"Jean Dockx, Jean Dockx, Jean Dockx,..." During twinty minutes the fans tried to convince trainer Raymond Goethals to line-up papa Doc during the final of the Cup Winners' Cup in Paris, with 4-0 on the scoreboard. But the trainer was too euphoric to hear to fans. It was the young Franky Vercauteren who asked the trainer to be replaced by Dockx. Assistent-coach Martin Lippens whispered to Goethals: "Trainer, the fans want Dockx and Franky is willing to give up his place." Three minutes before the end of the game, Dockx came on the field. He was 37 years old and played his last European final. Not much later, Anderlecht organised a galamatch to salute Dockx, but that one ended dramatically. Dockx got injured and couldn't continue the game. He had played 35 interland games, won two titles with Anderlecht, 4 cups, two Cup Winners' Cups and one European Supercup against Bayern München. Impressive! Several years later, he experienced himself what it's like to be a trainer.
On November 22 of the year 1967, Constant Vanden Stock, technical advisor for the national team, selected him for the first time for interland duty. On the World Cup of 1970, the midfielder playing for Racing White, earned his place in the starting line up of the Red Devils. The World Cup was a disaster, but Dockx was the only one playing at an acceptable level. Raymond Goethals kept his faith in the player and lined him up in interland games after that World Cup. Later on, Raymond was replaced but Dockx met him again in Anderlecht between 1987 and 1989. Raymond was head-coach, Dockx his assistent.
Born on May 24, 1941 in Sint-Katelijne-Waver, Dockx played his first game for K.V. Mechelen. He made his debute on the age of 16 and scored after 15 minutes of play. During the next 8 years, he became the best player of his team. During the season 1966-1967, Dockx got severely injured and the direction board of KV Mechelen feared the end of his carreer. He was transfered to Racing White. Trained by Norberto Höfling, Dockx became the stronghold of a team with Waseige, Stassart, Wynants, Carlos Lua, Paulinho,... In 1969, he played in the cup final. Sporting, where Constant Vanden Stock was in charge now, paid a lot of money for Dockx. He reinforced the midfield, where Paul Van Himst was already playing.
Aged 30, he wore the Anderlecht shirt for the first time. He stayed in Brussels for 7 years and won a lot of prizes. After a difficult start, he lead Sporting to many victories, together with Robbie Rensenbrink and coach Georg Kessler. The German coach initially had problems with players like Van Himst, Mulder, Plaskie and Kialunda, while Dockx, Van Binst and Broos followed his lead. But at the end of the season, Anderlecht had won the title and the cup. Dockx always claimed that winning that double was the best prestation of Anderlecht he ever saw, though in the next few years the Mauves would play three European finals: "It wasn't football anymore, it was ballet. That beautiful. It was the best team Anderlecht ever had, with players like Van Himst, Jurion, Verbiest, Puis, Hanon,... But the team that played the three European finals was good too. I played together with Rensenbrink, Vercauteren, Coeck, Thissen, Broos, Dusbaba and Swat Vander Elst."
Aged 34, his contract ended, but the Mauves offered him a new one for one year. They repeated that in the 2 upcoming years. In 1978, after 394 games in the highest division, 45 goals and 38 Europese games, Dockx left Anderlecht.
As a player-coach for 4th division team Bornem (1978-1980), he booked some successes. Later on, he went to Assent (1980-1982). In 1982, he made his debute as trainer in the highest division. In Molenbeek, he was working with players as Patrick Thairet, Franky Van Der Elst and Patrick Gollière. One year later, he went to Antwerp. Dockx was very sensitive for stress, so he prefered working as assistant-coach. In 1984, he joined Anderlecht to assist Paul Van Himst. He did that job for 15 years, until he joined the scouting cell of the club in 1999. Later on, he was promoted to technical director. But that didn't last for a long time. Jean was the ideal assistent for a trainer. So he took his old job back.
Jean Dockx became head-coach for one more time, together with Franky Vercauteren. In 1998-1999 he replaced Arie Haan. At that moment, Anderlecht was ranked last, was defeated by Westerlo with 6-0 and was eliminated by Zürich in the Europacup. Dockx-Vercauteren brought Anderlecht back to the third place by beating Standard with 0-6 (Dockx: "A magical moment and a unique memory for me."). Also Genk was defeated. "We restored the confidence of our players. We talked a lot with our players and changed the trainings to make them confident. Franky and I believed in this group and the results followed."
Jean Dockx died in 2002. He is still being missed in Anderlecht.
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