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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 July 2007, 16:06 GMT 17:06 UK
Dougan 'was unsung hero of peace'
Derek Dougan's funeral
The coffin was emblazoned with the Wolves club badge
The funeral of former Northern Ireland international footballer Derek Dougan has taken place in Wolverhampton.

The former Wolverhampton Wanderers striker died last month, aged 69.

Nicknamed 'The Doog', he won 43 NI caps. Many of his former international and club team-mates were at the church.

The Rev David Frith told mourners and the many Wolves fans gathered outside that Dougan was "an unsung hero of peace and reconciliation".

"Not only did Derek have ideas about people from different backgrounds living in harmony, he also took action to bring it about.

"The story of his off-the-field work to put together an all-Ireland football team ought not to be lost among the tales of his on-the-field prowess."

The rector of Wolverhampton told mourners that Dougan was hugely proud of his Belfast roots, but was also deeply pained by the hatreds and tragedies of his homeland.

Abide With Me, You'll Never Walk Alone and Danny Boy were sung by mourners, and the service was relayed on speakers for fans outside.

Derek Dougan pictured at George Best's funeral in December 2005
Derek Dougan died last month aged 69

Former Scottish international Denis Law said outside the church that Dougan was a "wonderful guy" and a "tremendous international player".

Law said: "(He had a) tremendous combination with George Best at that particular time when Northern Ireland had a very, very good team."

Dougan was a friend of Best and helped carry the coffin at the former Manchester United star's funeral in December 2005.

The east Belfast man was an advocate for an all-Ireland football team and an outspoken chairman of the Professional Footballers' Association.

After he retired, Dougan was involved in a diverse range of projects including standing as an independent candidate against sitting East Belfast MP Peter Robinson in a parliamentary election.

He was also a newspaper columnist and wrote an autobiography entitled The Sash He Never Wore.

Dougan scored more than 120 goals for Wolves and was in their victorious 1974 League Cup side. He also played for Portsmouth, Blackburn Rovers, Aston Villa, Peterborough United and Leicester City.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Fans line streets for Doog farewell



SEE ALSO
Tributes are paid to 'the Doog'
25 Jun 07 |  Northern Ireland
Gregg recalls Dougan qualities
25 Jun 07 |  Internationals
Wolves legend Dougan dies aged 69
24 Jun 07 |  Wolverhampton Wanderers
Dougan - the reluctant apprentice
19 Mar 03 |  Northern Ireland



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