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Fans pay tribute to the Doog; Mourners line streets for funeral.

Byline: By Tony Deeley

HUNDREDS of fans were today sharing the grief of former team-mates, family and friends at the funeral of Wolverhampton Wanderers legend Derek Dougan.

Dougan - one of football's most colourful characters - died of a suspected heart attack at his Wolverhampton home on Sunday June 24, aged 69.

Nicknamed 'the Doog', he was being remembered at a funeral service today at the city's St Peter's Church.

As hundreds of mourning supporters prepared to line the streets of the city to pay their last respects, Dougan's grieving partner, Merlyn Humphries, paid him a glowing tribute.

"He was extremely popular.

I am not at all surprised at the large turnout for him," she said.

"The fans were always important to 'the Doog'. He said that without them you had nothing. They were something special to him.

He would always give them an autograph.

"It is a time to cry but also a time to laugh at all the happiness and joy he has given to everyone."

Players who starred alongside Dougan in the successful early- 70s Wolves side which achieved success as UEFA Cup runnersup to Tottenham and a 2-1 League Cup Final victory over Manchester City were among those expected at the church.

They included Dave Wagstaffe, Frank Munro, John Richards, John McAlle, Ken Hibbitt, John Holsgrove, Phil Nicholls and Phil Parkes.

Les Wilson, who played for Wolves in the sixties and now lives in Vancouver, was coming over for the service and travelling up from Bristol with another team mate, Dave Burnside.

Dougan's former captain, Mike Bailey, was to pay tribute to him at the church along with Villa manager Martin O'Neill and Mrs Humphries, who was the last person to speak to him before his tragic death.

His two sons, Alexander, aged 42, and 40-year-old Nicholas were among the pall bearers.

Songs at the service were to include Danny Boy, You Raise Me Up and Abide With Me.

After the service, the funeral procession was stopping outside Molineux Stadium on its way to Bushbury Crematorium.

CAPTION(S):

FANS' FAVOURITE... Derek Dougan in his playing days.; TOUCHING TRIBUTES... a Wolves fan lays a wreath in memory of Dougan outside Molineux today.; STAR...Derek Dougan.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Jul 5, 2007
Words:366
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