Brian Dooher

Brian Dooher is an Irish former Gaelic footballer who was a member the senior Tyrone county team between 1995 and 2011.[2] He was appointed co-manager of the Tyrone senior football team in November 2020 alongside Feargal Logan, succeeding Mickey Harte.[3]

Brian Dooher
Brian Dooher - SFC 2005 - c.c 3.0.jpg
Personal information
Sport Gaelic football
Position Right Half Forward
Born (1975-08-10) 10 August 1975 (age 46)
Tyrone, Northern Ireland
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Occupation Veterinarian
Years Club
Clann na nGael
Years College
College titles
Sigerson titles 1
Years County Apps (scores)
Tyrone (player)
Tyrone (manager)
Inter-county titles
Ulster titles 6
All-Irelands 3
All Stars 3

He won three All-Ireland Senior Football Championship medals, five Ulster Senior Football Championship and two National League titles with the county. He has also won three All Star Awards, and six Ulster All-Stars - the joint leader with Kieran McGeeney and Steven McDonnell.

Dooher played his club football for Clann na nGael.

Dooher was renowned for his hardworking playing style,[4] often doing the gritty, unfashionable work, like picking up the ball in defence,[4] to feed the forward players. He was also an accurate point scorer.[4] Although he usually started in the half-forward line, his roaming nature meant he was rarely ever stationed there for very long. His contributions to the game did not go unnoticed by his teammates, as Seán Cavanagh remarked in 2003 how "I wouldn't be able to [play to my strengths] without Brian's workrate." In the same article, the Irish Examiner said, "it would be no exaggeration to call him the hardest working footballer in Ireland."[5]

Personal lifeEdit

Dooher is a former pupil of Loughash Primary School (Co. Tyrone) and St Columb's College in Derry City.[6] He later attended UCD in Dublin where he studied Veterinary Medicine. After initially working in private practice in Derry, he joined DAERA where he now holds his position.

Playing careerEdit


Dooher made his Senior debut for Tyrone in the National League in 1995 against Kildare. In 1996, his first full year as a Senior, Dooher helped Tyrone win the Ulster Senior Football Championship. Tyrone then advanced to play Meath in the All-Ireland semi-final, but were defeated. Dooher was one of several Tyrone players, along with Ciaran McBride, Jody Gormley, Chris Lawn and Peter Canavan who suffered injuries at the hands of what many Tyrone fans perceived as heavy-handed tactics by Meath.[7][8] Meath defender, Martin O'Connell stood on Dooher's head while he had been felled. During the half-time interval, Dooher had to receive staples in his head, and played the rest of the game heavily bandaged.[9] Despite this, he won the Ulster GAA Writers Player of the Year Award, at the age of just 20.[10]

In 2001 Tyrone won the Ulster Championship, with victory over Cavan in the final.[11] In 2002 Dooher helped Tyrone win the county's first ever National League title, beating Cavan in the final.

Dooher accepts the Sam Maguire Cup for the second time in 2008

2003 proved to Tyrone' most successful year ever. The year began with Tyrone defending their National League crown, seeing off Laois in the decider. They won the Ulster Championship beating Down in the final, after a replay. RTÉ pundit and former player Colm O'Rourke claimed that year Dooher was one of the weak links in the Tyrone team, and that he would "eat his hat" if Tyrone won the All-Ireland with Dooher in the team. Dooher's response was modest, stating that O'Rourke was entitled to his opinion, but that he only cares what the Tyrone manager Mickey Harte thinks.[5] Tyrone did go on to win the All-Ireland (the county's first ever), and Dooher was included in the starting lineup throughout the season. Dooher received an All-Star award for his performances that year.[12]

Following the untimely death of Tyrone captain Cormac McAnallen in 2004, Dooher was handed the Tyrone captaincy. The following year Tyrone won the All-Ireland for a second time, this time with Dooher as captain.[4] As Dooher was making his acceptance speech after lifting the Sam Maguire Cup, he made an emotional eulogy to McAnallen, remarking how he knew Cormac was with him. There was also a hugely emotional moment between Dooher and manager Mickey Harte after the final whistle. Surrounded by dozens of photojournalists, and thousands of Tyrone fans, the two men embraced in tearful remembrance of their fallen captain. Dooher was once again honoured with an All Star.

