Record Detail

Sheffield Legends plaque - Derek Dooley MBE, footballer (installed 2007)

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Sheffield Legends plaque - Derek Dooley MBE, footballer (installed 2007)
Alex Ekins

Derek was born in Pitsmoor in 1929 and was one of the few footballers in the city to earn the respect from both sets of the city’s two main football clubs.

Derek joined Sheffield Wednesday from Lincoln City and became a prolific goal-scorer for the Owls. Between 1949 and 1952 he scored 62 goals in 61 appearances and it seemed only a matter of time before he would win full England honours. But that all changed on 14 February 1953, when he collided with the Preston goalkeeper George Thompson at Deepdale and broke his leg. After complications when gangrene set in, he lost his leg by amputation.

Dooley later returned to Sheffield Wednesday as manager between 1971-1973 and when he parted company with the Owls, he moved to neighbours and rivals, Sheffield United. Initially taken on as Commercial Manager, he went on to have a variety of roles including the role of Managing Director before taking on the job of Chairman of United's board.

In 2003 Derek was awarded an MBE and later the same year an honorary doctorate from Sheffield Hallam University. He was also made a Freeman of the City of Sheffield.

Derek was an instrumental figure in the resurgence of the club which saw the Blades return to the Premiership after an absence of 12 years. In April 2006, however, with the club still celebrating promotion, Dooley announced his resignation of the Chairmanship to take up the role of Vice-President.

Derek died in 2008 aged 78.

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