Dundee United FC -The Greatest, by the Supporters
Your Greatest Dundee United Team
The response to ArabZONE’s request to nominate your greatest ever team of Dundee United players over the last 100 years has been overwhelming and we would like to thank everyone who took part.
The results of this mammoth exercise can be found on this free to view page, with links and thumbnails for you to explore and take you to specific members’ only pages showing video clips and further information on the players concerned. Some of these clips will be added to and unhidden over the course of the summer to keep the site fresh and full of interest.
Members of this Greatest ever Dundee United team, or in some cases their family representatives, have been invited to attend the Centenary Dinner in September to receive an award in recognition of this achievement.
Your votes for the Greatest ever team was as follows, in 4-4-2 formation....
No.1 - Hamish McAlpine (GK)
HAMISH McALPINE (Goalkeeper)
Hamish was one of the very few footballers to be immortalised in a song and is regarded as one of the characters of the game. He had a fantastic rapport with the fans and often waved to them during matches. When United struggled to find a penalty taker, Hamish took responsibility and is the only goalkeeper to have scored for the team.
No.2 - John Holt
JOHN HOLT (Right-Back)
Born in Dundee, John joined United as an apprentice from school in 1972 and made his first-team debut in January 1974, just two months after his seventeenth birthday. A hard-working and tough-tackling midfielder, he went on to make in excess of 400 appearances over 14 years at Tannadice, sharing in all of the Club’s successes, as well as many Cup Final disappointments.
No.3 - Maurice Malpas
MAURICE MALPAS (Left-Back)
Maurice joined United on an ‘S’ form in 1978 and it did not take too long for him to become a first team regular, breaking into the side during 1981-82 season. In the League Cup Final of 1981, he was an unused substitute.
No.4 - Dennis Gillespie
Dennis Gillespie (Centre-Midfield)
Dennis was signed from Alloa Athletic and on one particular visit to Tannadice he scored a hat-trick as his team won 7-1. His manager then was Jerry Kerr who later took over at Tannadice in the summer of 1959 and of course signed him for the bargain fee of £3000.
No.5 - Paul Hegarty (Capt.)
Paul Hegarty, Captain. (Centre Half)
Paul was originally signed as a strike partner for Andy Gray, but following an experimental positional switch, in a friendly against Everton in November 1976, it became clear that he would make an excellent defender. Within a short time he formed a solid partnership with David Narey, which lasted for around twelve years and created the platform for United’s success in the 1980s. In 1979, he was the SPFA Player of the Year.
No.6 - David Narey
David Narey (Sweeper)
The record holder for total appearances for United, Dave began his career on a quiet Wednesday afternoon in a re-arranged Scottish League match in front of a crowd of just 1,250 because a miners’ strike had restricted use of floodlights. Within a few months he was established as a regular. Regarded as a central defender, he was capable of filling any defensive position and often played in midfield.
No.7 - Eamonn Bannon
Eamonn Bannon (Left-Midfield)
Eamonn was signed from Chelsea for a record fee of £165,000 and within just six weeks of joining United, Eamonn played his part in the Club’s first national trophy success, winning the League Cup in December 1979 against Aberdeen. Already a Scotland Under-21 international, his move to Tannadice brought him full international recognition with a debut against Belgium for the first of his 11 Scotland Caps.
No.8 - Ralph Milne
Ralph Milne (Right-Midfield)
Ralph joined United on an ‘S’ form in 1976 and his talent earned him a debut 2 years later in a Dryburgh Cup tie. He scored the third goal in a 3-0 win over Dunfermline Athletic. By that time he was already part of the Scotland professional youth squad.
No.9 - Peter McKay
PETER McKAY (Centre-Forward)
First seen by Manager Willie MacFadyen playing for Newburgh Juniors, Peter had netted 16 goals in just five matches at the start of the season. He made his United debut in a League Cup tie and a week later netted the first of his record number of goals. Even with just 20 appearances in his first season, Peter was top scorer.
