A tribute to Frank McDougall – A Celtic supporter and a great striker

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.

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.

Eddie Murray

About Author

Eddie Murray – I Grew up with the Lions, coming from a Celtic-daft family. Played against Jinky once! Paradise was my second home and Dalglish was my hero. A long term Brisbane Bhoy for many years and have been blogging here for many years. Written a book on Ange/ Brisbane Roar/ Celtic which awaits publication. Writing on other genres as I speak. Top moments? Interviewing Cesar, Wispy, Cairney, The Maestro, Alan Thompson.


  1. He was a relation via my gran’s side of the family, used to go down the Ashfield where my granda used to run his dugs…at the height of his deadliness he came to our under 9’s football presentation where our co-manager attempted to give him a fiver for his troubles….we were in awe of him….after pumping the hoops single handedly he got Packie the Soup Taker aside and said ‘any chance you could put a word in for me with Caesar?’ Having been humiliated a sore one by McDougall, he said ‘After what you just did to us?! F*** off’… a slipped disc was the beginning of his troubles as a player, no recovery in them days after that. Deserved a bigger move did the Scottish Jan Molby… see you soon Frank x

  2. Sad news. Remember finding out Frank was a Celtic fan and he would sign for us in a second if the chance arose, was gutted but thought he might end up at Celtic in the future. Noticed from this article Frank signed for the dons in 84. Think our strikers in 84 would have been Frank McGarvey and Brian Mclair, Jim Melrose and a young rambo just on the fringes. We signed you know who from Watford in 84, maybe that was a reaction to missing out on Frank, wonder if Davie tried, or was going to try and sign Frank but Fergie made a move to get him before Celtic. RIP Frank.

    • Hi mate,my name is Martin Doak ,I remember playing against Luther a few times when I played at Morton FC.He was leathal in the six yard box , you couldn’t take eyes off him for a second,he was a fine footballer indeed ,it’s with a sad heart to hear his passing,I’m thinking of his family,65 years of age ,far too young,RIP Frank

  3. Rated as a player and bought for a considerable amount of money back then by Fergie himself – you don’t get much better an endorsement of your talent than that. Probably one of the finest Scottish strikers never to wear the Hoops. RIP Frank.