"Licenced premises cannot be successfully run without constant hard work and unremitting attention"
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Douglas William "Duggie" 'Crusher' Ferguson was an ex-rugby league player who went into the printing business. He first came to Coronation Street after tracking his hairdressing son Tom down, though sadly Tom blamed his dad for his mother's death and didn't want him around. Duggie was really hurt and even bought into a local development on Victoria Street to be close to him; though this didn't help matters and eventually Tom left town to Leeds leaving poor Duggie devastated.

In late 1999 to early 2000, Duggie turned property developer and employed Steve McDonald to build his Victoria Street complex, and he was indeed very proud when the complex was finished - with various units which involved Sally Webster and Danny Hargreaves renting one of the units, as well as Fred Elliott and Vikram Desai along with Steve McDonald who started up their own mini-cab firm.

Early in 2000, Duggie started a relationship with Debs Brownlow, sister of Rovers' landlady Natalie Barnes. Debs had moved to Weatherfield to be near to sister after many years working on a cruise ship as a hairdresser. At first Duggie was unsure whether or not to start a new relationship after the death of his wife Laura, but Debs managed to help him overcome his emotional block concerning women, and the couple seemed happy until Duggie started to develop another property and tried to forcably evict tenants including Toyah Battersby and Phil Simmonds. Both felt that they had been treated badly by Duggie, especially by the way that Duggie employed Vinny Sorrell to throw Phil out of his own home. Simmonds went to the press about Duggie's illegal tactics which later caused Duggie's financial downfall, resulting in him selling his treasured home which he had shared with wife Laura. Businessman Dev Alahan bought Duggie's house for a quick sale, before putting it back on the market and making a tidy profit. Duggie was not pleased, and was forced to move into 6 Coronation Street with girlfriend Debs Brownlow. However this didn't work out as Duggie ended turning No. 6 into an office for his business contacts.

Duggie and Debs's relationship cracked which led Debs into an affair with Vinny - her sister's lover and Duggie's employee. Duggie was furious, especially as Vinny and Debs left town with £400 of rent money.

In December 2000, Natalie decided to sell up and get out of Weatherfield for a new life in the Cotswolds with her unborn child and the Rovers came under threat by the Boozy Chain, who planned to turn the pub into a 'fun pub' named the Boozy Newt. Having been brought up in a pub, Duggie decided to step in and help the Rovers overcome its fate with the Boozy Chain. Due to recent financial trouble, Duggie couldn't buy the place on his own, so after asking Dev Alahan to invest into the Rovers, it was Fred Elliott and Mike Baldwin who came to the rescue, and invested into the Rovers alongside Duggie. Neither of the trio wanted to run the place, so they employed Liz McDonald to run the Rovers. Liz moved into the Rovers with resident barmaid Toyah Battersby (after previous landlady Natalie had given her a room and a job after being evicted by Duggie), but her reign as manager was only short as after numerous disagreements with the trio, and husband Jim being transferred to a prison in Leicester, she quit the Rovers and Weatherfield to be with Jim. Mike's new wife Linda took the helm of the Rovers, but her heart was not in the Rovers, and in reality neither were Duggie's partners, and Duggie talked them into selling their shares of the Rovers at a cheap price to a 'mysterious owner' - Duggie snapped up their shares and became sole owner of the Rovers.

At the end of 2001, the social club at Duggie's beloved Weatherfield Rugby Club came up for sale. Looking for a quick way to raise money, Duggie auctioned off the Rovers for £76,000 to Fred Elliott (who had purchased it as a gift to his new wife Eve) only to find he had been gazumped for the Rugby Club at the last minute by fellow ex-professional Marty Flynn. With time and money on his hands, he went into partnership with Richard Hillman, converting an old house - 2 The Ridings into luxury flats. Duggie was determined to cut corners, preferably without Richard's knowledge. However Richard suspected this, and one night confronted Duggie at the development. Hoist by his own petard, Duggie leaned over a bannister which collapsed, and he plunged two floors. The fall didn't kill him outright, but Richard chose to rifle through Duggie's pockets, take his keys and raid his safe, taking the cash from the sale of the Rovers, rather than summon help. Duggie was later found to have crawled to another room and died.

His son Tom was too busy cutting hair on a cruise ship to attend his father's funeral.

See also

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