Tommy Docherty has been hailed as an incredible character who made Chelsea and Man United what they are today.
The legendary manager’s family today confirmed his death at the age of 92 following a long illness.
Docherty will be fondly remembered as one of football’s great charactersPopperfoto – Getty
Docherty, who was affectionately known as ‘The Doc’, left his mark on some of Britain’s biggest clubs as both a player and a manager.
While the Scotsman made more than 300 appearances for Preston and became a legend at the club, most football fans will remember the charismatic manager of the sixties, seventies and eighties.
Docherty most famously managed Chelsea and Man United, taking fading sides down to the old Second Division before bringing them straight back up with youthful, exuberant sides.
Docherty rebuilt United following the loss of key players that followed relegationBob Thomas Sports Photography – Getty
At Stamford Bridge, the Blues were relegated under Docherty in 1962 but the team which became known as ‘Docherty’s Diamonds’, with the likes of Terry Venables, Bobby Tambling, Peter Bonetti and Barry Bridges, went on to achieve great things.
Ron ‘Chopper’ Harris, the Chelsea legend who was first brought into the team under Docherty, joined talkSPORT to pay tribute.
The former full-back said: “I’ve got the greatest respect for Tom, he picked me in the first team when I’d just turned 17 and by the time I was 20 he made me captain.
“I was one of many youngsters he brought in. I think Tom turned Chelsea round into being a big club.
“Tom’s philosophy was that youngsters don’t cheat. At most clubs he went to, he got rid of the players who cut corners and preferred youngsters.
Docherty built the foundations for Harris and co. to achieve successGetty Images – Getty
“I always got on ever so well with him.
“He was so quick-witted, he could change any conversation. The team talks wouldn’t last half an hour like they do now.
“He would have a laugh and a giggle, then about ten-to-three when the buzzer would go, he’d say, ‘Come on lads, let’s start getting serious’.
“I think he was a fantastic man and manager, just such a great motivator.”
Docherty is credited with bringing United back from the brink when it seemed they could fall into obscurity following relegation.
Having lost the likes of George Best, Sir Bobby Charlton and Denis Law, the former Red Devils boss rebuilt a youthful, attacking side the following year.
Docherty has a special place in the history of United, Preston and ChelseaGetty Images – Getty
After their promotion back to the First Division, United went on to win the FA Cup under Docherty in 1977.
talkSPORT host and former Chelsea striker Jason Cundy reflects on the ‘incredible character’ he met several times.
Cundy said: “He was an incredible character. He was so sharp, so humorous, so funny.
“Great company. When I interviewed him, he could reel off tale after tale of his playing days and his days as manager.
“My thoughts and prayers are with his family right now.”
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