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RIP Tommy 'The Doc' Docherty


The Rising Sun
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On 26 September 1961, first team coach Tommy Docherty, a combative Scottish midfielder until the previous season, was asked to succeed the only man ever to win the league with Chelsea, Ted Drake.

Drake was only four years into a 10-year contract — the longest ever handed to a manager at the time — but the Board felt he fell short in converting brilliant juniors into winning pros. That responsibility now fell to someone who had only just hung up his boots. In keeping with the rebellious Sixties, Chelsea’s new manager was maverick, sharp-witted and thoroughly modern. He would introduce training and tactical innovations borrowed from Europe’s top clubs, and introduce the blue-blue-white strip that is Chelsea’s iconic kit.

Yet some players found his unpredictability difficult to take and ‘The Doc,’ in turn, resented the influence the young skipper Terry Venables exerted over his teammates. Life was never ever dull with Docherty at the wheel. Club secretary John Battersby relates the story from a European trip of an air stewardess coming to the back of the airplane to ask if someone in authority might stop the high-jinks of the players at the front, which were disturbing other passengers. Battersby obliged and found the source of the uproar to be the ebullient Docherty.

When this or other incidents occurred, the Scot’s close relationship with chairman Joe Mears spared further action. Mears indulged Docherty’s darker moments because he had, indeed, produced the most exciting Chelsea team for decades, and without breaking the bank. Fast, vibrant, youthful, they suffered relegation in the first few months of his management but roared back with promotion in 1963. The following season ‘Docherty’s Diamonds’ genuinely challenged for the domestic treble (London’s first League Cup success, though welcome, was scant reward for their performances) but is chiefly remember now for the ‘Blackpool Incident.’ On 22 April 1965 Docherty sent eight players home for breaking curfew at their Blackpool hotel; with those men absent the Blues lost 2-6 the following weekend, ending any remaining title chance. ‘Possibly I’m too impulsive,’ he admitted. ‘Possibly I could be more understanding.’ Nevertheless in 1965/66, the Blues enjoyed a fantastic Inter-Cities Fairs Cup campaign, falling to Barcelona in the semi-finals only after a replay. That same year, though, Mears died suddenly of a heart attack and the Doc’s tempestuous side would no longer be tolerated.

After the huge disappointment of losing the ‘first Cockney cup final’ to Spurs at Wembley in 1967, Docherty abused a local official on a Caribbean tour and was handed a lengthy ban from the game. Chelsea swiftly sacked him and Dave Sexton would return to inherit a much-admired squad. The passing of a thrilling, rollercoaster era was widely lamented. One supporter paid for a death notice in the Times: ‘In Memoriam, Chelsea Football Club, which died Oct. 6 1967, after 5 proud and glorious years.’

In those years at the Bridge Docherty had spent £615,750 but recouped £776,000 — a surplus of £160,250. Few Chelsea managers can boast the same.

 

https://www.chelseafc.com/en/about-chelsea/history/former-managers/tommy-docherty

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Great man, and a significant figure of the club in the 1960s.

He was our manager when we won our first League Cup in 1965, and he set the foundations for a strong team in the late 1960s and early 1970s which culminated most famously in our 1970 FA Cup victory over Leeds United.

RIP 'The Doc'

37457262-0-image-a-41_1609430684050.jpg

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There are some great comments under the Guardian obituary from old Chelsea and United fans. I met him a few times in the old Bull's Head in Hale Barns where he would go to drink. Players like Lou Macari, Martin Buchan, and Jim Holton would come in and a few City players like Dave Watson, Joe Corrigan, and Mike Summerbee, and they were always happy to have a laugh and a joke with the fans. Even then he would say that he would have won the league with Chelsea if they'd kept Jimmy Greaves, and I've heard other Chelsea fans say something similar. 

A mate of mine tells a great story of being pursued along the platform at Euston by Arsenal fans and Tommy Doc and Lou Macari dragging him on board the train as it left. He spent the journey back to Piccadilly in the team compartment in 1st class.  

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12 hours ago, Jezz said:

Great man, and a significant figure of the club in the 1960s.

He was our manager when we won our first League Cup in 1965, and he set the foundations for a strong team in the late 1960s and early 1970s which culminated most famously in our 1970 FA Cup victory over Leeds United.

RIP 'The Doc'

I remember the 1964-65 season and the run-in. For a long while it was a three-horse race with United. Chelsea, and Leeds. Chelsea dropped off right at the end with a handful of games to go. I was watching an old video of our home game with Liverpool and at the end, as the players walked off, the commentator said now we'll have to wait and see what Leeds and Chelsea have done. I think the Doc always held as much affection for his Chelsea players as he did for his United players. 

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Watching football focus on the BBC today and we actually got a mention in relation to Tommy with him getting us to the FA final where we lost to Liverpool. (We also won the League Cup under him)

The commentator they brought in was an older Lou Macari who gave a little insight playing under him:

He never talked about the opposition, no systems just told to go out and entertain the fans. 

 

Most of the coverage was Utd and one point was interesting, Docherty stopped Liverpool winning the treble in 77 by winning the FA Cup.

 

They had a clip from an interview with Terry Wogan trying to start with a good leading question.

'Tommy, What's the secret to being a good manager.'

Docherty with a fast response,

'Good players!'

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30 minutes ago, Strider6003 said:

Watching football focus on the BBC today and we actually got a mention in relation to Tommy with him getting us to the FA final where we lost to Spuds Liverpool. (We also won the League Cup under him)

The commentator they brought in was an older Lou Macari who gave a little insight playing under him:

He never talked about the opposition, no systems just told to go out and entertain the fans. 

 

Most of the coverage was Utd and one point was interesting, Docherty stopped Liverpool winning the treble in 77 by winning the FA Cup.

 

They had a clip from an interview with Terry Wogan trying to start with a good leading question.

'Tommy, What's the secret to being a good manager.'

Docherty with a fast response,

'Good players!'

 

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