Creative midfielder Dougie Bell spent a month on loan with Eddie Gray’s Tigers in March and April 1989, playing on the right side of midfield. City beat Plymouth 3-0 on Bell’s debut, arresting a run of six league defeats following the famous Liverpool FA Cup tie at Boothferry Park.
Bell was born in Paisley on the fringes of Glasgow. He began his career at junior side Cumbernauld United before St Mirren snapped him up in 1977 and gave the 18 year old Bell his senior debut in an April 1978 0-5 drubbing against Partick Thistle. In Dougie’s second appearance three days later he came off the bench and scored in a 3-1 win over Celtic – his arrival was announced. That summer he joined Aberdeen and began a six year link-up with emerging legendary manager Alex Ferguson. It took a year for Bell to be introduced to the Don’s first team and he played a supporting role off the bench as Ferguson’s Aberdeen claimed the Scottish League title in 1980. In 1980-81 Bell played more regularly and was often selected for matches against more illustrious opponents where his ball skills were better able to shine. Over the next five seasons Bell was a regular first teamer without ever becoming an ever-present, and was used more freely in European ties that led from the Dons’ domestic trophy winning exploits. By 1985 Bell had made 179 appearances for Aberdeen and scored 14 goals, including a single goal in European competition against Lech Poznan in November 1982, on the way to Aberdeen lifting the Cup Winners’ Cup that May. He was a league title winner three times, a Scottish Cup winner twice and earned a European Super Cup winners medal in 1983 (he was not available for the 1983 Cup Winners’ Cup final).
In August 1985 a £115,000 fee was enough to lure Bell to Glasgow Rangers, and in a season and a half at Ibrox he made 39 appearances but scored only one goal and failed to reach the heights experienced during his years at Pittodrie. Bell had by now earned a reputation as a hellraiser and this perhaps stunted his progress whilst back in his native Glasgow. Bell spent a year with Edinburgh rivals Hibernian before transferring to Shrewsbury Town for £35,000 on Boxing Day 1987. At Gay Meadow Bell joined a gang of Scottish players including David Moyes, Victor Kasule, Alan Irvine and Jim Melrose. These characters were assembled by Scottish manager Ian McNeill who perhaps imagined that his Caledonian-tinged squad would hit new footballing heights – they certainly hit new boozing heights. It was during Bell’s second season of three at Shrewsbury that he came to City for his brief loan.
Bell joined Birmingham City in October 1989 – puzzlingly his price had risen to £57,500 by now – and his two seasons may have only yielded 22 appearances but did prompt a Burton on Trent bowling club to name a stand after him. For the next six years Bell roamed to lower reaches of the Scottish League before retiring in 1997. He managed junior sides Kilsyth Rangers and Vale of Clyde in the late 1990s, then Bailleston Juniors in 2000/01 season. Peak Dougie Bell came during his four years at Clyde. He joined the coaching staff in 2005 and later became the reserve team manager. In 2008 Clyde’s manager Colin Hendry resigned and Bell took temporary charge of the first team – in the two first team fixtures he was manager for, Bell was dismissed from the dugout both times and was handed a 10 match touchline ban. Despite this, or maybe because of this, Bell was retained as assistant manager at Clyde for the 2008/09 season. He left Clyde in August 2009 and for many subsequent years worked as a scout.
Bell made two appearances for Scotland under-21s, his first in November 1980 against Denmark and his second three years later in March 1984 when he was selected to start against Yugoslavia as an over-age player.
Date/Place of Birth: 5 September 1959, Paisley
Hull City First Game: 25 March 1989, Plymouth Argyle H (Division Two), 29 years, 201 days old
Hull City Final Game: 4 April 1989, Oxford United H (Division Two), 29 years, 211 days old
Cumbernauld United, St Mirren (1977-1978), Aberdeen (1978-1985, Glasgow Rangers (1985-1987), St Mirren (1987, loan), Hibernian (1987), Shrewsbury Town (1987-1989), Hull City (1989, loan), Birmingham City (1989-1991), Partick Thistle (1991-1992), Portadown (1992), Stenhousemuir (1992-1993), Clyde (1993-1994), Elgin City (1994-1995), Berwick Rangers (1995), Alloa Athletic (1995), Albion Rovers (1995-1996), Linlithgow Rose (1996-1997)
Hull City Record
Career: 4 apps, 0 goalsDougie Bell