It came as a bit of a shock to hear of the untimely passing of Frank McDougall, a striker of note in the 1980s. The fact that the larrikin was only one year older than myself made me sit up and take notice!
I loved to watch the blonde-bombshell as he hit the net time and again with unerring accuracy. I was less chuffed when he hit the Celtic net as he often did. Still, he was worth the entrance fee alone regardless of club favour.
Frank hit the headlines at St Mirren and his prowess in front of goal saw him bag 64 goals in 169 games. Then, the pre-knighted Alex Ferguson stepped in, forked out £100k and handed him a starting berth at Pittodrie. The burly hitman responded with 44 strikes in 69 games, a not-too shabby return, many of his goals spectacular and ultimately taking the Dandy Dons to the Title.
Why read this on The Celtic Star, I hear you ask? Well, Frank was an avid lover of all things Celtic and he let me know all about it during a big, big night out in a Glasgow City Centre pub. I was working at the Burns Howff and the Pot Still venues back in 1981 and, on my day off, was having a superb night out with the Scotland fans in the pub across the road in Hope Street.
Scotland had just beaten the Auld Enemy, England, 1-0 at Wembley courtesy of John Robertson, (Celtic’s former assistant manager during the divine reign of Martin O’Neill), and the Tartan Army were in full crow-mode from Wembley all the way home to John O’Groats. We were still belting out the Flower of Scotland lyrics on Sunday evening in the pub when in waltzed, no, make that staggered, Frank McDougall and his strike partner at Love St, big Doug Somner.
Hi, I’ve been asked to post this on behalf of Frank McDougall’s family. Frank sadly passed away this morning in hospital due to heart complications. Thoughts and prayers very much with Frank and his beloved family. RIP legend. 💔 pic.twitter.com/tZ1UxYr8GE
— Ally Begg ⭐️⭐️ (@ally_begg) October 1, 2023
I was with my then Fiancée, Norah Connor who was cousin to Tommy Burns. Norah was a lovely girl and Frank clearly thought so too as he and Doug planked themselves at our table, regaling our guests with fantastic tales of derring-do during their footballing tenures at St Mirren.
Now, did I say Frank enjoyed his drink that night? I could sink a beer or two back in the day, but these guys demonstrated why they could move so fast on the park – hollow legs! What a night we had with McDougall spitting out the words, “Aye Eddie, I remember that game too. I cringed as I scored another dirty, rotten goal against Celtic!”
He was, of course referring to his four-goal-salvo against the Hoops, ‘Up at Pittodrie’. He murmured to me that he secretly went into mourning for a week after that! Frank was a true lover of Celtic and every other sentence was punctuated with reasons why. I was often dismayed that the gun was not snatched up by the transfer gurus at Parkhead but the old Celtic Board were never over willing to spend in the transfer market and Fergie took full advantage.
Frank McDougall was a brilliant striker and a sensational Bhoy with a razor-sharp wit. At 65, it’s far too young to leave us and I hope he gets the tributes he deserves in grounds around Scotland this weekend. Rest in peace Frank, and God bless you.
Sad news this morning, Frank McDougall who was my 1st strike partner and friend from day one in early 80s has sadly passed away about 4am. RIP PAL gone way to soon, I’m gutted 🙏🏻🙏🏻
— Frank McAvennie (@MaccaFrank) October 1, 2023
Aberdeen Football Club is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Frank McDougall this morning.
Frank was an AFC legend, as during his two seasons for the Dons, between 1984 and 1986, he scored an incredible 44 goals and won all three domestic medals. pic.twitter.com/c9TSqTdgJq
— Aberdeen FC (@AberdeenFC) October 1, 2023
So sad to hear Frank McDougall has died at 65. I had good fortune to watch Frank play before his professional career as he played with the school team my dad took, St Augustine's in Glasgow. He said Frank was a good striker, at Aberdeen he was one of Europe's best. RIP Frank.
— Phil Gordon (@PJG_Sport) October 1, 2023
Sad to hear of Frank McDougall's passing. Some goalscorer and big Celtic man, was Frank.
Rest In Peace.
— Davie McLaughlin (@McLaughlin_1888) October 1, 2023