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The Club » Dundee United A - Z ( G )

Dundee United A - Z ( G )

Ally GALLACHER (1909 - 1964)
Gallacher holds the record of occupying the manager’s chair at Tannadice for the shortest period of all – a mere seven weeks.
He was manager of Tayside junior club Carnoustie Panmure when he accepted United manager Reggie Smith’s offer of the job as his assistant. When Smith resigned to join Falkirk in January 1957, United appointed Gallacher as his replacement although this was intended only as a temporary measure. He had the misfortune to preside over the most disastrous month in the club’s history, United conceding seven goals in three consecutive matches, including a 0–7 home defeat by Morton. His resignation enabled Gallacher to concentrate on his other role as an employee of Taypools, which he had been instrumental in establishing. His son, Ken, became a leading journalist and chief football writer with The Herald.
Kevin GALLACHER (born 1966)
His grandfather was the legendary Celtic forward Patsy Gallacher, while his uncle, Tommy Gallacher, was a stalwart defender with Dundee FC in the post-war era.
Born in Clydebank, he was a schoolboy international (U-15) and joined United as an apprentice in 1983. He made his debut for United in Switzerland, in a Uefa Cup tie against Neuchatel Xamax in December 1985, and soon established himself with his fast and penetrating wing play.
Perhaps his most notable goal for the club came against Barcelona in another Uefa Cup tie, in March 1987, which gave United a 1–0 first-leg advantage. He won his first full cap for his country in 1988, but when Coventry City paid £950,000 to take him to England in January 1990 he was no longer an automatic choice for United.
His international career continued, as it did when he was transferred to Blackburn Rovers and then Newcastle United.
Pat GARDNER (born 1943)
He was bought from Dunfermline in January 1972 as one of Jim McLean’s first signings, the new manager appreciating the need for some experience from which to develop his youth policy. Pat certainly fitted the bill, having previously been with Queen of the South, Airdrie and Raith Rovers. He had also played in Europe, having been one of Dunfermline’s 1968 Scottish Cup-winning side.
Season 1972/73 saw him finish as United’s top scorer and the following one ended with Gardner again appearing at Hampden Park in the Cup final. He had been a driving force in United’s progress to their first final as well as being an important influence on the emerging young players such as Andy Gray and Graeme Payne.
In October of that year Gardner joined Motherwell and ended his playing career with Arbroath. He was later employed in a coaching capacity with Celtic and Motherwell.
Since German reunification in 1989, the only meeting with a Bundesliga club has been the pre-season friendly with Bayern Munich in Kuala Lumpur in July 1994. It ended in a 1–1 draw.
Only one German has played for United, and his stay was a brief one. Jochen Muller was a central defender signed from Bundesliga 2 club Waldhof Mannheim. He made his debut in a 3–4 opening-day League defeat by Celtic at Tannadice in 1991, but managed only a further four appearances before sustaining a serious injury which meant his career with United was over before it had properly begun.
Before reunification, United met clubs from the GFR (West Germany) on three occasions in European competition and emerged victorious each time.
The 5–0 demolition of Borussia Moenchengladbach in the 1981/82 UEFA Cup may have been dismissed by the German sports media as a freak, but the following season forced a reassessment. In December 1982 United faced Werder Bremen in a third-round match and seemed to have left themselves with too much to do with a 2-1 victory. But a 1–1 draw in the Weserstadium was a tremendous achievement and took United into the quarter-finals for the second successive season.
Thereafter, few people underestimated Dundee United in European competition. The Germans, then, ought to have acknowledged history when United renewed their acquaintance with Borussia in the 1986/87 UEFA Cup semi-final. A 0–0 draw at Tannadice was the result of the Germans defending in depth and their reaction as they left the field suggested they believed their path to the final was assured. However, in what was arguably United’s finest hour on European soil, they held Borussia at bay and scored twice on the counter to record a memorable 2–0 victory, and with it a place in the UEFA Cup final.
