Express & Star

How Wolves plunged to the lower leagues and nearly ceased to exist - Part 9: Tommy Docherty makes a sensational entrance to Molineux

In more detail than ever before, the Express & Star tells the full Bhatti brothers story – a troubled era which saw Wolves plunge to depths of the lower leagues and face financial oblivion. In Part 9, Tommy Docherty makes a sensational entrance to Molineux.

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Tommy Docherty, right, with assistant Jim Barron. Docherty would controversially fire Barron, and replace him with his son

On June 8, 1984, Derek Dougan announced that Tommy Docherty would be Wolves' new manager.

You can't say he wasn't a big name.

Wolves manager Tommy Docherty, second left, shares a joke with club secretary Eric Woodward, left, and chairman and chief executive Derek Dougan, right, with Allied Properties boss and Wolves director Mike Rowland in the background

'The Doc', as the tabloids called him, had rarely been out of the headlines in a turbulent managerial career.

The wise-cracking Glaswegian had his first taste of management at Chelsea, then became Doug Ellis's first appointment after he took over at Aston Villa in 1968. He was briefly manager of Scotland before taking up the reins at Manchester United, where he was fired after a five-year-stint over an extramarital affair with the club physio's wife.

Given his fondness for a witty one-liner and a love of the limelight, it might have been said that the 56-year-old had a lot in common with Dougan. But it also begged the question of how the pair would get on. Would they be peas in a pod, or would there be a giant clash of egos? Either way it was going to be an interesting relationship.

The flash, brash Docherty could scarcely have been more different from the studious, quietly spoken Hawkins. And it seemed the fans believed it was time for a change.

Andrew Everall, a 20-year-old sales assistant from Ettingshall Park, reckoned Docherty was just the man needed to get tough with the underperforming players. Charles Smith, 19, from Willenhall, added: "They have been disappointing lately and need someone to really put them back on the map. We have needed someone like The Doc for a long time."

Reg Campbell, 48, from Goldthorn Park, agreed. "I don't think The Doc will mess about," he said. "He will tell them to get into line, or get out."

While Docherty had certainly held some big jobs, critics might also have pointed out that his career had been on a downward trajectory since his Manchester United days.