Tommy Docherty: colourful, complex coach with a formidable football brain | Ewan Murray

The former manager of Scotland, Manchester United and many others was an unconventional and outspoken coach

Tommy Docherty spent a lifetime breaching convention. From a loft – a “doocot” to Docherty – atop the main stand at Stamford Bridge, he could be found peering down on Chelsea. Docherty, the club’s manager from 1961 until 1967, determined he could have a better view of play from on high.

If that was a footballing break from the norm, Docherty’s departure from Manchester United in the summer of 1977 because of an affair with the physiotherapist’s wife dominated Britain’s news agenda. Docherty later married Mary Brown – the pair remained together until his death aged 92 – and apparently bore no grudges at all about his sacking but the scenario was tabloid gold. It helped that Docherty was and remained one of football’s great personalities.

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