On two other occasions United visited West Germany and met Bundesliga clubs. The first was for a pre-season friendly in 1971. MSV Duisburg were the hosts with United being on the end of a 6–0 thrashing. A year later the Germans travelled to Tannadice for a rematch at the start of Jim McLean’s first full season in charge and on that occasion the spoils were shared in a 1–1 draw. A pre-season tour in 1984 included a fixture against 1FC Cologne, which United won 2–1.
Dennis GILLESPIE (1936 - 2001)
Dennis Gillespie (Picture courtesy of DC Thomson & Co Ltd.)
Three months after Jerry Kerr moved from Alloa to become United manager in 1959, he returned to his old club to secure the services of inside forward Gillespie. The fee was said to be £3,000; if so, it was arguably the best piece of business ever done by the club.
It is no exaggeration to say that Dennis Gillespie was one of the most influential and gifted players in United’s history. He was an integral part of Jerry Kerr’s team which, from relative obscurity, became established in both domestic and European competition. He was best known as a hard working, creative inside forward but also played for United in numerous other positions. His latter days at Tannadice were spent as a highly effective central defender.
He stayed with the club until 1971, making 400-plus appearances and scoring 120-plus goals before ending his career with Brechin City. In 1961 he won a Scottish League cap, becoming the first Dundee United player to play at that level.
Dennis was a huge favourite with Arabs, who turned out in force to provide him with the biggest-ever crowd (11,000) at a testimonial match for a United player. Sadly, after a long illness, Dennis died in June 2001.
Most/least in one season
The most goals scored by United during a Scottish League season was 108 in Division Two, 1935/36. With 34 matches played that season that meant an average of 3.2 goals per match, also a club record.
The lowest number of goals scored was 21, also in Division Two, in season 1911/12, their first as a League club. Only 22 League matches were played, giving an average of 0.95 per match.
United’s most inept season defensively was 1931/32 when, not surprisingly, they were relegated from Division One. They conceded 118 at an average of 3.1 per match.
They had their tightest defence during season 1988/89 in the Premier Division, conceding only 26 at the miserly rate of 0.72 per match.
United’s goalscoring record in the Premier Division was established in their championship season of 1982/83. It produced 90 goals, the same as runners-up Celtic. Thirty-six matches were played that season, for an average of 2.5 per match.
The fewest goals registered by United in the Premier Division was 34 in season 1999/2000, the first occasion since 1911/12 that the club failed to average at least one goal per match during a league season.
The most conceded was 68 in season 2002/03, an average of 1.8 per match.
Most in one match
The highest number of goals to result from a match involving the club is fifteen. On 28 November 1934, United won a Second Division encounter against Edinburgh City by nine goals to six – after being 2–4 down!
The next highest is the club’s record win, 14–0 over Nithsdale Wanderers in a Scottish Cup first-round tie at Tannadice on 17 January 1931.
The club has been involved in two matches which finished 12–1, and it is a case of one for, one against. Not surprisingly, they represent United’s record Scottish League victory and defeat. The thirteenth of April 1936 was the date on which Division Two visitors East Stirling were despatched by an 11-goal margin, while on 23 January 1954 United travelled to Fir Park, Motherwell, for a B Division match. They scored within 30 seconds, then produced what can at least be described as a balanced performance – they conceded six in each half!
Most in total
Between 1947 and 1954, Peter McKay scored 201 goals for Dundee United (158 League, 12 Scottish Cup, 31 League Cup). He is also the club’s leading Scottish League marksman, his 158 from 185 games working out at an average of 0.85 per game. In 1949, McKay scored in each of United’s first eleven competitive matches of the season, a club record which still stands.
Although Arthur Milne scored only 77 League goals for United, what is remarkable is that they were scored in a mere 73 appearances in three seasons between 1934 and 1937. He remains the only player in the club’s history to record a career average of more than a goal per game. By means of comparison, the club’s leading Premier Division marksman is Paul Sturrock, with 109 in 385 League appearances, an average of 0.3 per game.

