Former Village coach Dowling dies, aged 69
North Village Community Club (NVCC) are mourning the death of one of their most cherished and influential servants.
Former club president, coach and mentor Harold (Doc) Dowling died last Friday aged 69.
Dowling is best remembered for moulding the careers of local greats such as Shaun Goater who went on to make a name for himself at Manchester City.
“He had a big impact on hundreds of players like Shaun Goater for one, Richard and Robert Calderon, the Bascome boys (Andrew, Herbie and David) and all of we Dill boys,” said North Village president Shervin Dill. “He never had children of his own, but he was the father to all of North Village and you cannot mention North Village without Harold (Doc) Dowling coming up.
“He is definitely one of the icons of North Village Community Club and a person who we have always been very proud of and many of us are greatly indebted to him for the contribution he made to the club over the years. He was leader of the club for many years and we are very indebted to him for the assistance he gave us to become the club we are today and the North Village family extends their condolences to the family of our former president and coach.”
The late Pembroke resident was manager of North Village’s team that achieved the club’s maiden Triple Crown (League, Friendship Trophy and FA Cup) success during the 1977-78 season.
As well as shaping the careers of footballers, Dowling also coached softball and netball at North Village.
During his coaching days Dowling, who was one of the first inductees into the North Village Hall of Fame, earned a reputation for being a firm disciplinarian.
“Above all he was a true disciplinarian and a lot of us are thankful for him helping us stay on the right path and he will be surely missed by the North Village family,” Dill said.
Goater also recalls his late coach and mentor’s no-nonsense approach.
“I remember times we played teams and if a team came down and misbehaved Doc would put them under control too,” he said. “He was such a disciplinarian and I know the discipline he instilled in me was certainly useful when I went over to England. I’m pretty sure if I didn’t have that discipline I wouldn’t have been successful.”
Goater added: “Doc was huge influencing me in my early days. Many times if I hadn’t done my homework and went to training he would ask me if I have done my homework and would know because of the look in my face and would send me home and tell me not to come back until I’ve done my homework. I could get away telling my mom I had done my homework but couldn’t get away with Doc. For me Doc played so many roles like father figure and mentor.
“He was just so huge to the community and we’ve lost a huge individual in terms of the influence he’s had on a number of players. He’s just done so much for the club and it’s a sad day with Doc not being here and my condolences go out to his family.”