Dooley dies after career that 'brought Sheffield together'

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The Independent Football

Derek Dooley, a Sheffield football legend across the decades, has died at the age of 78. Dooley crossed the football divide in the city by being involved in both clubs, with the supporters united in their fondness for the former Owls striker.

Born in Sheffield in December 1929, Dooley made two appearances for Lincoln before moving to Sheffield Wednesday in 1947 where he was a prolific goalscorer. His career ended, however, after he broke his leg in a collision during a game in 1953. His leg was eventually amputated.

He returned to the Hillsborough club as manager between 1971-1973 but he was sacked on Christmas Eve 1973, after which he moved to neighbours and rivals, Sheffield United.

Initially taken on as the club's Commercial Manager, Dooley fulfilled a variety of roles at Bramall Lane and was awarded the MBE in 2003 before he retired in 2006. At the time, he said of the MBE: "I never believed I would get this honour. I am fiercely proud of being a Sheffield lad. This honour is a bit special for me."

The former sports minister and former Sheffield United director Richard Caborn said: "Derek epitomised everything that was good about sport. He was the only person I know who really brought both Sheffield clubs together. It is a very sad loss for his family, and for football."

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