Most in one season
Johnny Coyle holds the record with 43 (41 League, 1 Scottish Cup, 1 League Cup) netted in season 1955/56.
The most in a season since the Premier Division began is 28 (22 League, 5 League Cup, 1 Uefa Cup) scored by Dave Dodds in 1982/83.

Most in one match
Albert Juliussen scored six of United’s seven goals against St Bernard’s in a North Eastern League Cup tie at Tannadice on 15 November 1941.
Collie Martin scored five goals for Dundee Hibs in a Division Two match against Albion Rovers at Tannadice on 19 December 1914.
Only four Dundee United players have scored five times in one match. Tim Williamson against Nithsdale Wanderers in the Scottish Cup on 17 January 1931; Willie Ouchterlonie achieved the feat twice within a month in Division Two, against Edinburgh City on 18 November and Leith Athletic on 9 December 1933; Willie Black scored half of United’s ten against East Stirling in a Division Two match on 25 March 1939; and Paul Sturrock against Greenock Morton in the Premier Division on 17 November 1984.
Ivan GOLAC (born 1950)
The appointment of the former Yugoslav international to the manager’s job at Tannadice in July 1993 stunned Scottish football. Of all the Premier Division clubs, Dundee United would have been the last choice of most people to break the mould by introducing the country’s first overseas manager. It was a bold decision by chairman Jim McLean and his fellow directors and was rewarded with another mould being broken ten months later when Golac brought the Scottish Cup to Tannadice for the first – and, so far, only – time.
Golac had had a successful career in his native country as well as a spell with Southampton. Managerially he had earned his spurs with Partizan Belgrade, so he arrived with sound credentials. Unfortunately, Scottish football – and, as it turned out those in charge of Dundee United – were not ready to accept quite such a radical departure from the norm. Golac’s unconventional training methods and his devil-may-care comments to the media caused concern. The Cup triumph was almost certainly due to his ability to motivate the players for the big occasion, but he proved unable to repeat the act when it came to the bread-and-butter of the League.
In his first season, United finished only two points clear of relegation, a fact lost amid the euphoria of the Cup win. However, the following season’s form was never convincing and it was clear that he did not command universal support. United’s Premier Division status was under threat and when defeat at Hearts broke their hold on the Scottish Cup, the board acted quickly and Golac left the club by mutual consent.
After less than two years, Ivan Golac was gone, but he will not be easily forgotten. Whatever their opinion of his reign as a whole – and opinions differ greatly – Golac did deliver the Holy Grail which many Arabs had all but given up hope of seeing: tangerine and black ribbons attached to the Scottish Cup.
Richard GOUGH (born 1962)
Richard Gough (Picture courtesy of DC Thomson & Co Ltd.)
Although he went on to be recognised as one of the top central defenders in Britain, it was as a right back that Gough 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. That campaign saw what was arguably the club’s best ever defence of Gough, Hegarty, Narey and Malpas, and ironically it was that factor which ultimately prompted Gough to seek a transfer. He claimed his best position was as a central defender, but he had no chance of putting his theory to the test due to the impeccable form of Hegarty and Narey.
He got his wish with a £750,000 transfer to Tottenham in August 1986. Little more than a year later he was back in Scotland, Rangers having paid £1.1m to make him the rock on which was built their dominance of the Premier Division over the following decade. In May 1997 he moved to the USA, joining Kansas City Wizards. Three years later he returned to Everton, where he stayed until 2001. He was appointed manager of Livingston in November 2004. He won a total of 61 Scotland caps, 26 while with United.
George GRANT (born 1923)
Born in Dundee, he was one of the United stalwarts of the post-war era, a dynamic player, then known as an attacking wing half who today would be described as a creative midfielder.
Creative he certainly was, from the moment he arrived from Arbroath in January 1946. In an era when United played attractive football while only rarely threatening to mount a serious promotion challenge, George was a consistently high achiever who had a telling ability to score vital goals, and it was surprising that he was not offered the opportunity of playing at a higher level before Falkirk signed him in 1954.
Johnston GRANT ( 1915 - 1984)
He was a director in the family firm of haulage contractors when invited, along with George Fox, to join the board of Dundee United in 1955. Together they provided the impetus – and business/financial acumen – for the arduous task of turning Dundee United from Division Two also-rans into a club secure within Division One.
Boosted by the proceeds from the highly successful Taypools, the club made speedier progress than Grant himself had anticipated, but he was always more willing to assume responsibility for taking the club forward and he became vice chairman in 1965. Never one to court publicity, he had to be convinced by his fellow directors that he should assume the chairmanship two years later, a position he retained until his death in July 1984.
Under his chairmanship United not only achieved, but consolidated their position as one of the country’s top four clubs, and Johnston Grant took great satisfaction in witnessing the arrival of the first trophies at Tannadice in 1979 and 1980. Even those achievements paled into insignificance three years later when the club captured the League championship, a feat beyond Grant’s wildest dreams when he took up his seat on the board almost 30 years earlier. Those three decades had seen a metamorphosis of Dundee United and the effort and selfless dedication of Johnston Grant was a major factor in that change.
Andy GRAY (born 1955)
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.
There was a tremendous sense of loss among Arabs when he was transferred to Aston Villa in September 1975 for £110,000, the first six-figure fee received by United. Gray was such an immediate success that in 1977 he had the distinction, which remains unique, of being voted Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year in the same season by the PFA. He also won a League Cup winners’ medal that year with Villa, a feat he repeated with Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1980 after being transferred for £1.46m in 1979.
In 1983 Everton secured his services and with Gray leading the line the Merseyside club won the League championship, the FA Cup and the European Cup Winners’ Cup. He returned to Aston Villa to end his career. However, Graeme Souness offered Andy the opportunity he had craved since boyhood of playing for Rangers and he was part of the team which won the Premier Division championship in 1988/89.
Tommy GRAY (born 1926 - 1989)
A former Dundee player, he became United’s third manager in the space of eight weeks when he was appointed in March 1957. At the time he was the part-time manager of Arbroath, then several places above United in Division Two, and in addition he had a secure and well-paid day job.
On being invited by United to take over as manager, he undertook to accept only if he was allowed to do it on a part-time basis. The arrangement was not a success and in October 1958, Gray resigned due to ‘pressure of business’.
United have yet to meet a Greek club in European competition, although on two occasions they have travelled to that country for friendly matches. In May 1970 they lost 1–3 in Athens to Panathinaikos, who were to be the following season’s European Cup finalists. In 1988, one of a number of invitations in the wake of United’s run to the 1987 UEFA Cup final came from AEK Athens. United made the trip as part of pre-season preparations and recorded a 2–1 win over the club which had just finished runners-up in their championship.
The only Greek to play for United was Anastosios (Tassos) Venetis, who had won caps at U21 level prior to joining United in 1999. The midfielder made 57 appearances before joining Ross County in November 2002.
United did not meet Morton until achieving Division One status in 1925/26. The following season both were relegated, but they also bounced back together, with United as Division Two champions, in 1929. The next season, and then 1931/32, were the last which the clubs shared at the top level until 1963/64.
Since the introduction of the Premier Division in 1975, Morton have been members on only seven occasions. The last League meeting between the clubs was the First Division promotion decider at Cappielow Park in May 1996, in front of a crowd of 12,523. A 2–2 draw left them with the same number of points, allowing United to progress to the play-off because of a better goal difference.
It’s a fact: United’s record home Scottish League defeat was sustained when Morton won a Division Two match 7–0 in March 1957.
The playing record against Greenock Morton in major competitions is:

