BLETHER: Intense Dundee and Dundee United rivalry not confined to the city

Dundee United supporters celebrate their team's 3-0 victory over Ross County in the Active Nation Scottish Cup Final at Hampden Park in 2010

The intense rivalry between Dundee United supporters and Dundee fans is not just confined to inside these city walls.

Far and wide, emotions will surface when Arabs and Dees get together.

And this, it seems, is also the case in Canada.

Regular contributor Rob Boag, formerly of Lochee and now living in Vancouver, is, as we’ve learned over the years, a Celtic fan with a soft spot for the Tannadice men.

He is no stranger to the Celtic-Rangers rivalry but also saw something akin relating to the City of Discovery clubs.

Rob, an author in his own ‘write’, said: “I was in Toronto a few weeks ago and saw a couple wearing T shirts that triggered a memory.

“It was 2010 on a fine Saturday morning that I made my way to Oakville, a nice town in Ontario.

“I had arranged a get-together with John Squire, another Dundee lad.

“We would meet at a pub called Niblick’s to watch the Scottish Cup Final — Dundee United v Ross County.”

Rob continued: “Niblick’s is part of a shopping mall and, being Saturday, it was busy.

“I parked my car at the far end of the mall.

“I then spotted John parking his car and we met and both headed in the direction of the pub.

“I wouldn’t describe John as just a United fan as he was much more passionate.

“John lived and died on United’s pitch performance.

“We were discussing the probable line-up when John gave me a nudge, nodded with his head to a lad coming in our direction, and said: ‘Look, a Dundee supporter, he’s here to cause trouble’.

“John accelerated ahead of me.

“The lad was much younger than us (most people are) and taller, and I saw John confront him.

“I didn’t have a good feeling for this and brought comfort by telling myself that Oakville is an affluent town and the jail cells probably had high definition TV and room service.

“Catching up to John, I heard him say to the lad, while pointing at the large blue colour letter D printed on his T shirt: ‘Are you a Dundee supporter. Are you here to cause trouble?’

“The lad looked confused, then, somewhere in his brain, clarification took place.

“The lad smiled, pointed to the blue letter D on his T shirt, and said: ‘No sir, this is a Detroit Tigers T shirt’.

“Silence, and then John said: ‘Sorry about that son’.

“John stuck out his hand, the big lad shook it, then offered me his hand. I shook it, and he then took off in another direction.”

It was an early start for Rob and John, as Rob continued: “Inside Niblick’s, it was 9.30am Ontario time.

“In Scotland, it was 2.30pm and the pundits on the big screen gave their predictions.

“The pub was packed with United fans from all over the area and everyone getting stuck into a fry-up.

“John and I sat at a table with a bunch of Arabs and introduced ourselves.

“If we didn’t know each other, we knew someone in common.

“I told the story of John’s meeting with the blue D, and this raised John’s status as a Tangerine Terror.

“We were later introduced to Eddie Thompson’s sister and her daughter, who live in Oakville.

“We then watched United lift the precious silverware and this brought a perfect end to a morning that had a shaky start.

“Sadly, John passed away the following year.

“If there is such a place as heaven, I know a small part of it will be called Tannadice — and I guarantee John will be seated at the head table.

“He will caution the lads at the front gate to be watchful for anyone wearing a T-shirt with a blue D printed on it!”

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