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The Club » Dundee United A - Z ( R )

Dundee United A - Z ( R )

Dundee Hibs had their first encounter with Raith Rovers in the wartime Eastern League of 1917/18. The Hibs did not play any competitive matches the following season, but when they returned to the Eastern League in 1919 the Kirkcaldy club had been accepted into the Scottish League and fielded their A team against the Hibs.
The next occasion on which Raith Rovers faced the club it was as Dundee United in Division One in 1925/26. Apart from sharing seven seasons together in Division Two in the 30s, the clubs did not meet again on a regular basis until United won promotion in 1960.
However, having been in the top division since 1949, Rovers decline coincided with United's ascendancy and since 1960 the clubs have spent only eight League seasons together, two in the Premier Division.
The playing record against Raith Rovers in major competitions is:
Scottish League (total): P 42 W 23 D 8 L 11 F 103 A 71
Premier Division: P 8 W 3 D 2 L 3 F 13 A 12
Scottish Cup: the clubs have met just once, in 1957, when Raith Rovers won 7–0 at Stark’s Park to inflict the club’s heaviest-ever defeat in the competition.
League Cup: the clubs were drawn together in 1979, 1982 and 1987.
Record: P 5 W 4 D 1 L 0 F 11 A 3
Notable transfers to: Willie Ouchterlonie (1934), Gordon Wallace (as player/manager, 1977), Dave Narey (1994), Jim McInally (1995)
Notable transfers from: Bobby Bauld (1923), Craig Brewster (1993), Jim McInally (1996)
The clubs met for the first time in December 1925 in a League match at Tannadice, goals by Malcolm Campbell and Tommy Simpson giving United a 2–1 win in their inaugural season in Division One. They had spent three more seasons together by 1932, but did not meet again in the League until 1960. Since then, the only season missed has been United’s brief sojourn in the First Division in 1995/96.
United’s first victory at Ibrox did not come until March 1962, at the eighth attempt. The club’s biggest win over Rangers occurred in April 1942 in the North Eastern League Cup, one of the wartime competitions; they won 8–1 at Tannadice.
In the Premier Division, United’s biggest win is 4–1, at Ibrox in April 1981; at Tannadice it is 3–0, in December 1978. Overall, 0–5 represents the heaviest defeat, at Tannadice in March 1932 and at Ibrox in October 1931 and March 1963; all were Division One fixtures.
The playing record against Rangers in the major competitions is:
Scottish League (total): P 143 W 27 D 32 L 84 F 125 A 250
Premier Division: P 105 W 20 D 27 L 58 F 90 A 164
Scottish Cup: the clubs were drawn together in 1929, 1963 (semi-final), 1965, 1973, 1978 (semi-final), 1980, 1989 and 2001. They also contested the finals of 1981 and 1994.
Record: P 12 W 12 D 2 L 8 F 8 A 21
League Cup: the clubs were drawn together in 1947 (in the 1946/47 competition), 1964 (semi-final), 1967, 1984 (semi-final, in the 1983/84 competition), 1986 (semi-final), 1992, 1997 and 2000. They also contested the finals of 1981 and 1984.
Record: P 13 W 1 D 2 L 10 F 9 A22
Notable transfers to: Jimmy Simpson (1927), Orjan Persson (1967), Duncan Ferguson(1993), Alex Cleland (1995), Gordan Petric (1995), Billy Dodds (
Notable transfers from: Davie Wilson (1967), Alex Reid (1968), Doug Houston (1974), Ian Redford (1985), Iain Ferguson (1986), Ally Maxwell (1995), Billy Dodds (2003)
Willie REID (1884 - 1964)
Reid had an illustrious playing career as a centre forward with Third Lanark, Motherwell, Portsmouth and Rangers, winning three League championships with the Ibrox club, for whom he netted a total of 220 goals. He also gained nine Scotland caps and was manager of Albion Rovers before coming to Tannadice as Manager in June 1931.
He arrived within weeks of United winning promotion but was unable to keep them in Division One and the decline continued on their return to the lower division.
The financial crisis which engulfed the club in the early part of 1934 led the new owners to dispense with Reid’s services and he never again held a post in senior football.
John REILLY (born 1962)
Dundee born and bred, Reilly was often underestimated but was an effective striker during his spell at Tannadice. Though he could never claim a regular first-team place, he did make enough appearances to win a League championship medal in 1983.
Transferred to Motherwell in 1985, he was unfortunate to sustain an achilles tendon injury which seemed to have ended his career prematurely at the age of only 24. Happily, a revolutionary operation enabled him to resume his playing career with Motherwell who transferred him to Dunfermline in 1991, and he later played for East Fife.
In 1993 he went into management, taking over at Cowdenbeath, though that proved a thankless task and he remained for less than two years. He retains his link with the game, coaching youngsters while working as a freelance sports journalist.
Pat REILLY (1874 - 1937)
The founding father of Dundee Hibernian and therefore, by extension, of Dundee United also. Reilly and his family were immigrants from Ireland who came to Dundee in the late 1870s. His father worked in the jute mills, as did the young Pat from the day on which he left school, though he soon illustrated the independence of thought and determination which would come to characterise his life.
By the age of 20 he had opened a shop selling spare parts for bicycles, and he soon developed this into selling the models himself, then taking the logical step of actually manufacturing them. His business expanded rapidly, not least as a result of the upsurge in women taking up cycling around the turn of the century, enabling him to open branches in Edinburgh and Perth.
It seems that, while establishing his business in the capital, he developed an interest in Hibernian FC and, given his active involvement in both the Roman Catholic church and the Irish business community in Dundee, decided that his home city should have a football club with similar links. Although others were involved, Pat Reilly was without doubt the driving force behind the founding and establishment of Dundee Hibernian, his inspiration and determination being primarily responsible for securing Clepington Park and, a year later, membership of the Scottish League. No other club since the formation of the League had gained admission within a year of being formed; it was an astonishing feat and it ensured that Dundee Hibs had a foundation secure enough to enable it to consolidate both on and off the park.