No.10 - Paul Sturrock
PAUL STURROCK (Centre-Forward)
Paul was part of the best side in the best period of United’s history so far. He was signed by then manager Jim McLean from Bankfoot Juniors as a seventeen-year-old in 1973 and he made his first team debut against Juil Petrosani in the Cup Winners Cup on 18th September 1974 and went on to spend the next fifteen years at Tannadice as a player, before taking up a coaching post in June 1989. He then moved to Perth in August 1993 to become the boss of St Johnstone, but five years later he could not resist the lure of his beloved United and returned to Tannadice as Manager.
No.11 - Dave Bowman
DAVE BOWMAN (Centre-Midfield)
Dave arrived at Tannadice from Coventry City in the summer of 1986 as part of a joint transfer with Jim McInally. He quickly won over the Tannadice faithful who dubbed him ‘Psycho’ - for obvious dedication and devotion to the cause.
Dave’s attitude and application was second to none, he always gave 100%. The fact he was a very bad loser made him the kind of player every manager wanted in his team. His no-nonsense style was certainly effective though it tended to obscure the fact that he was a player with more to offer.
No.13 - Billy Thomson (GK)
BILLY THOMSON (Goalkeeper)
Having won seven full caps while with St Mirren, Billy signed for United in 1984 as an established internationalist but spent the first season as cover for Hamish McAlpine. After a serious injury to Hamish, he took over in goal in October 1985 and wasn't to give up his place as No.1 until 1992.
No. 14 - Doug Smith
DOUG SMITH (Defender)
Doug has had an involvement with the Club that has lasted over 40 years, first as a player and then Director, Vice Chairman and then Chairman. He also became an official with the SFA and Scottish League, working on various committees, eventually becoming Scottish League President.
No.15 - Richard Gough
RICHARD GOUGH (Defender)
Although he went on to be recognised as one of the top central defenders in Britain, it was as a right back that Richard rose to prominence at Tannadice. His father played for Charlton Athletic during the 1960s before emigrating to South Africa, where Richard was brought up. He initially experienced some difficulty settling in Scotland and during the winter of 1981/82 went home, vowing not to return. Not only did he do so, but he established himself in time to play a vital part helping United to win the Premier Division championship in 1983.
No.16 - Jim McInally
JIM McINALLY (Midfielder)
Jim McInally joined United from Coventry City in the summer of 1986 in a joint transfer with Dave Bowman. He had begun his career with Celtic in 1982 as a full back; while there he won youth caps and spent a period on loan with Dundee FC. Jim was transferred to Nottingham Forest in 1984 and joined Coventry 18 months later.
No.17 - Billy McKinlay
BILLY McKINLAY (Midfielder)
One of the products of the Club’s highly efficient scouting and coaching network in the West of Scotland, Billy was signed from Hamilton Thistle in 1986. He won a place in the 1988 Scottish Cup Final side at the tender age of 19, despite previously having made just 12 League appearances.
No.18 - Andy Gray
ANDY GRAY (Forward)
One of Jim McLean’s early S-form boys, he signed as a professional in May 1973. Less than a year later, aged 18 years and five months, he was leading United’s attack in the Scottish Cup Final against Celtic.
No.19 - Finn Dossing
Finn Dossing (Forward)
United had collected a mere 7 points from their first 14 matches in 1964-65 when Danish youth and Under-21 international Finn Dossing was signed by Jerry Kerr. Finn made a scoring debut and although he failed to find the net in the next game he duly went on to score in each of his next fifteen matches, including a hat-trick against Hibs. United completed the league campaign in ninth place. Many still wonder what might have been if Finn and his Scandinavian colleagues had arrived sooner. This was also the first season of the newly established Summer Cup and Finn helped United to a two-leg final against Motherwell. Unfortunately the Terrors lost 3-2 on aggregate.