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Dennis Gillespie
Dennis Gillespie
Date & Place of Birth: 8th January 1936, Duntocher
Date Signed: 27th August 1959
Previous Clubs: Duntocher Hibs, Alloa Athletic
Position: Inside Forward
Debut: 5th September 1959 v St Johnstone
First Goal: 9th September 1959 v Dumbarton
Last Appearance: 27th February 1971 v Dunfermline Athletic
Total Appearances: 455
Total Goals Scored: 115
Later Clubs: Brechin City
Inducted to Hall of Fame: January 2008


Dennis spent two seasons with 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 took over at Tannadice in the summer of 1959. Early in the process of rebuilding Dundee United, Dennis signed for the bargain fee of £3,000.

Cup-tied for the two games immediately after he signed, he made his debut in a Scottish League match at Tannadice and scored his first goal a few days later. He then netted a hat-trick as United beat Queen’s Park 8-1 away to begin a steady climb up the Second Division table, which ended with promotion to the First Division. He completed his first season as second top scorer and in United’s first season back in the top flight of Scottish football, Dennis was top of the scoring charts at Tannadice. Included in his total was another hat-trick, scored against Dunfermline Athletic in the last game of the season. Already a Scottish junior international whilst with Duntocher Hibs, he became the first Dundee United player to turn out for Scotland at senior level when he was selected for the league international against the League of Ireland in September 1961.

Over the next four seasons, Dennis was a first choice in the attack and regularly into double figures for goals scored and he netted another hat-trick, against Raith Rovers in October 1962. He was the Supporters’ Club Player of the Year for 1962-63. In the summer of 1965, Dennis played in all of the Summer Cup matches, including the final against Motherwell, which United lost 3-2 on aggregate over two legs.
Dennis Gillespie
By the middle of the 1960s, Dennis took more of a supporting role in the team but was still a regular in the line up and he was still finding the net. He was in the United side for the home and away Fairs Cities Cup wins over Barcelona, holders of the trophy. United won the tie 4-1 on aggregate. In the next round against Juventus, Dennis played in both legs as United lost narrowly, 3-1 on aggregate.

In the latter stages of his career with United, Dennis played in the half back line and then spent much of his final two seasons in the reserves, where his vast experienced aided the development of the younger players. He was offered a coaching role with United at the end of 1971-72 but he was still very keen to be involved on the playing side and therefore decided to accept an offer to join Brechin City, where he spent around four years. In May 1973, he was granted a testimonial match in which past and present United players and guests played in front of an appreciative crowd.

Sadly, Dennis died in June 2001. At his induction into the Hall of Fame, his sons Dennis and Steven accepted the award on his behalf.

Dennis Gillespie
Dundee United Career Stats

Click here for the other Hall of Fame Legends:-

Lennart Wing, Kenny Cameron, John Holt, Frank Kopel, Erik Pedersen, Duncan Hutchison, Johnny Coyle, Jimmy Briggs, Doug Smith, Stewart Fraser, Finn Dossing, Hamish McAlpine, Andy Rolland, Dave Narey, Paul Hegarty, Ralph Milne, Eamonn Bannon, Maurice Malpas, Peter McKay, Billy Hainey, Ian Mitchell, David Dodds, John Clark, David Bowman, Paul Sturrock

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