Famous Teams: Dundee Utd
For most of its history Dundee United had achieved little apart from promotion to the First Division. However, their team of the 1960s had experienced some notable success in European competition, beating Barcelona amongst others, a feat they were to repeat twenty years later.
It was not until 1971 that the fortunes of the Tannadice club took a turn for the better when the energising figure of Jim McLean was appointed manager. His youth policy paid dividends with the emergence of talented players such as Paul Sturrock, David Narey, Maurice Malpas, and Richard Gough who were to break through into club and international recognition. McLean’s skills as a manager were rewarded in season 1979-80 when the club won its first senior honour: the League Cup. This success was repeated the next year. Their greatest domestic achievement was in winning the League title in 1983, leading to a European Cup run the next season, only ended by Roma in the semi-final. Their greatest international achievement was in reaching the final of the UEFA Cup in 1987, when they were beaten over two legs by Swedish club Gothenburg. The clubs’ fans sporting behaviour, despite their team losing, was rewarded by the first ever Fair Play Award given by UEFA.
McLean gave up the manager’s job in 1993. His replacement, Ivan Golac – the first European coach of a Scottish club – achieved a first for Dundee United when they won the Scottish Cup in his first season. Unfortunately his team were relegated in 1995, but bounced back, and were promoted in 1996.
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