Reilly became manager/secretary at Tannadice from day one, joint responsibilities he held for more than 13 years, with the exception of Herbert Dainty’s two-year spell as player/manager from 1915 (during which time Reilly remained club secretary).
There is no record of the extent to which Reilly himself financed the new club, but his input must have been substantial. It was only as a result of the protracted absence of League football after World War One that the club got into financial difficulties, and it was typical of Reilly that when an offer was forthcoming to take over the club and pay its debts in December 1922 he did not baulk at the fact that one of the conditions attached was that all of the then committee had to stand down.
Reilly appreciated that ensuring the continued existence of Dundee Hibs was of greater importance than his personal position, though one can but speculate as to what he thought of the new owners’ decision to ditch the club’s traditional name and colours. Nevertheless, he became a Dundee United shareholder, though never a member of the board. He also remained a regular visitor to Tannadice, and it was entirely appropriate that the club flag flew at half mast and there was a minute’s silence at the ground on 10 April 1937 as a mark of respect following his death.
It would be difficult to exaggerate the contribution made by Pat Reilly to the formation of the club which is now Dundee United; quite simply, without his vision, and the energy to turn it into reality, there would have been no Dundee United.
When United suffered the indignity of finishing bottom of the Premier Division in May 1995, it was the first time the club had been relegated for 63 years. Previous instances occurred in 1922, 1927 and 1930. The first was not relegation to a lower division, but meant an end to League membership because Division Two that season contained 20 clubs and had to be reduced to 18 for the following one.
See also Ireland and Northern Ireland
United have met only two clubs from the Republic in competition. In the North American Soccer League of 1967, they beat Shamrock Rovers 5–1 in Boston, while Bohemians were their opponents in the 1985/86 Uefa Cup first round. United recorded a 5–2 victory in the first leg in Dublin but the Irish side regained some pride in the return, drawing 2–2 at Tannadice.
United met League of Ireland opposition on pre season visits in 1992 (Derry City), 1999 (Cosford Town, Drogheda United and Dundalk) and 2000 (Bohemians, Bray Wanderers and St Patrick’s Athletic).
Ernest ROBERTSON (1892 - 1982)
There cannot be many examples of one person’s service on the board of a Scottish football club extending over a period of more than 50 years, but Ernest Robertson is one such.
In 1926, his father, owner of John Robertson and Son, Aerated Water Manufacturers, bought 50 shares in the Dundee United Football Company. Two years later the shares were transferred to Ernest who, in March 1929, became a director of Dundee United, assuming the chairmanship in 1931 at the age of 38.
With the exception of the period between 1936 and 1941 when the club was taken over on two separate occasions, he spent the remainder of his life as a member of the board. He returned as chairman in 1948 for a marathon stint of 15 years, presiding over the barren years of the early and mid-’50s, then the innovation of Taypools (which he initially funded through a personal loan) to the triumphant return to Division One in 1960.
Happily, Robertson lived to see the club win its first major trophy in 1979 and become established on the European stage. The contrast which that posed with his Tannadice experiences of the 1920s, ’30s and ’50s must have been breathtaking, but he himself played a telling part in allowing Dundee United to develop to the level where it became first a possibility, then a reality.
Andy ROLLAND (born 1943)
A Fifer, Rolland joined United from Cowdenbeath in 1967 for a fee of £10,000. He spent the next 11 years as an automatic choice at full-back and was a favourite of the fans with his no nonsense attacking style of play. He made an appearance in the club's first ever Scottish Cup Final in 1974, coming on as a substitute for Graeme Payne. He continued to play at the top level and was selected for the Scottish League team against the Football League at Hampden in 1976. In 1978 Rolland was given a free transfer in recognition of his services to the club, and left to play in America for Fort Lauderdale Strikers during the "soccer" boom of the late 70's. He returned to Scotland to play for Dunfermline and eventually became manager of Cowdenbeath.
Their European travels have taken United on three journeys to the land of Count Dracula. In the first round of the 1974/75 European Cup Winners’ Cup they were drawn against Jiul Petrosani. The star of the first leg at Tannadice was a young Paul Sturrock, as United built a 3–0 lead. As things turned out they needed it, the Romanians winning the return 2–0 and coming close to taking the tie into extra-time.
By the time the club returned for a Uefa Cup second-round tie 12 years later, they were considerably more accomplished on foreign fields. The first leg again saw United forge ahead by 3–0, and Universitatea Craiova could do no more than pull one back in Romania.
The country’s best-known club, Dinamo Bucharest, were United’s opponents for a further European Cup Winners’ Cup tie in 1988. It was a second-round match and again United had been drawn at home for the first leg. This time there was to be no lead to take to Romania; indeed Dinamo scored the only goal at Tannadice, and although United did well to record a 1–1 draw in Bucharest, it wasn’t enough.
The Dingwall club never played United prior to being admitted to the Scottish League in 1994. Since then the clubs have met twice in the League Cup, at Victoria Park in 1998 when County, then in Division Three, won 2-0 after extra time. The following season United gained revenge, winning 3-1 at Tannadice.
Notable transfers to: David Hannah (2002), Jim Hamilton (2003), Jamie McCunnie (2003).
It’s a fact: United’s defeat at Dingwall in 1998 was their worst-ever in a major cup competition; at the time the clubs were three divisions apart.



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