Ted MacDougall reveals the debt he owes Norwich City

Ted MacDougall scored a hat-trick for Norwich City against Aston Villa in August 1975. Picture: Arch

Ted MacDougall scored a hat-trick for Norwich City against Aston Villa in August 1975. Picture: Archant.

Ted MacDougall was a prolific goal machine at Norwich City. Paddy Davitt catches up with the returning Scot.

Ted MacDougall will forever be thankful to Norwich City for rescuing his career.

The prolific goalscorer fired the Canaries to a League Cup final appearance in 1975 and promotion back to the old First Division, before plundering 23 league goals the following season to become the top marksman in the country.

MacDougall makes a rare return to the city this weekend to watch Alex Neil's vintage take on Championship rivals Preston and sign copies of his new autobiography, 'MacDou-GOAL!', charting a remarkable career.

The 69-year-old was an apprentice at Liverpool under Bill Shankly and was later transferred to Manchester United for £220,000, as well as two legendary spells at Bournemouth, where the club's South Stand now bears his name.


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But it was his three-year stint under John Bond's guidance at Carrow Road that proved a crucial turning point for the former Scottish international striker.

'I look back on my time really fondly at Norwich. It was the place where I got my career back on track,' he says. 'I had left Bournemouth for Manchester United for £220,000 and it didn't work out.

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'There was a change of manager and the usual thing happened when a new manager comes in. Then I went to West Ham and that was a horrible move for me as well so at that stage people are asking questions whether I could do it in the First Division, as it was then.

'At Norwich it just really clicked. I knew the manager from Bournemouth and he brought in quite a few of the same lads and the team was just set up for me to finish off the moves. We had (Dave) Stringer and big Duncan (Forbes) at the back and Kevin Keelan, who lives near me now in Florida. We had a good side with attacking players, Martin Peters was excellent and Colin Suggett, so they provided plenty of chances and we had Phil Boyer who really did all the hard work and I just scored the goals. He was good at things I wasn't.'

MacDougall emerged as one of the most fearsome frontmen in the country during his final season at Norwich, but there was none of the rewards on offer lavished on the current generation.

'Nowadays they give you a golden boot or a golden ball for being top scorer. I would have settled for a lead ball dipped in gold paint,' he says. 'That season in the First Division, when I was top scorer, was just one of those when everything went right for me. I get asked that question quite a lot and I don't begrudge what the players are paid now at all. In my day I moved from York to Bournemouth for £3 more. I was on £25 and they paid me £28 but in those days there were no agents so I asked for a pair of curtains, and I said make sure they are velvet. I don't know why because I didn't even have a house at the time.

'Now I would probably have earned £70,000, £80,000 or £90,000 a week so after tax you take home maybe £50,000 per week and I just don't know how you spend that. I would have probably managed it but it is so important these young players have the right people around them and good advice.'

• Ted will be signing copies of 'MacDou-GOAL! - The Ted MacDougall story' at Jarrold's Saturday in Norwich city centre from 10:30am. The 320-page book, published by Pitch, is available for £18.99. Fans unable to attend in person can reserve a signed copy by ringing 01603 660661.

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