A fine fast bowler for Carlton and Victoria, John Douglas was a surprise winner of the 1982/83 Ryder Medal. In a season conducive for centuries and big scores due to the drought conditions, Douglas took 50 wickets @ 19.02 to poll 35 votes, four more than Prahran's Dav Whatmore and six more than Waverley's Roger Gill.
Douglas played six first class matches for Victoria between 1975/76 and 1978/79, taking a respectable 23 wickets @ 24.48 with best figures of 7/71 and 4/67 against South Australia at Adelaide in 1977/78. He also toured South Africa with Derrick Robins' XI in 1975/76 and was a member of Carlton's premiership teams of 1977/78 and 1978/79. A school-teacher by profession, Douglas was also a fine footballer, playing 12 VFL matches for North Melbourne in the early 70s, and winning the JN Woodrow Medal for best and fairest player in A Section Amateurs in 1971.