On this day: End of Doherty’s Rovers reign

Former Doncaster Rovers player and manager Peter Doherty (left).
Former Doncaster Rovers player and manager Peter Doherty (left).

Nearly 60 years ago this week, the curtain came down on one of the most successful spells in Doncaster Rovers’ history.

For on January 18, 1958, legendary Belle Vue boss Peter Doherty took charge of his very last game after a hugely successful stint in the hot seat - although the end of his rein was clouded in mystery and shock.

Doncaster Rovers Fc Jan 1951. Peter Doherty (1) Ken Hardwick (2nd left).

Doncaster Rovers Fc Jan 1951. Peter Doherty (1) Ken Hardwick (2nd left).

His resignation after more than nine years came as a surprise to fans and rumours of board rifts were behind his departure ahead of an away game at Stoke City.

Arriving in 1949, he assumed the role of player-manager and for most of the 50s, established Rovers as a good and solid, if mid-table Division Two side - heights Rovers would not reach again until Sean O’Driscoll’s arrival a quarter of a century later.

In the 1950-51 season, Doherty, who employed revolutionary coaching techniques, led Rovers to 11th spot - above the likes oF Southampton and West Ham and later became manager of Northern Ireland (1951–1962), leading the country to the 1958 World Cup, reaching the quarter-finals.

After Rovers, he managed at Bristol City, and died at the age of 76 in 1990 in Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire.

Doncaster Rovers FC photocall. 
Back (l-r): Makepeace, Graham, Burgin, Kilkenny, Williams, Hopkinson.
Front: Mooney, Nicholson, Tindill, Cavanagh, Walker. 
Appeared - 28 Dec 1957

Doncaster Rovers FC photocall. Back (l-r): Makepeace, Graham, Burgin, Kilkenny, Williams, Hopkinson. Front: Mooney, Nicholson, Tindill, Cavanagh, Walker. Appeared - 28 Dec 1957

Peter Doherty,  1968 then chief scout for Aston Villa.

Peter Doherty, 1968 then chief scout for Aston Villa.

Harry Gregg (left) and Charlie Williams (right) in action for Rovers in the 1950s.

Harry Gregg (left) and Charlie Williams (right) in action for Rovers in the 1950s.

SPORT   28/6/2000

Former Doncaster Rovers player Ray Harrison (left), who has just died, is pictured in action against Nottingham Forest at Belle Vue in February,  1952.

SPORT 28/6/2000 Former Doncaster Rovers player Ray Harrison (left), who has just died, is pictured in action against Nottingham Forest at Belle Vue in February, 1952.