by Richard DJJ Bowdery.
It is a date that will live long in the memory of AFC Bournemouth supporters; no, not 27 April 2015 but the 20 November 1971. On that day ‘Super Ted’ MacDougall fired nine of Bournemouth’s 11 goals in a one man demolition of Margate FC in an FA Cup tie. Some sympathy must got to Margate’s keeper Chic Brodie who was on the wrong end of a record that still stands today.
Scotsman Ted MacDougall started his professional career as a teenager at Liverpool in 1966, under charismatic manager Bill Shankly. But such was the talent within the squad, he made only one first-team appearance coming on as a sub.
From Liverpool he went to York City, Bournemouth (twice), Manchester United, West Ham, Norwich, Southampton, and Blackpool. Towards the end of his footballing career, he put his goal-scoring prowess to good use in non-league football and in the fledgling North American game.
As well as having more clubs than a pack of cards, he also played alongside some footballing greats including Jimmy Greaves, Bobby Charlton, George Best and Eusebio. To cap it all he scored 256 league goals in 535 games – almost a goal every two games.
Today MacDougall would command serious money in the transfer market, yet if you totalled up all his transfer fees it’s doubtful they would cover the cost of Raheem Sterling’s big toe: such is the price of 21st century football.
The Scottish national side also came calling. On his debut against Sweden he once again found the net, scoring Scotland’s equalizer. He won seven caps and perhaps would have gained more. Was an off-the-cuff remark he made to a journalist about the national team’s selection process, which was picked up north of the border, the reason for so few caps..? We’ll probably never know.
Like many footballers from MacDougall’s era he became a pub landlord (in Hampshire), following his retirement in 1980. But a visit to Barbados proved to be his gain and the brewery trade’s loss.
It was while in the Caribbean he met his second wife Lyne. They married in 1985.
He and Lyne settled in Vancouver. MacDougall takes up the story. “”I came originally to work with Alan Ball at the [Vancouver] Whitecaps. I got into building houses in 1987. We had some people build a place for ourselves and I thought: ‘I can make a mess of doing that just as well as these guys.’” So began his new career in property development, which met with some considerable success.
When they met Lyne worked as a fashion designer. She employed her husband and put him in charge of her company’s female reps. Unfortunately his management style was learned in the white heat of football.
MacDougall recalled that it was difficult going from macho football to fashion, which he found a bit camp. He said: “I was in charge of these female reps and went about the job in my normal style, having been brought up in a man’s world, which is, ‘You’ve got a problem with me? Let’s sort it out’ [as he did with Billy Bonds after a game when West Ham were ‘hammered’ by Leeds United]. There were lots of tears. Lyne said: ‘You can’t speak to women like that. Be nicer to them’. I tried. ‘Lovely shoes! I like your hair!’ I couldn’t help thinking that Bill Shankly had been my first boss and if only he’d been able to see what had become of me.” Unsurprisingly his role in the fashion world came to an abrupt end when his wife fired him!
In 1994 MacDougall was linked with a possible takeover bid for his old club AFC Bournemouth. He was approached and expressed interest in the opportunity but after some initial talks nothing came of it.
However, in July 2013 his name was once again linked with the Cherries; this time in recognition of his service to the club for whom he scored 144 goals in 223 appearances during his two spells at Dean Court.
The redeveloped south stand was named in his honour.
Last year MacDougall stepped down from his training role at Atlanta Spurs fully expecting to soak up the Florida sunshine, where he now lives. That was before founder Gavin Owen asked him to be a part of the GotSoccer set-up.
MacDougall explained that GotSoccer is “…a software package for amateur leagues that deals with administrative jobs such as team registration and fixtures.” Already used in 27 states in the US, he has brought the idea over to Britain and is now Chief Executive of GotFootball, the UK arm of GotSoccer.
I’ll leave the last word on ‘Super Ted’ MacDougall with Chic Brodie, Margate’s keeper back in 1971. After the game he told MacDougall how he considered himself the unluckiest goalkeeper in football. He explained how he went to put his flat cap on during a game and found a hand grenade in it; how while playing for Brentford he was attacked by a Jack Russell; and how, on another occasion, a crossbar fell on his head. “To cap it all,” he said, “You put 9 goals past me!”