'The Doc' has cure for snubs

Donal Scully

TOMMY Docherty, who had an eventful spell as Manchester United manager in the 1970s now gets the cold shoulder from the club, he claims.

'They have a reunion dinner every year for old players and managers but I never get invited. There are no pictures of me on the walls at Old Trafford, not even from when we beat Liverpool for the FA Cup in 1977. And when I wrote to them asking for tickets to take my daughter, who's 13, to a game they billed me for them,' said Docherty, who gave after-dinner speeches at Hong Kong Rugby Union Club and Kowloon Cricket Club yesterday.

Universally known as 'The Doc', Docherty had his audiences in stitches with anecdotes and jokes based on his career as player and widely-travelled manager.

He managed 10 clubs in four different countries (some of them more than once) after a playing career as a wing-half with Celtic, Preston, Arsenal and Chelsea. He also won 25 caps for Scotland and managed his country in their 1974 World Cup campaign. Docherty retired from management in 1986 but his obvious love for the game meant he stayed involved as a radio commentator. Under Docherty, United were relegated in 1974, won the old Second Division in style the following year and and then beat Liverpool in that 1977 Cup final. Regarding the snubs he receives from Old Trafford now, he says: 'United are small-minded in instances like that. Maybe [chairman Martin] Edwards resents my constructive criticism of the club when I'm doing the radio.' And criticism he does have, especially of some of the controversial incidents which plagued United's just-finished season.

'I would clamp down on [Paul] Ince and [Roy] Keane. Both great players but their discipline leaves a lot to be desired. And they set a bad example to the younger players in the team.'