Blether with Brown: Dundonian hit three in senior cup final against English side

Dundonian Bobby McMahon alerted me to a new book featuring Dundee United.

Bobby, who works for Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Sports World Canada, regularly reads this column and has featured in the past for expressing his talents with Tayport amateurs in the 1970s.

He then emigrated to Canada and played at a pretty decent level before embarking on his current successful career.

He opened: “Aberdonian Ian Thomson now resides on the eastern seaboard of the United States and has just published a great book Summer Of ’67 about the 1967 US League that featured Hibs (Toronto), Aberdeen (Washington), Dundee United (Dallas Tornado) and other teams from England, Brazil, Ireland, Italy and Uruguay.

“I remember United’s participation being a big deal at the time and the tournament final is one I have referred to as the greatest match nobody has heard of.

“In that final, Wolves beat Aberdeen 6-5. Dundonian Frannie Munro, formerly of United, played in that final for the Dons.

“It is a fantastic trip down memory lane.

“Ian has reminiscences from a number of Scottish players and some of Dundee United’s Scandinavians as well as other players who played.

“He has some wonderful anecdotes such as United attending a 4th of July party at billionaire Lamar Hunt’s ranch in Texas.

“Jim Baxter’s exploits get coverage as well this right after he humiliated England in 1967.

“There are names that I have completely forgotten about that came flooding back as I read the book remember Jackie Graham who played for United?”

Bobby concluded with a line on another United player.

“I don’t know if you remember Davie Hogg,” he asked.

“He played for Dundee United in the late 60s and scored the winner in a Dens derby.

“Davie came to Winnipeg in the 70s and I played with him there for a few seasons.

“Davie was part of the United squad that returned in 1969 and played again as the Dallas Tornado tangerine strips and all.”

The 1967 North American Soccer League was a close-season tournament played by 12 European clubs who took an American identity as authorities in the USA promoted ‘soccer’.

Mostly made up of Scottish, English and Irish sides, they were Boston Rovers (Shamrock Rovers); Chicago Mustangs (Cagliari, Italy); Cleveland Stokers (Stoke City); Dallas Tornado (Dundee United); Detroit Cougars (Glentoran), Houston Stars (Bangu, Brazil), Los Angeles Wolves (Wolves), New York Skyliners (Cerro, Uruguay), San Francisco Golden Gate Gales (ADO Den Haag, Netherlands), Toronto City (Hibs), Vancouver Royal Canadians (Sunderland), Washington Whips (Aberdeen).

Despite an opening game win, 1-0 against Cagliari, then a goalless draw with Bangu, the Tannadice side won only two other games out of 12 fixtures and finished bottom of their section, which was won by Wolves.

Their other results were Sunderland (1-4), Bangu (0-2), Hibs (2-2), Stoke (1-4), Shamrock Rovers (4-1), Glentoran (0-1), Cerro (1-4), Aberdeen (0-2), ADO Den Haag (2-1), Wolves (2-2).

The final instigated a famous Dundee pub football question… ‘Which Dundonian scored three in a cup final against top English opposition but finished on the losing side?’

The answer follows as the 90 minutes in that final ended 4-4, with Jim Smith, Frannie Munro (2) and Jim Storrie netting for the Dons, Dave Burnside (3) and Peter Knowles on target for Wolves.

In extra time, Dundee lad Munro completed his hat-trick but Terry Warthorn scored for Wolves to make it 5-5. Warthorn thought he had won it soon after but saw Aberdeen (Whips) goalie Bobby Clark save his penalty.

The Golden Goal rule then came into play and Bobby Thomson hit the winner for the Molineux side.

Here is a link to Ian’s book on Amazon

Thanks to Dundee United historian Peter Rundo for supplying the wonderful photo (top of page) of Dundee United in their first foray in tangerine.