During the height of the Alan Gilzean myth that he was a ‘recluse’, a few of us from these parts perhaps had a little giggle to ourselves.
In 2001, lifelong Dundee fan Eddie Devlin took early retirement from a long career with confectioner Mars, whose slogan, of course, is ‘work, rest and play’.
His friends, headed by fellow-Dundee fan Jim Mackay, wanted to do something special for him to mark his retirement, and arranged for a lunch in Broughty Ferry — but with a very special guest.
You’ll have already guessed that guest was Alan Gilzean.
By that time, Gillie was a regular in the area as his son Ian, also a former Dundee FC striker, had settled along the coast in Carnoustie.
When approached, the 22-cap Scottish internationalist was delighted to attend the function in the Hotel Broughty Ferry.
Legendary Dundee FC captain Bobby Cox was another who attended.
My initial involvement was being asked to dig out stats and info which could be used on Eddie’s big day.
However, Jim and the organising team must have seen my puppy-dog eyes, so an invitation to the event itself winged its way to me — and was immediately accepted.
I did a piece on the event — and it actually made the front page of the Tele the following day.
At the event, I plucked up courage and asked Alan if I could have five minutes with him for a one-on-one interview.
He agreed and I also had a one-on-one photo taken with the ‘King of White Hart Lane’.
This was featured in my column at the end of that week, which at that time was called It’s A Funny Old Sporting World — a forerunner to BwB.
Others I remember attending the event were Dave Forbes, Brian Gray, John Cassidy, Jim Thomson and Bill Lochhead.
As I stated earlier, Bobby Cox attended, but refused to be photographed. Typically, he stated: “The day is all about Eddie and Gillie!”
In response to my Alan Gilzean memories on July 13, Mike Blair responded: “I well remember Alan Gilzean’s hat-trick against Cologne in that 8-1 victory in the European Cup at Dens Park.
“I often went up to Dens Park with my dad.
“I also remember Alan Cousin’s collision with the German goalkeeper.
“The goalie should have known better than to tangle with that big Latin teacher!”
Michael Wilson said: “I reckon the 5-1 win over Rangers at Ibrox in 1961-62 was the result which made the team — and the fans — realise they could win the title.
“I was at the game, along with my dad John and brother Peter.”
John Sturgeon offered: “I remember Bill Shankly saying that absolutely Gillie murdered Anderlecht in the first leg of the European Cup quarter-final in Belgium.
“He had an amazing partnership with Alan Cousin up front and winger Gordon Smith.”