The Word Of The Doc

Fresh Insight On Departed Manager

Tommy Docherty at Molineux with Jim Barron, a keeper who played for and against Wolves when he toured the Caribbean in 1964 for a series of games against Chelsea and national teams.

Tommy Docherty has preceded Saturday’s Molineux meeting of two of his former clubs by paying belated further respect to the friend who died this summer.

The 91-year-old Scot’s name cropped up at last month’s service in honour of Sammy Chapman, who we were delighted to further salute with our own full account of the day.

And Docherty took advantage of the call we made to him today by adding a tribute of his own.

“Sammy was chief scout when I was appointed as manager at Wolves in 1984 and did a fantastic job,” he said.

“He was a lovely man, excellent company and a good judge of players. We got on very well together.

“I had hoped to get down to his funeral and was very sad to hear of his death. I have only fond memories of him.”

The Doc was pleased to hear that another member of the 1980s Molineux backroom team, Greg Fellows, had flown over from Southern Spain and been present among a host of former players.

And that drew further praise from the former manager, as well as evidence that his liking of a one-liner is still intact.

“I had Greg as a young player when I was Villa manager and later took him to Manchester United with me,” he added. “As we found at Wolves, he’s a good club man, always useful to have around the place.

“I’m not being disrespectful when I say he wasn’t the best player. In fact he could trap a ball further than I could kick it.

“But, in addition to being the youth coach at Wolves, he would do anything and go anywhere he could to help the cause. It’s nice to hear he is still a huge character in more ways than one!”

Tommy’s ears pricked up when informed in our call to his Cheshire home that Chelsea were Wolves’ next Premier League opponents in two days’ time. Not that we are expecting him to be glued to his TV.

“I will put the television on to watch Manchester City but that’s about it,” he said. “It’s not the game I knew.

Sammy Chapman

“But a Wolves v Chelsea game brings back happy memories of when we were out in the West Indies for a few games together not long before Stan Cullis finished as manager there.

“That was some trip for us all. It would never happen today at the end of a long season but we loved it.”

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