. It was a relationship that led to the end of his first marriage, to Agnes, and his sacking at Old Trafford.

Relations at Old Trafford remained strained, however Docherty retained affection for Chelsea, and his boyhood club Celtic.

Growing up in the Gorbals area of Glasgow he admitted he ‘was a bit of a scallywag’ and ‘national service was the making of me’.

He represented the British Army on the football field as well as Shettleston, then played nine times for Celtic before moving to Deepdale. More than 300 appearances for Preston North End earned international recognition, before moving to Arsenal nine years later.

A transfer across London to Stamford Bridge as a player-coach saw The Doc embark on a managerial career spanning 27 years. He signed well-known names like Terry Venables and Peter Bonetti for Chelsea and gained promotion back to the old Division One at his first attempt in 1963, and won the League Cup two years later.

Short stays of little more than a year followed at Rotherham, Aston Villa and Porto, surrounding a month in charge of Queen’s Park Rangers.

Then, following Bobby Brown’s departure from Hampden, Docherty was put in charge of a Scotland squad boasting the likes of Jimmy Johnstone and Billy Bremner in 1971 and gave Kenny Dalglish his first cap.

But a year into the job with a squad that would reach the 1974 World Cup finals, Docherty was recommended to Manchester United by Scotland striker Denis Law, and kept the Reds in the top flight in 1973. He was unable to stop their relegation the following year – consigned in part by a back-heel goal by Law – then of Manchester City, having been released months earlier against Matt Busby’s wishes.

Docherty returned United to the top flight and to two FA Cup finals, winning one against rivals Liverpool in 1977 but he was sacked months later in a blaze of publicity after admitting an affair with Mary, wife of Old Trafford physio Laurie Brown.

Two years in Derby and subsequent short spells in charge of clubs in England and Australia failed to bring further success but Docherty’s place in Scottish football was cemented by his induction to the Scottish football hall of fame in 2013.

Later a popular raconteur and interviewee, Docherty, told The Scotsman’s Aidan Smith back in 2010: “If I knew I was going to live this long, heh heh, I'd have taken better care of myself.”

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