Dundee United Football Club
Dundee United is one of Scotland’s most popular football clubs and the team enjoyed much success during their 1980s heyday. Team officials and players have always strived to maintain close links with their fan-base and a trust set up by Dundee United fans is currently the second-highest shareholder in the team. Note that Dundee United should not be mistaken for their city rivals, Dundee F.C.
Dundee United Football Club was formed in 1909 by Irish immigrants working in Dundee’s industrial areas. The team, originally known as Dundee Hibernian, joined the Scottish Football League in 1910. Dundee Hibernian received a name change in 1923 – a group of Scottish businessmen who had taken over sponsorship of the team, renamed the club Dundee United.
Dundee United were eventually promoted to the first division of the Scottish Football league during the 1924-25 season. However, they were relegated back to Division Two after a mere two seasons. The team enjoyed modest success during the post-war years. They participated in the UEFA Cup and gained the honour of being the first Scottish football club ever to win in Spain.
However, it was their new coach, Jim McLean, who would once and for all alter the fortunes of Dundee United during the post-war years. McLean, who had previously coached Dundee United’s city rivals, Dundee F.C., was responsible for taking the team to their first ever final of the Scottish Cup.
This was followed by a third place finish in the Scottish Premier Division in 1978 and 1979 – the highest ranking achieved by the team in their entire history. Dundee United went on to win the Scottish League Cup in 1879-80 and held on to it with surprising flair during the following season. The team went on to win the Scottish Premier League for the first time in its history in 1982-83. However, their success was not confined solely to Scotland.
Dundee United demonstrated that they were a strong side internationally, as well, with wins over the likes of Werder Bremen and PSV Eindhoven. They were also to reach their first ever European Cup semifinal during the 1980s. However, in this instance they were defeated by the formidable Italian team, AS Roma.
During the 1986-87 season, Dundee United reached its first ever UEFA Cup final. Sadly, for players and supporters alike, the match resulted in a defeat for the Scottish team.
However, Dundee United’s fortunes appear to have waned in recent years. The team reached the finals of the Scottish Cup – this after a gap of eleven years in 2004-05. However, the match resulted in a defeat for Dundee United.
Since the formation of the Scottish Premier League in 1998, they have never held a position in the top 3, let alone reached the league finals.
Dundee United’s home grounds are those of Tannadice Park and the stadium is located in the Clepington area of the city of Dundee. With Dundee United’s stadium located just over a hundreds yards away from the home grounds of city rivals, Dundee FC, it should come as little surprise that confrontations between rival fans have occurred on numerous occasions. Attempts have been made at constructing a shared ground for both teams. However, little progress has been made in this regard.
Team Colours, Insignia and Nicknames
The team plays in a different kit depending on whether they are participating in home or away fixtures. Their home jersey consists of a distinctive tangerine orange shirt with a black stripe down the sleeve and black shorts. During away fixtures, team members sport simple white jerseys and white shorts.
The Dundee United team badge consists of a lion – a traditional symbol of Scottish patriotism encircled by the team’s colours.
As for the many nicknames attributed to Dundee United, there is little doubt as to the origins ‘The Terrors’ and ‘The Tangerines’ – the former refers to the team’s gruff and aggressive techniques on the pitch, whilst the latter was derived from the colour of the team’s kit.
However, the nickname of ‘The Arabs’ is more open to debate. It is believed to have been coined during the 1962-63 season. Several inches of snow had made Tannadice Park unplayable. An industrial tar burner was called in to help melt the snow. However, the machine succeeded in destroying most of the grass on the pitch as well.
As such, truckloads of sand had to be poured over the surface of the grounds in order to make it fit for use. Despite the poor nature of the playing conditions, however, Dundee United won the ensuing game 3-0. This surprise win led certain commentators to state that the Scottish team “had taken to the sand like Arabs.” Thus the nickname was born.
- Runners-up: 1986-87
- Semi-finalists: 1983-84
Scottish League Premier Division
- Won: 1982-83
Scottish League First Division
- Runners-up: 1995-96
Scottish League Division Two
- Won: 1924-25, 1928-29
- Runners-up: 1931-32, 1959-60
- Won: 1993-94
- Runners-up: 1973-74, 1980-81, 1984-85, 1986-87, 1987-88, 1990-91, 2004-05
Scottish League Cup:
- Won: 1979-80, 1980-81
- Runners-up: 1981-82, 1984-85, 1997-98
Dundee United’s success in recent years has been fairly limited. The team hopes, however, that its youth development program will help nurture young talent, providing potential players and helping the team on its way to future success.
The team may be contacted at the following address:
Dundee DD3 7JW
Here’s a useful tool to show you how to get to Tannadice Park from your present location.
General Enquiries Tel: 01382 833166
Ticket Office Tel: 01382 833166
Fax: 01382 889398