Dundee United - A History (Part I)
When you think of Scottish football, two teams probably spring to mind : Celtic & Rangers, The Scottish giants, the "two teams in Scotland". While in recent memory this is probably a fair representation of the state of Scottish football, this wasn't always the case. In the mid to late 80's the talk was all tangerine and red and white. Dundee United and Aberdeen had forged a division in the usual two horse race between the Glasgow greats, Manchester United legend Alex Ferguson at Aberdeen and Jim Mclean at Dundee United brought a sexy style of play that hadn't been seen in Scotland before - these two east coast teams were nicknamed The New Firm.
Dundee United started life in 1909 as Dundee Hibernian. Founded by Irish catholics in Dundee who lost their previous club Dundee Harps in 1897 they were inspired by their catholic brothers down the coast in Edinburgh, Hibernian.
The first game at Tannadice was a friendly with Hibs on 18th August 1909, which ended 1-1. Jamie Docherty was the club's forst ever goalscorer.
It wasn't until 1924 that the club adopted the name Dundee United (after being refused the name dundee city by rivals Dundee FC) and a new white and black kit replacing the original green and white one.
The club won promotion to the First Division for the first time the following season after winning the Second Division title.
The next ten years was spent trying to stay in the top flight or bouncing back from relegation, but the recession and World War 2 hit hard and it wasn't until the arrival of Jerry Kerr as manager that the club finally saw a return to the top flight for the first time in 28 years.
The club improved through the 60's, qualifying for European football and famously beating Barcelona in 1966. Their 2-1 away win was the first ever victory by a Scottish club on Spanish soil.
In 1967, America started their soccer revolution, importing 12 overseas teams to represent the major cities of the States, with Dundee United playing as Dallas Tornado.
United did so well; they were invited back to Dallas in the summer of 1969.
The Tornado shirt was a big hit, and with colours of burnt orange and blue trim, it was exciting, vibrant and yes, fashionable. Mrs Barbara Kerr, the wife of manager Jerry Kerr, loved it so much, she suggested United should wear the same colours back home.
The tangerine United shirts with black trim and a new circular, rampant lion badge, were born on the August 4 versus Everton.