Former player programme article - Steven Douglas

Posted : 2nd August 2020

During the recent period of enforced football inactivity has provided weekly programme articles on some of our former players.

The series commenced 18 weeks ago with an article on Jim Lemon and has continued over the past 17 weeks with features on Tommy MacDonald, Stephen McKee, Eric Bowyer, Tony Gorman, Lindsay Curry, Damien Curran, Colin McCurdy, Martin McGaughey, Roy Walsh, Frankie Parkes, Warren Feeney senior, George O'Boyle, Noel Bailie MBE, Lindsay McKeown, Peter Thompson, Alan Fraser and George Dunlop.

In this week’s article reproduces an article from March 2019 in which the spotlight was focused on popular and larger than life former defender Steven Douglas.

by James Kennedy

He was born in Scotland in 1977, so most of those who know Steven Douglas call him ‘Scotty’. Or ‘Dougie’.

“My family moved from Scotland to Ballymena when I was 4, just in time for me starting at Ballee Primary School. So I’ve lived in Northern Ireland for most of my life but I consider myself to be 100% Scottish!”

Always the joker in the pack, Steven spent 10 years at Windsor Park under David Jeffrey and racked up an impressive collection of medals in 266 appearances for Linfield.

“I won four league title medals with Linfield, although for long periods I wasn’t a regular in the team. In fact, one of the seasons I hadn’t played enough games to qualify for a medal, and it was only through the club’s persistence that I eventually got my medal. It was hard not being in the side, but when I look at the bigger picture, there were some great players ahead of me. Initially it was Jim Ervin for the right back slot, then later when I played more often at centre half it was Winkie Murphy and the legend himself, Noel Bailie, that I was competing with. So you can see why I didn’t always get a game”.

His earliest football was played at Ballee Primary School, and as a teenager he was with Cullybackey Blues when he got invited to play for Linfield.

“A guy Andy Scott asked me to go to Linfield, and I wasn’t going to turn that opportunity down. But, after I was left out of the squad that was going to a youth tournament, I moved on, playing for Carniny Rangers in the Ballymena Saturday Morning League”.

Eventually it was Paul Malone who persuaded Steven to give Irish League football another try at Larne.

“Ballymena Utd were interested in signing me, and I nearly hooked up with Kenny Shiels at The Showgrounds, but my next stop was Portadown with Ronnie McFall”.

A successful couple of seasons followed, when he collected a League winner’s medal and appeared in the 2002 Irish Cup final against Linfield, although two Chris Morgan goals meant the trophy went to Windsor Park.

In the summer of 2003 Steven was on the move again, back to Linfield for another try.

“Myself, Oran Kearney and Damien Curran travelled up to Belfast together, and the whole squad got on really well together. I was the unofficial Entertainments Officer and we had many good times in the dressing room, travelling to games, and on regular nights out”.

His relaxed attitude to life didn’t always go down too well with those around him.

“On a couple of occasions Bryan McLoughlin, our Assistant Manager, took me aside and told me to stop messing about, and I sometimes wound some of the players up with my antics. Paul McAreavey was the one who usually reacted, but we’re all still good friends”.

Currently with Coleraine, Steven doesn’t play too often but is always ready to provide defensive cover for Rodney McAree’s young squad. And he has recently completed Part 1 of his UEFA B coaching Licence.

“I’m almost finished Part 2 now, but there’s not a chance of me becoming a manager. I’ve worked under some greats, but I’ve seen the pressure that Ronnie McFall and David Jeffrey were under and that’s not for me. I work as a scaffolder during the day, football has always been my hobby and my release from the daily grind, and when I do eventually hang my boots up I could see myself coaching youngsters”.

One thing is for sure. Even though he has now reached the age of 41, there will never be a dull moment when Steven Douglas, ‘Scotty’ or ‘Dougie’ is around!
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