Dooher missed most of the 2006 campaign because of a shattered kneecap, but returned to Championship action in 2007. He helped Tyrone reach the Ulster final with a man of the match display against Donegal in the semi-final in which he scored 0-05.[13] Tyrone went on to defeat Monaghan in the Ulster decider.

Tyrone faced Kerry again in the 2008 All-Ireland final, with Tyrone again coming out on top. Dooher became one of only a small number of men to captain two All-Ireland winning teams. This followed a season where his commanding performances spurred the team on during their more difficult encounters. In Tyrone's emphatic quarter final victory over Dublin, Dooher was named man of the match.[14] He received a third All Star that year.

In September 2011, Dooher retired from inter-county football after 16 years.[15]

School / collegeEdit

Dooher won the Sigerson Cup with University College Dublin in 1996.[16]

International RulesEdit

Dooher represented Ireland in the International Rules Series.


Dooher played for Ulster in the Railway Cup.

Managerial careerEdit

Dooher, with Feargal Logan and later Peter Canavan, was part of the Tyrone under-21 management team when they won the All-Ireland in 2015, defeating Tipperary in the final. In November 2020, Dooher and Logan were appointed co-managers of the Tyrone senior team, succeeding Mickey Harte.


  1. ^ Bogue, Declan (16 May 2008). "McGrane set for '60'". Gaelic Life.
  2. ^ "Dooher to stay as Tyrone captain". BBC Sport. 8 January 2008. Retrieved 1 September 2020.
  3. ^ "Tyrone Appoint Feargal Logan & Brian Dooher as the New Tyrone Senior Football Managers". Tyrone GAA. 25 November 2020. Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  4. ^ a b c d "cul4kidz profile on Dooher". Cul4kidz website. 2006. Archived from the original on 7 May 2009. Retrieved 23 March 2009.
  5. ^ a b "Tyrone's trojan is not a talker, he's a Dooher". Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 6 March 2007.
  6. ^ "Dooher claims Radio Foyle award". BBC Sport Online. 20 October 2008. Retrieved 20 October 2008.
  7. ^ Martin Breheny (4 August 2007). "Return of the Royals". Irish Independent. Retrieved 29 January 2009.
  8. ^ "Tyrone can maintain progress". BBC News. 21 July 2002. Retrieved 6 March 2007.
  9. ^ "Trip to Croke Park gives trio chance to bury ghost of '96 - (registration required)". Archived from the original on 10 September 2002. Retrieved 6 March 2007.
  10. ^ "TENNENTS/UGAAWA MERIT AWARD FOR AUGUST 2003". Archived from the original on 19 January 2005. Retrieved 6 March 2007.
  11. ^ Sun; Jul, 08; 2001 - 17:08 (8 July 2001). "GAA: Tyrone are Ulster champions". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 5 August 2021.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  12. ^ "Football All Stars 1971-2007". Archived from the original on 4 February 2006. Retrieved 6 March 2006.
  13. ^ Colm Keys (18 June 2007). "Harte preaches caution despite emphatic win but heaps praise on dynamic Dooher". Irish Independent. Retrieved 20 June 2007.
  14. ^ "Dublin 1-08 Tyrone 3-14". RTÉ Sport. 16 August 2008. Archived from the original on 11 September 2012. Retrieved 23 September 2008. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  15. ^ "Dooher calls time on Tyrone career". RTÉ Sport. 23 September 2011. Archived from the original on 17 February 2013. Retrieved 24 September 2011. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  16. ^ "UCD grad hoists Sam in Tyrone's epic victory over the Kingdom". Retrieved 6 March 2007.

External linksEdit

Preceded by All-Ireland Senior Football
winning captain

Succeeded by
Preceded by All-Ireland Senior Football
winning captain

Succeeded by