Scottish League (total):
P 92
W 44
D 14
L 34
F 190
A 171
Premier Division:
P 28
W 18
D 4
L 6
F 66
A 21

Scottish Cup: the clubs were drawn together in 1929, 1954, 1969, 1974 and 1986.
P 5
W 3
D 0
L 2
F 12
A 7

League Cup: the clubs were drawn together in 1953, 1958, 1969, and 2003.
P 9
W 2
D 2
L 5
F 15
A 25

Notable transfers to: Sammy Ross (1946), Tommy Traynor (1976)
George GREIG ( 1871 - 1940)
Bailie Greig was a prominent Tory councillor on Dundee Corporation and a wholesale tobacconist when, in February 1934, he emerged as one of Dundee United’s saviours.
Along with William McIntosh (a former Dundee FC director), he put up the necessary finances to prevent Dundee United from going out of existence, when the directors had already submitted the club’s resignation from the Scottish League. The two reached agreement with the club’s major creditors and re-scheduled the remaining debts; fortunately the League agreed to tear up the resignation letter.
This enabled the club to begin a slow recovery both on and off the park, but by the autumn of 1936 debts again began to rise. Clearly a wealthy man, Greig offered to underwrite these debts, but only in return for the other directors resigning, thereby allowing him to run the club as a one-man operation.
Despite having had no experience of professional football either as a player or as an administrator, he astonished everyone at Tannadice by dismissing legendary manager Jimmy Brownlie in October 1936, taking over himself in a role he described as manager-director. He left all training and what tactics there were to trainer Johnny Hart, but Greig himself insisted on selecting the team each week. Amazingly, this arrangement continued for eighteen months, until the end of season 1937/38. At that point Greig made his exit, selling his shareholding and handing over to a new board of directors although he did remain a trustee of the club.



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