Billy Dougall

William Dougall (25 October 1895 – 15 November 1966) was a Scottish association football player and manager. He played as a left half. He spent the majority of his playing career with Falkirk and Burnley. A qualified physiotherapist, Dougall later coached at a number of clubs and was appointed manager of Burnley in 1957. However, he held the position for only seven months before he was forced to retire through ill health.

Billy Dougall
Personal information
Full name William Dougall
Date of birth 25 October 1895
Place of birth Denny, Scotland
Date of death 15 November 1966(1966-11-15) (aged 71)
Place of death Burnley, England
Position(s) Left half
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
0000–1921 Denny Hibernian
1921–1926 Falkirk 195 (17)
1926–1929 Burnley 60 (1)
National team
1923 Scottish League XI[1] 1 (0)
Teams managed
1957–1958 Burnley
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Personal lifeEdit

Dougall was born in the town of Denny on 25 October 1895. In his teens he worked as a miner but left the job to become a footballer. He lived in England for three years following his move to Burnley, but returned to Scotland in 1929 to study physiotherapy in Glasgow. He moved to London the following year and lived in England for the rest of his life. He died in his home in Burnley on 15 November 1966.[2]

Playing careerEdit

Dougall was working as a miner when he was signed on Junior terms by local club Denny Hibernian. He played for the club until 1921 when he transferred to senior club Falkirk.[3] He spent five years with Falkirk before his performances earned him a £3,000 transfer to Football League First Division side Burnley. He made his debut for the Clarets on 27 February 1926 in the 1–1 draw with Everton and went on to play 60 league matches for the club over the next three seasons. His career was abruptly ended when he seriously injured his knee cartilage in the game against Leicester City on 25 December 1928. He failed to recover from the injury and retired from professional football in early 1929.[2]

After playingEdit

After studying physiotherapy, Dougall was appointed as a coach at Football League Third Division South outfit Thames before moving to Charlton Athletic to become the assistant manager. In 1932 he returned to Turf Moor as the reserve team coach and went on to succeed Charlie Bates as first team coach two years later. Following the resignation of manager Tom Bromilow in 1935, Dougall was part of a selection committee that managed Burnley for four seasons until football in England was suspended due to the outbreak of the Second World War.[2]

In 1938, Dougall was appointed official schools coach by the Lancashire County Football Association. He continued to coach at Burnley and was described by club chairman Bob Lord as a "jewel", stating that Dougall and reserve team manager Ray Bennion were "the finest servants a football club could have".[2] At the age of 61, Dougall was offered to take over the manager's post from Alan Brown in July 1957. His first game in charge of Burnley was the 0–0 draw away at Portsmouth on 24 August 1957. He got his first win three days later as his side defeated local rivals Preston North End 2–0 at Turf Moor. Soon after, he suffered ill health and control of the first team was passed to Ray Bennion while Dougall underwent hospital treatment. He was forced to relinquish his position as manager in January 1958 on medical advice, and was immediately appointed as Burnley's physiotherapist. He held the post for seven years before announcing his retirement at the end of the 1964–65 season.[2]


  1. ^ "Billy Dougall". London Hearts Supporters' Club. Retrieved 18 December 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d e Simpson, Ray (2007). The Clarets Chronicles. p. 546. ISBN 978-0-9557468-0-2.
  3. ^ John Litster (October 2012). "A Record of pre-war Scottish League Players". Scottish Football Historian magazine. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)