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Sun Jul 20 6:04 pm  #1

Tommy Douglas

It is with great sadness to advise on the death of Tommy Douglas.  Tommy had been at Benburb Football club for over 60 years as a player, Manager, committee man and President. He was probably one of the most popular men in Scottish football. and no one ever had a bad word to say about him.
He will be greatly missed by the Govan folk.



Mon Jul 21 5:23 pm  #2

Re: Tommy Douglas

Tommy Douglas Born 1930 Died the 20th July 2014

Picture from website by David Graham.
It was with great sadness I learned today of Tommy Douglas`s passing. Tommy was a Benburb F.C legend, he managed and took Benburb F.C. to the Scottish Junior Cup Final in 1982 at Hampdon Park. Tommy said then that he wouldn't have his hair cut until the Bens were in the Scotish Junior Cup Final, win or lose.

When Sir Alex Ferguson visited During his visit to Scotland Sir Alex Ferguson took time to visit Tinto Park and the Bens. The purpose of the visit was to meet with his boyhood Benburb F.C. playing hero Tommy Douglas. Tommy is then was aged 82 and during the visit Sir Alex viewed several photographs and was able to recall the names of a number of the Bens players from the 1950's. He was impressed with the playing surface at Tinto Park.

Tommy was very well repected by everyone I know in the junior football world and in his 60 year association with Benburb F.C. Not only as a player but also as its manager, committee man and Benburb F.C's president. He was well loved, a nicer man I have never known. A complete gentleman. Tommy will be very sadly missed at the Bens home matches and our thoughts at and I am sure with the prayers and all at Benburb F.C. are with his family and friends. (another legend dies but will never be forgotten.)

Tommy Douglas 1982 before his haircut

Picture by Steve Whitehead
This is Tommy as I remember him when we went down to 
watch a match with the Bens. I drove him home again after
the match and that was the last time I saw Tommy.

R.I.P Tommy.

Haste ye back.
             Jimmy. (

Tue Jul 22 9:23 am  #3

Re: Tommy Douglas

Well done Jimmy really nice post.
There are people more qualified than I at the Bens to scribe an orbitury to Tommy. However I will have an attempt.

The first time the Tommy Douglas and Benburb names came together was at Saracen Park in early 1953 in a Scottish Junior Cup match. Benburb had knocked out Bo'ness at Tinto Park 1-0 in front of a record crowd of 20,000.  An even bigger crowd was at Saracen Park when a huge support from Govan descended on the ground. Tommy Douglas had an inspired game on the wing for Ashfield and broke his fellow Govanites hearts when the 'field won 3-1. Ashfield were hot favourites to win the cup to add to their league title and after beating Clydebank in front of a 20,000 plus crowd went to Ibrox Park for a semi final with Vale of Leven. Cassidy scored a hat trick for the Vale in a 3-0 win and Tommy was deprived of a trip to Hampden Park. Tommy would always quip with a smile  that he played in front of 100,000; that being the aggregate of the Cup run attendances.

Stirling Albion put in a bid for Tommy and the winger joined the Annfield Park club. Unfortunately Tommy was unable to break into the first team on a consistant basis and elected to accept re-instatement into the Juniors. Tommy Douglas arrived at Tinto Park at the start of season 1954-55 and was a popular signing. On the opposite wing was Scottish Junior International Dunky Rae and between them they terrorised defenders with their speed, skill and goalscoring. The league campaign started slow for the Bens as they found their. feet. However a memorable day beckoned. The giant covered enclosure was built and the first match was a Scottish Junior Cup game with strong opponents Shotts Bon Accord. The match was a classic and for years afterwards was in Govan folklore.

A large attendance saw Bens win despite playing in the pre substitute  days with 10 men. The player carried off was Alex Forsyth the goalkeeper and he was replaced by the small stature Geordie Logie who had just scored for the Bens, Shott equalised on half time but Bain against the run of play restored the Bens lead, Tommy Douglas cut in and scored a superb third goal for the Bens who hung on for a 3-2 win. Many said the first match under the cover was the best for years after.

