The former Manchester United and Scotland manager Tommy Docherty has died at the age of 92 following a long illness, his family have announced.
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, and had a stint in charge of Scotland.
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.
United said: “We are deeply saddened by the passing of Tommy Docherty, who led us to FA Cup victory in 1977 with a thrilling, attacking team in the best traditions of Manchester United. Everyone at the club sends sincere condolences to Tommy’s loved ones.”
Docherty died at home in the north-west on 31 December. A family spokesperson said in a statement released to the PA news agency: “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.”
His time at Preston included an appearance in the 1954 FA Cup final and he won the first of his 25 caps, playing twice in the 1954 World Cup.
In 1958 Docherty joined Arsenal, where he effectively ended his playing career. Although he made a few appearances for Chelsea after moving to Stamford Bridge in February 1961, the switch brought about his first step into coaching and management.
He was unable to prevent Chelsea from being relegated from the top flight at the end of the 1961-62 season, but they bounced back at the first attempt. In 1964-65 they won the League Cup with an aggregate victory over Leicester, but lost the 1967 FA Cup final to Tottenham.
The Glaswegian left to become manager of unfashionable Rotherham and memorably said: “I promised I would take Rotherham out of the Second Division – and I took them into the Third. The old chairman said, ‘Doc, you’re a man of your word!”’
He left Rotherham after a year and began racking up a dizzying number of clubs. He had spells at QPR, Aston Villa and Porto and a spell as assistant manager to Terry Neill at Hull before leaving in 1971 to become manager of Scotland, first on a temporary basis, then permanently.
In December 1972, with Scotland on their way to the 1974 World Cup finals in West Germany, he quit to take over at Manchester United. “One of my biggest regrets was leaving the Scotland job when I did,” he later said.
United were relegated to the Second Division in 1974, but stormed back the next season as champions. After surprisingly losing the 1976 FA Cup final 1-0 to Second Division Southampton, he led United to the FA Cup final again the following year when they beat favourites Liverpool 2-1.
However, celebrations did not last as he was almost immediately sacked for having an affair with the wife of the club physiotherapist Laurie Brown. Docherty later married Mary Brown and they remained together until his death.
He returned to management at Derby before moving back to QPR, where was sacked, then reinstated after just nine days – and then sacked again.
Docherty then had spells at Sydney Olympic, Preston, South Melbourne and then managed Sydney Olympic again in 1983 before becoming manager of Wolves. Altrincham was his final managerial post before retirement at the end of the 1987-88 campaign.
Subsequently he worked as an after-dinner speaker and media pundit. Docherty was inducted into the Scottish Football Hall of Fame in November 2013.