What was supposed to be an innocuous tweet at the weekend to pay tribute to Dundee United legend Dave Narey on his 59th birthday has sparked a major social media debate.
My tweet posed the question: was Dave Narey the greatest Dundonian to play football?
For me it’s more a statement of fact than a question because, as distinguished a band of players as the city has produced, when it comes to quality “Sash” is out there on his own.
Hundreds on Twitter agreed but almost as many, including Scotland star Charlie Adam, chipped in with their own alternative views.
That got the Tele sportsdesk thinking what a fantastic team of local born talent could be put together.
So in an attempt to keep as many fans as possible happy, we’ve come up with a “Dundonian greats XI”.
Goalkeeper: Sandy Davie. If Hamish McAlpine is the best-ever Dundee United goalie, the man he battled with for the No 1 jersey for a decade or so would run him a close second.
Davie enjoyed a distinguished Tangerines career before bowing out in the 1974 Scottish Cup Final and heading off for a new life in New Zealand.
Right-back: John Holt. One of the unsung heroes of the great Dundee United team of the 70s and 80s, the man who’s rumoured to have been a Dundee fan as a boy played in every outfield position for the Tangerines.
He could comfortably fit in on the right of the defence and, as well as his ferocious tackling being an asset, so too would his ability to get forward.
Centre-back: Derek Johnstone. One of those who gathered many votes in the impromptu poll for the title of best-ever from within the city limits. Fintry boy Johnstone made his name in a long career with Rangers.
For most of his playing days Johnstone was a prolific striker but he always expressed a liking for central defence and showed he was quality back there as well.
Centre-back: Dave Narey. The man I feel comes out top was an early product of the famed Dundee United youth system built up by Jim McLean.
In a 21-year first-team career at Tannadice he made 866 starts, winning two League Cups and the League title. Throughout he produced a level of performance that left him regarded by most as United’s best-ever player. On a bigger stage he’s remembered for his wonderful goal against Brazil during the 1982 World Cup.
Left-back: Bobby Cox. If Narey is a must for central defence, the left-back could only be Dundee’s legendary skipper Cox.
Born within a stone’s throw of Dens Park, Cox spend his entire career with his beloved Dark Blues, captaining them to the league title in 1962. Right up until his death five years ago, Bobby remained a popular figure at the club and with fans.
Right midfield: Peter Lorimer. The city has produced no shortage of midfield talent down the years but few would argue the man with the rocket shot was the best.
A member of the great Leeds United team of the 60s and 70s (he had a second spell there in the 1980s), Lorimer never played club football in his native Scotland. He did wear the dark blue of his country and scored Scotland’s opening goal of the 1974 World Cup Finals.
Midfield: Charlie Adam. The only member of the starting line-up still playing. After emerging through the ranks at Rangers, the Fintry lad has carved out a successful career down south with Blackpool, Liverpool and Stoke City.
The season just ended saw the Scotland man pick up a goal-of-the-year award for an effort from inside his own half against English champions Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. The campaign ended with him fulfilling a long-time ambition when he appeared for Dundee in Julian Speroni’s testimonial at Crystal Palace.
Midfield: Jimmy Gabriel. Born in Dundee during the war years, his career started at Dens Park where he emerged as a promising talent in the late 1950s. It was down south where he enjoyed his best years, particularly at Everton for whom he made more than 300 appearances during the 60s, winning league and FA Cup medals in the process.
Left midfield: Stephen Glass. Another from Fintry, despite being a United fan, Glass opted for the youth ranks at Aberdeen and that’s where he first came to prominence.
A big money move to Newcastle followed but, despite a bright St James’s Park career, he never really recovered from a serious injury suffered in a bad tackle by George Boateng in a game against Coventry City.
Striker: John Duncan. The prolific scorer for both Dundee and Spurs, having guided minnows Chesterfield to an FA Cup semi-final, Duncan would also be candidate to manage the Dundee XI.
He was a member of the Dark Blues side that lifted the League Cup against Celtic in 1973 and is remembered fondly at Dens Park and White Hart Lane for his goalscoring exploits.
Striker: Gordon Wallace. Quite simply a goals machine who held the Scottish domestic goals record until he was finally passed by Ally McCoist late in his career.
Wallace is best remembered for his winning goal in that 1973 League Cup Final and later in his career he would play an important role in moulding a young Paul Sturrock into a top-class striker at Dundee United.
If that line-up was not strong enough, the bench would be just as impressive with names like Ralph Milne, Graeme Payne, Christian Dailly, Andy Dow and Bobby Glennie ready to provide back-up.