Tommy Docherty – Former Manchester United Manager, Former Scottish Football International and Entertaining After-Dinner Speaker.
Tommy Docherty is renowned as one of the most colourful characters in football – the man who often claims to have had more clubs than Jack Nicklaus!
The fast-talking, wisecracking Glaswegian is a stalwart of the After-Dinner circuit and is known throughout the country as ‘THE DOC’.
His views on the game are constantly sought by radio, TV and the newspapers. Few others have his track record in the game.
Tommy Docherty’s football career began when he joined non-League Shettleston Juniors.
In 1946, he was called up for National Service in the Highland Light Infantry. While completing his National Service, Tommy Docherty represented the British Army at football. On demobilisation, Docherty was offered a contract with his beloved Celtic F.C. in 1947.
After spending just over two years with the Celtic, he joined Preston North End F.C. It was at Preston where he enjoyed the most successful period of his playing career, making over 300 League appearances, and appearing in an FA Cup Final in 1954. At Preston he received the first of his 25 full Scotland International Caps.
In 1958, he left Deepdale to join Arsenal F.C. Tommy Docherty finished his professional playing career after three successful years with Arsenal in 1961.
Immediately, Tommy was offered the post of player-coach at Chelsea F.C. and less than twelve months later, after Ted Drake’s departure, Tommy took over as manager.
During his first year in charge he replaced many of the club’s older players in favour of emerging youngsters such as Terry Venables, Bobby Tambling, Peter Bonetti and Barry Bridges. The team achieved promotion back to Division One at the first attempt and finished 5th the following year.
He led Chelsea to the FA and Fairs Cup semi-finals, before reaching the FA Cup Final in 1967.
Later in 1967, Tommy Docherty resigned, and became manager of Rotherham United F.C. After a year he left the club and was appointed manager at Queens Park Rangers F.C., a position he held for only 29 days.
From QPR, Docherty moved to Aston Villa F.C. in December, a role he had for 13 months.
From Aston Villa he went to FC Porto, and in 1971, Docherty was appointed by Hull City A.F.C. as assistant manager to Terry Neill. In the same year he was appointed manager of Scotland.
In December 1972, Frank O’Farrell was sacked as manager of Manchester United, the temptation of managing one of Europe’s biggest clubs was too much to resist; Docherty was poached by United and quit his job with Scotland. Tommy stayed with Manchester United for 5 years.
It was not long before Tommy Docherty was back in work, taking the managers job at Derby County in September 1977, where he stayed for two seasons before resigning in April 1979.
Queens Park Rangers, once again, became his next port of call, where he stayed until October 1980.
After a short spell in Australia coaching Sydney Olympic, his career came full circle and he returned to England to manage Preston North End. After a few months, Docherty returned to Australia to manage South Melbourne until the following year. He also managed Sydney Olympic again in 1983, Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. from 1984 to 1985 and Altrincham F.C. from 1987 to 1988 before retiring from football.
Nowadays, he is in great demand as a celebrity speaker at many events from Multinational Company Conference Dinners, to Personal Appearances, Sportsman’s Dinners and Trade and Industry Association Dinners.
Tommy Docherty is recognised as one of the UK’s funniest football speakers.