When manager Billy Bremner signed 18-year-old striker Colin Douglas from Celtic in the summer of 1981, he reckoned that his new player "could become a valuable asset to the club." How prophetic those words were to prove. “Dougie” went on to make 468 senior appearances in two spells with Rovers and held the overall appearance record until it was overtaken by James Coppinger. During that time his energy, commitment and willingness to engage with supporters made him a real crowd favourite.
At first the gangly striker failed to back up his early promise with goals, although his work-rate could never be questioned. Matters changed when Bremner paired him with the veteran centre-forward Ernie Moss for the 1983-84 season. Moss and Douglas became a feared duo, both scoring 15 League goals as Rovers won promotion to Division Three. He also contributed 13 League goals in 1985-86, but by then Bremner had left and Dougie’s relationship with his successor, Dave Cusack, proved difficult.
Between 1986 and 1988 Dougie spent two years at Rotherham United and when he returned at the start of the 1988-89 season, he was a rather different player. He was now a defender, operating at right-back or centre-back, roles to which he gave the same commitment as always. He left Rovers at the end of the 1992-93 season, by which time he had overtaken Fred Emery’s record for senior appearances. He remains a legend to fans who had the pleasure of watching him and he is always a very welcome visitor to the Keepmoat Stadium.
Rovers Debut: 15th August 1991, League Group Cup vs. Sheffield United (away) Lost 1-2.
Final game: 8th May 1993, Division Three vs. Walsall (home) Lost 0-3.
Rovers Career: Football League: 404 appearances, 53 goals. All senior games: 468 appearances, 62 goals
Honours with Rovers: Promotion to Division Three 1983-84 (runners-up).