We were saddened to learn of the passing of former player Doug Wragg. Club historian Stuart Basson pays this tribute to him…
Nottingham-born Doug began his professional football career with West Ham United, although he had to abandon a promising trajectory as an amateur boxer in order to do so. He joined the Hammers in 1953 but had to wait until the end of National Service in 1955 to take up full-time training, and he came to play 16 times for the East London side in a career that spanned seven years.
In 1960 he was transferred to Mansfield and he flourished back in his home county; in his season and a bit at Field Mill, he netted 13 times in 46 league appearances. The popular winger was respected as a trier by supporters, who were disappointed to see him leave for Rochdale in the summer of 1961.
Doug’s three years as a regular at Spotland included an unlikely career highlight, for a player at a club in Division Four – a Football League Cup final appearance. On paper at least, these were the most consistent days of his career, and he went on to make 103 league appearances for ‘Dale, scoring 15 goals.
He moved to Chesterfield in the close season of 1964 to start as the first-choice left-winger but was carried off injured after 27 minutes of a 5-1 defeat at Notts County in September. Before he could reclaim a place he was further injured in the car crash that claimed the life of centre-forward Ralph Hunt, in December. It would be March 1965 before he made the first team again; from his return the struggling team embarked on a run of six straight wins to climb to mid-table safety before he lost his place again, to the emerging Tony Moore.
Doug left Chesterfield for Midland League Grantham after one season and later found work at a Nottinghamshire factory that made seat covers for the motor trade. We offer our condolences to Doug’s family and friends.