For what is a mid-sized club by Scottish standards, over their history it’s fair to say Dundee have punched well above their weight when it comes to producing and attracting top talent.
In today’s look down memory lane, as we celebrate their 125th birthday, we highlight the very best of what has been a quality crop.
Billy Steel: However long there is a Dundee FC, no list of the club’s greatest performers will ever be complete without the name Billy Steel.
When director/manager George Anderson snapped the Scottish international inside-forward up from Derby County for a record £22,500 in September 1950, it went down as one of the transfer coups of the decade.
Regarded as world class but known for being difficult to manage, Steel repaid the faith Anderson had shown in him and, in the next four years, would inspire Dundee to two League Cups.
Steel left Dens in 1954 when he quit the senior game aged just 31. He moved to America where he died in 1982 but, 36 years later, remains regarded as one of Scotland’s greatest players.
Claudio Caniggia: It was a case of 1950 and Billy Steel all over again when, in October 2000, Dundee sent tremors through the football world by announcing the signing of Argentine World Cup star Claudio Caniggia.
In desperate need of a replacement for injured striker Fabian Caballero, the Dee’s Italian manager Ivano Bonetti used his Serie A connections and fixed up Caniggia, a former Roma team-mate of his brother and assistant Dario.
In the end, the man who was Diego Maradona’s favourite strike partner for Argentina did not stay long at Dens Park, making just 21 league appearances and scoring seven goals, before heading for Rangers at the end of the 2000/01 campaign.
Both for his performances and the gentlemanly way he conducted himself off the park, the impact he had on Dundee was considerably greater than the time he spent at Dens Park.
Alan Gilzean: If there’s a debate over who the best-ever Dundee player is, when to comes to putting the ball in the net there can be no argument.
Although down the years the club can boast some prolific scorers, there never has been, and is never likely to be, anyone who could match the ability of the legendary Alan Gilzean.
Over 40 years after his playing career with the Dark Blues and then Spurs came to an end, those who saw him or played with or against him still regard him as being a world class centre-forward.
Born in Coupar Angus, Dundee were his first senior club. He score an unequalled total of 169 goals for them and won the league in 1961/62 before being transferred to Spurs, where he enjoys similar legendary status, in 1964.
Doug Cowie: The sands of time mean in some ways he is the forgotten man of Dundee greats but never to those who saw or played alongside Doug Cowie.
Signed by George Anderson in 1945, over the next 16 years the Aberdonian would make a record 446 appearances, win two League Cups and also appear in two World Cups for Scotland.
Cowie left Dens at the end of the season before the club won the championship but many of those who played in the side that clinched the title have often referred to the influence he had over their development on the pitch.
As well as nurture it, Cowie would go on to show himself as an adept talent spotter. Once his playing days were over he worked for Dundee United and, along with fellow-scout Davie Small, was credited by Jim McLean as being instrumental in unearthing many of the local players who went on to bring the league flag to Tannadice in 1983.