Picture: Sigarette Card / W.D & H.O Wills / Year Unknown / Assocciation Footballers.
One of the most notable of Ireland's players of all times, Peter Doherty, was born in Magherafelt. A special plaque was unveiled to mark his birthplace, where he was born in 1913. If you live in Maghearafelt you will know this as John Murrys Barber Shop. Incidentally John has some great pictures of Peter on display inside his shop, if you don't need a hair cut its well worth a visit just to see these.
He worked first as a bricklayer and bus conductor, played as inside-forward for Coleraine and Glentoran, before being signed by Blackpool for £2,000 at the age of nineteen. He soon became conspicuois as a brilliant inside forward and in 1935 played against England and Wales. In 1936 Manchester City paid £10,000 for his service, and he came into even greated prominence as one of the finest inside forwards in the four countries. He was the biggest star in the City-team that won the Championship in 1937, but had to endure relegation the following year (with a positive goal difference).
From 1939 to 1945 he served in the Royal Air Force (RAF) as a PT instructor-sergeant. He then joined Derby County and with them won the first post-war FA Cup final in 1946. A conflict with the management over the allocation of tickets for that match prompted him to request transfer to Huddersfield Town. After a final move to Doncaster Rovers as player-manager in 1949 his playing career came to an end in 1953.
He became manager of Bristol City and of the Northern Ireland team for the World Cup series, steering it to the quarter-finals, to the astonishment of the football world. He ended his connection with the game soon after. With a fiery temperament, Doherty was often at odds with his employers, fiercely opposing the exploitation of players. Of his own transfer from Blackpool to Manchester City he said: 'I might as well have been a bag of merchandise.' He was rated the best Irish inside-forward the game had seen and a complete footballer, linking defence and attack.
He played in 403 League games, scored 197 goals, and won 16 caps for Northern Ireland, six as a City-player.
He died in Blackpool on 6 April 1990.