Bens had another huge attendance for the next round against Petershill and a 4-2 win with Tommy Douglas amongst the goals set the Bens up against Ashfield sadly lost after a 3-3 draw at Tinto Park. At the end of the season Tommy Douglas was on the move this time to Kilsyth Rangers. but within a season he was back at the Bens and as popular as ever. The following season it was a surprise that Benburb released Tommy Douglas. Most were puzzled and many fans dismayed.

However it transpired that Tommy was carrying a nasty injury which was threatening his career. He had spells at Petershill and Dalry Thistle before calling it a day with frequent spells out injured.  When he was out injured with his clubs he would arrive at Tinto Park and usually operating as linesman. This was nothing to do with his spotting the ball going out but the Bens were using him to coach some of the younger players from the line. He would often have banter with his many friends in the crowd and his smile showed he loved the company.

Committee work and coaching beckoned at Tinto Park and some bleak years were endured on and off the pitch. Soon after the start of season 1979-80 that was to change. Tommy Douglas took over as manager and the Bens went on a remarkble Scottish Junior Cup run. Yoker, Craigie,Glenrothes,
Carluke and Bonnyrigg Rose were all defeated to set up a semi final with Lochee United at Dundee FC's ground. 5,000 Bens supporters made thwe trip to swell the crowd to over 13,000.

A Stevie Whitehead header settled the issue and the Bens were going to Hampden Park with a 1-0 win. Tommy Douglas had taken Benburb to the Scottish Junior Cup Final. A fantastic match with Bailleston at Hampden Park ended 2-2 and sadly Benburb lost 2-0 to a good Bailleston side after extra time. 

Tommy Douglas was to return to committee duties and eventually to President.  The events of 2002-2003 were traumatic for the club. At the end of the season financial problems beset the club and the 'Mission Impossible' committee were left to keep the club afloat. They had no money,no players and even worse no ground with vandal inflicted wounds including ruts all over the pitch. The early season matches were played away and the committee did well to restore the pitch and get home matches on again at Tinto Park.

To help I offered my services to start a website and programmes and was soon meeting a famous man from my childhood days Tommy Douglas. We had long chats over the years and he told me countless stories. I always found it amusing when I took my elderly uncle to the Bens games and he talked to Tommy. 50 years had elapsed since Tommy played and my uncle Jimmy spectated but the stories were like a week before. 

Tommy told me from re-collection that he was born into a large family and lived around the Kinning Park, Plantation area's initially. He subsequently moved around Govan and I believe he became settled in Linthouse. He told me with a smile that one of sons once signed for the Ants. I sent a programme to Sir Alex Ferguson. Immediately he recognised the name of Tommy Douglas as the President and was full of praise. He sent some of his re-collections to put in the programme and vowed to help the club. He kept his promise in so many ways and in November 2011 came up to meet his boyhood hero Tommy. 

Tommy Douglas brought happiness to so many people's lives. It is doubtful he had enemies and always took the time to communicate and engage with people. A loyalty of 60 years to one club is remarkable in any walk of life. Of all the people I have ever met I cannot think of a man you could put up as a legend.  Tommy Douglas was one.


     Thread Starter

Tue Jul 22 11:48 am  #4

Re: Tommy Douglas

Thanks for that David and also many thanks for the insight into Tommy's life at the Bens. I am sure they will have a memorial match for Tommy and a Tommy Douglas trophy. He will be sorely missed.

Haste ye back.
             Jimmy. (

Tue Jul 22 3:36 pm  #5

Re: Tommy Douglas

A few have suggested that they name a facility after him at the new ground; possibly the new grandstand or clubhouse. It will be a fitting tribute to a man who gave 60 years to the Benburb club. When the Ants had their new ground opened they played a decent Rangers team (losing 7-0).
The Bens should ask the gers along to open the ground.
However as ever the Bens tend to keep their cards close to their chest as we know so probably anything can happen.


     Thread Starter

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