Ted MacDougall

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Born Inverness, January 8, 1947

It is not often that a man who played international football and also spent a season as the leading goalscorer in England's top flight ultimately comes to be remembered for his feats in the lower divisions but this is possibly the case with Ted MacDougall.

Super Ted MacDougall in Southampton kit

Despite gaining seven caps for Scotland in 1975 and heading the first division scoring charts the following year, netting 23 for Norwich City, MacDougall remains best known for the remarkable feats which first brought him to prominence with Bournemouth.

MacDougall actually began his career with Liverpool without managing to break into a first team that was busy establishing itself as one of the major forces in the game.

In 1967 the twenty year old Scot moved to fourth division York City and quickly established himself as a prolific centre forward.

He scored on his debut against Workington and went on to finish with fifteen goals in his first season at Bootham Crescent.

The following campaign saw MacDougall score nineteen times despite the fact that his team once again had to struggle towards the wrong end of the table.

Bournemouth had seen enough to take the free scoring forward into the third division but, strangely, having finished fourth the season before his arrival the Cherries were relegated after MacDougall's first season with them, despite the twenty one goals contributed by their new striker.

Back in the fourth division the fun really started, however. Bournemouth finished runners up to gain promotion and MacDougall helped himself to a staggering forty two goals.

The next season the club narrowly missed out on another promotion, finishing third in division three, and MacDougall rattled in another thirty five goals (I hope you're keeping count). On top of this he slammed nine goals past sorry Margate in a first round FA Cup tie which his team ended up winning 11-0.

MacDougall was a product of the Scottish Highlands and his look declared the fact. Powerfully built from top to toe with a straight forward matting of tightly curled black hair he possessed an attentive eye that you doubted seldom failed to make contact with any other it came across.

Smiling Ted McDougall poses in a West Ham kit

He looked an honest, matter of fact man and his football was in the same mould. Based almost completely on strength and simplicity, MacDougall possessed all the basic techniques required to render his physical attributes devastatingly effective.

Quick and strong, MacDougall's control was sound, his heading more than competent and his shooting downright explosive.

Inevitably his deeds sparked interest from bigger clubs although MacDougall himself seemed in no rush to leave the south coast and at no time asked for a transfer or indicated discontent.

When Man United offered his club £195,000 for his services in 1972, however, the result was obvious and MacDougall was on his way to Old Trafford.

Leaving Bournemouth for Manchester United would always be considered a dream move but September 1972 was perhaps the worst time of all to make it.

United were struggling badly to replace their legendary manager Matt Busby who had relinquished control to Wilf McGuiness, then returned before handing over to Frank O'Farrell, the man who signed MacDougall.

The club faced the same problem on the pitch trying to replace the ageing greats Law and Charlton and fighting a losing battle to control the wayward genius George Best.

Into this turmoil stepped MacDougall, a young man who had been happy to stay with little Bournemouth, saddled with a massive transfer fee and charged with the task of winning over the countries biggest support.

Could he triumph? It is possible he might have but within weeks of his arrival O'Farrell had left the club and another new manager stepped in to replace him in the volatile shape of Tommy Docherty.

Before the season was over MacDougall had left Old Trafford, transferred to West Ham, as Docherty, with typical impatience, set out to fashion a new United. The five goals MacDougall managed for the club in only eighteen games suggest he might have been worth a longer look, especially as Docherty's team would be relegated the following season before he would be able to truly inspire a revival.

Things were not to work out for MacDougall during his short stay at West Ham either, the end signalled by a dressing room punch up with Billy Bonds after a beating at Leeds, but his next move, to Norwich City for £145,000, would prove more to everyones liking.

At Carrow Road MacDougall was reunited with John Bond, who had managed him at Bournemouth, as well as with several of his old Dean Court teammates. Most notably he was able to link up again with Phil Boyer who had played alongside MacDougall at both Bournemouth and York.

Sharp in thought and movement Boyer was an effective foil for MacDougall's direct power and once more the pair revelled in each others company.

It is probable that the more secluded nature of life at Carrow Road was also more to MacDougall's taste after the intrusive glare of Manchester and London.

At the end of his first season, however, the Canaries suffered relegation to the second division but the following season they regained their first division status and also reached the League Cup final.

The League Cup proved a strange affair that season with not one of the semi finalists coming from the first division.

In his semi final MacDougall could enjoy the taste of his new club Norwich defeating his old club Manchester United who were accompanying the Canaries in a one season stay in the second division. In the other semi, second division Aston Villa saw off the challenge of fourth division Chester City.

The final would be a disappointment, however, with MacDougall having little opportunity to shine in a tense, scrappy affair which Villa won by the only goal. It would be his only cup final appearance.

The end of this season also saw MacDougall given his only run in the Scottish national side. Making a scoring debut in Sweden the robust striker managed three goals in seven games before being, somewhat harshly, passed over. Competition for places, it must be stressed, being altogether more intense then than it is today.

Norwich were able to cement a first division place the following season thanks in no small part to the twenty three goals provided by MacDougall, the most in the division that year.

Despite this fact, however, MacDougall was moved on to second division Southampton for whom he promptly banged in another twenty three league goals for a team also boasting the talents of Mick Channon and Peter Osgood, although promotion proved elusive.

This season also gave MacDougall his only taste of European football as the Saints progressed to the quarter finals of the Cup Winners Cup before losing out to Anderlecht of Belgium despite a 2-1 win in the second leg at the Dell in which MacDougall netted the winner.

Promotion was achieved the following season when MacDougall renewed his partnership with Phil Boyer once again but, at the age of 31, his services were deemed surplus to requirements as the Saints faced up to life back in the first division.

Returning to Bournemouth and then with a brief spell on a different level with Blackpool Ted MacDougall's career came to a quiet, unspectacular conclusion.

For several years at the start of the seventies, however, MacDougall had managed to force his way into the everyday conversation and capture the imagination of fans throughout the country with his incredible, unrivalled scoring feats with little old Bournemouth.

Rate Ted Macdougall
6 Absolute Legend
5 Hero status
4 Quality
3 Average
2 Donkey
1 Two Left feet
0 Scottish Division

York City 84 34
Bournemouth 146 103
Manchester United 18 5
West Ham United 24 5
Norwich City 112 51
Southampton 86 42
Bournemouth 52 16
Blackpool 13 0
Scotland 7 3
Total 542 259

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