Brazil 4 All-Ireland 3 – Derek Dougan R.I.P.

June 26, 2007 at 12:30 am 3 comments

Derek Dougan, who died this weekend, helped to organize the first live football match I ever saw. I had just finished primary school when world champions Brazil came to Dublin to play an All-Ireland team. Dougan organized five players from the North, and John Giles six players from the Republic. And I got Dougan’s autograph! Here’s the story of one of the best days of my childhood. >>>

Historic Line-Up

The historic All-Ireland line-up on 3 July 1973 was Pat Jennings; David Craig, Paddy Mulligan, Allan Hunter, Tommy Carroll, Mick Martin, Johnny Giles, Martin O’Neill, Terry Conroy, Derek Dougan and Don Givens.

The Brazilians included four of their 1970 World Cup winning side in Piazza, Clodoaldo, Rivelino and Jairzinho, and four more of that squad in Leao, Ze Maria, Marco Antonia and Paulo Cesar.

Liam Tuohy manged the Irish team. Substitute Bryan Hamilton, brought on in the second half along with Liam O’Kane and Miah Dennehy, later said it was like playing against the Harlem Globetrotters.

Jairzinho Scores

I joined 34,000 fans crammed into Lansdowne to see Brazil go ahead with an early Paulo Cesar goal. A young Mick Martin equalised, before Brazil surged 4-1 ahead with goals from Jairzinho, Paulo Cesar again and Valdomiro.

This was for me an amazing day: in my first ever live football match, I had just seen Jairzinho of Brazil score a goal! Then, in the last half hour, Ireland fought back, with Dougan and Terry Conroy scoring.

Last-Minute Penalty

Now only 4-3 behind, the crowd inspired the home side to almost equalise before Brazil got a last-minute penalty and Paulo Cesar stepped up to complete his hat-trick.

Pat Jennings pulled off a remarkable save, after which the crowd invaded the pitch and the players escaped from the Nazis, or maybe I’m mixing things up with the movie Escape to Victory.


After the game, I joined hundreds of shrieking, besotted youngsters in the Lansdowne Road car park. Our screaming intensified as each player emerged.

This was our generation’s Beatlemania, but with boys instead of girls doing the screaming and with Derek Dougan instead of John Lennon. So, in fairness, not much like Beatlemania at all.


We descended on Dougan’s car, where he sat for ages patiently signing autographs. Then, as he slowly steered through the parting crowd, his car wheel crushed my right foot into the tarmac.

Suddenly my screams became more urgent than the other screams around me, but I have never been prouder of a football injury.

The Doog

As he left Lansdowne, ‘the Doog’ did not realise that he was also driving away into the football sunset. Because of his role in creating an All-Ireland team, he was never again selected to play for Northern Ireland.


Entry filed under: Sports.

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. tippryan  |  June 29, 2007 at 11:47 pm

    I was 13 i remember watching it on the black and white tv in the tipperary outback ,one channel land.It is a match that is still with me .I remember it well all the build up in the irish independent .It seemed to be the only paper around then,there was the irish press also.
    I was so glad when some channel showed it not so long a ago,think it was rte but i did not get enough time to set the recorder.I would love a copy if anyone has it .The doog was a fantastic player in his days at Wolves and for the North,This match was spoken for years after that ireland would have one team but it never materialized.
    We will never know how far this side would have was some line up..and some match.

  • 2. Peter B  |  February 11, 2008 at 7:24 pm

    We have included some of the footage of the match in our tribute “Unforgettable Doog” DVD – visit the London Wolves website or it’s available in the Belfast HMV or the Wolves Megastore Profits go to Doog’s charity Xpro for ex-pro footballers.

  • 3. Liam  |  June 21, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    Thank you for sharing this – a piece of football history for sure. Doog was always pro an all Ireland side and it was indicative of the times that he was snubbed by the N. Ireland selectors despite continuing to be a prolifice goal scorer for his home side (Wolves) well into his 30’s. A real charecter of the game, former chairman of the PFA and largely respnsible for bringing free agency to the modern game. All those wealthy footballers should tip their hats to such a man.


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A blog by Michael Nugent

Welcome to my blog about living in the maddest country on earth. Please feel free to leave a comment.

I also write Bionic Bohs, a blog about following Bohemians football club in the 1970s.


Bionic Bohs

As mentioned above, if you like Irish football and/or cultural nostalgia, I also write Bionic Bohs, a blog about following Bohs in the 1970s.

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