Sheffield Wednesday: Carlos Carvalhal’s exit repeat of Derek Dooley’s Christmas Eve sacking 44 years ago

Derek Dooley: Owls and Blades legend
Derek Dooley: Owls and Blades legend
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The Christmas Eve exit of Sheffield Wednesday manager Carlos Carvalhal comes 44 years to the day after the club’s infamous dismissal of club legend Derek Dooley.

Dooley’s axeing was announced, also on Christmas Eve, after the Owls had a poor run after the playing staff were hit by a virus that affected 16 players between September and November.

During his time as manager Derek Dooley famously welcomed back  Peter Swan and David "Bronco" Layne to Hillsborough after their playing  bans were lifted

During his time as manager Derek Dooley famously welcomed back Peter Swan and David "Bronco" Layne to Hillsborough after their playing bans were lifted

The dismissal, and particularly its timing, attracted widespread condemnation among fans.

The man whose brilliant goalscoring career had been cruelly cut short when his leg was amputated after he broke it in a match at Preston on February 14, 1953, was extremely popular among Sheffielders and remained so until his death in March 2008 aged 78.

His dismissal followed soon after big boardroom changes led to Matt Sheppard being named chairman.

Dooley was so upset by Wednesday’s treatment of him that he didn’t return to Hillsborough for almost 20 years.

He went on to play a major role for rivals Sheffield United for more than 30 years, in various jobs including commercial manager, managing director and chairman.

A statue in his memory stands outside Bramall Lane and part of the city’s ring road is named Derek Dooley way, after him.